If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have been put off by the thought that is a long and arduous process, these tips for learning a language will change your mind. As with anything, the faster you see results, the greater your motivation to keep going. These tips for learning a language will see you progress quickly and you’ll just want to keep on going till you master it.
1. Learn a Few Important Phrases and Words
One of the most common tips for learning a language quickly is often, “Buy a phrasebook.” However, usually these phrases deal with travel-related scenarios. If that's where you intend to use the language, by all means purchase one. In a pinch you can simply point out a sentence and someone will likely be able to help you. If using the language elsewhere, such as at work, for example, learn the words associated with that situation. Once you learn the individual words, start learning sentences and questions, and learn what possible responses you should expect from what you ask or say. If you learn the 1000 most common words in a language, you will understand about 70 percent of what people are saying.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Use What You've Learned Right Away
Even if it's just a few words! Generally, native speakers appreciate that you're trying. They may think you understand more than you do, and you may have to help them understand that you're just a beginner learning the language. They may try to correct you. Be humble and listen, and try to follow their lead. Be aware, however, that different regions where the native language is spoken may have different ways to say things, so what you learn from the native speaker my not be correct 100% of the time with all native speakers. But use the language. Don't be shy. It's truly the only way to build your fluency. No one who tries to learn a different language is ever 100% accurate or 100% prepared. You'll make a lot of mistakes, and that's perfectly okay!
3. Practice Every Day
Practicing every day helps the new language become more natural and allows you to build on what you've already learned. Practicing helps you store information in a way that allows you to move forward in your language learning rather than having to review information you have forgotten because too much time has passed between study periods. Once some words and phrases become more natural, you can continue to build your vocabulary.
4. Flashcards Rule
Seriously, it's the best way to learn vocabulary. It may seem boring and repetitive, but it’s one of the best tips for leaning a language because it works! It’s the key to planting words in your brain. There are numerous computer programs and apps with vocabulary words to practice, and most of them are free. Or, you can make your own with the kind of words you will use almost daily. Simple index cards work fine; just write the new word in the front and the translation on the back.
5. Go Places Where the Language is Spoken
There are likely a number of places where native speakers gather. Go to restaurants, fairs, churches or other events where the language is likely to be spoken. Interact as much as possible with the people there, and listen to the pronunciation, the timing, and sound of the language when native speakers are speaking with each other. The ultimate language training, of course, comes from visiting a country where the language you are learning is the primary language, and you can pick up the language more easily this way because you are constantly surrounded by it. This may be difficult to accomplish due to the expense or the distance. For those who can’t get away at all, several online groups offer to connect you with a native speaker right on your computer.
6. Listen to the Language Whenever You Can
People who learn English often cite the television as a great source of language exposure, particularly children’s educational programming. Watch television programs, plays, and videos in the native language as much as you can. Listen to music and radio programming in the target language and try to imitate the sounds you hear. If you can pick out words you don't know, look them up to learn their meaning. Notice how words are used in sentences.
7. Don't Worry Too Much about Grammar
Yes, it's important to know how to conjugate basic everyday verbs and you'll need to know where to put words in sentences, but a lot of that will come when you begin speaking. Native speakers will correct you from time to time and you'll learn from those experiences, and you'll begin imitating people who are communicating the things you want to communicate as well. Just don't spend hours pouring over verb tables. Always carry a dictionary to look up new words you need when you encounter them.
You’ll find many tips on learning a language, but these are the best ones if you want to see quick results. Do successful linguists among our readership have any more?