Tips on How to Learn a New Language
- Iktsuarpok (Inuit): The frustration that builds when waiting for someone to show up
- Aware (Japanese): The bittersweet feeling of knowing that a perfect moment will still pass
- Tartle (Scottish): The act of talking to someone you can’t remember the name of, and then having to introduce them to someone else
Did you know any of the words above? Well, learning a new language can help you recognize more emotions, give you more ways to express yourself, and open your eyes to new perspectives, helping you connect with more people from diverse cultures.
As much as it is helpful, however, it may feel daunting at times to approach a whole new system of communication. Below are some tips on how to ease your way into becoming a polyglot in an enjoyable manner as recommended by professional linguists!
Tip 1. Immerse yourself
The fastest way to learn a new language is to fully immerse yourself in it and incorporate the language into your daily routine. This may seem hard at first and feel awkward with your current skills, but don’t be afraid of mistakes - making mistakes is how you learn!
Immersion can happen by living in a foreign country or even within your own home!
Volunteer or work in another country if possible, and if not, there are plenty of other ways: change your phone language settings to match your target language, label objects in your house with their respective names, download a language learning app, or listen to music in a foreign language! For more tips, click here.
Tip 2. Memorize new words
Vocabulary is important when it comes to language, as it becomes the basic building blocks with which to speak. Learning new words can be a fun but challenging task, as you’re not used to the sounds and cadences of the new language. In order to memorize new words effectively, make use of free online resources to help you learn new words! For example, Anki, a flashcard app, can help you learn new words by matching them with its meaning, a description, voice note, or even an image. First learn essential words and common phrases so that you can use them more often!
Tip 3. Watch online language courses and YouTube videos
You’ll also need to learn the basic grammar rules of the language in order to make sense out of the words. This can be done easily by using online sources: there are many free language/grammar video lessons on YouTube, as well as other e-learning platforms. Subscribe to a YouTube channel that teaches your target language and learn something new every week! For more information on online resources, click here!
Tip 4. Read easy novels in your target language
Only those who have tried it know the delight of being able to read books in a new language! Yes, books will have many words that you don’t know, but there is a pleasure in seeing the words you do know! Try purchasing a novel where you know more than half of the words in it--if it’s too hard, you’ll become too frustrated and if it’s too easy, it won’t be much of a learning experience.
Tip 5. Talk with a native
Whether through a language exchange program, a one-on-one tutoring session, or even just visiting a restaurant that speaks the target language, practicing the language out loud helps with learning commonly used words and applying what you know so far.
When speaking with a native, remember that you don’t have to be perfect! Language is a skill to master through practice and practice comes with repeated failures (or rather, finding weak spots you can improve upon)!
Click here to download Dreamfora to add the customized plan “Learn a new language”. Dreamfora will set you up with a comprehensive set of daily tasks, habits, and milestones for you to follow.