Language learning is complex. You have to deal with four separate skills –reading, writing, listening and speaking, which are also linked to thousands of separate facts –grammar rules, vocabulary words, pronunciation rules, and other. Some studies have claimed that speaking language other than your mother-tongue can change your personality. Are you struggling to pick up a second (third or a fourth) language? Here is a list of our top 5 tips to learn any language.
Know Your Motivation
If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run. Wanting to impress people with your French is not a very good reason; wanting to get to know a French person in their own language is another matter entirely. No matter what your reason, once you’ve decided on a language. It is crucial to commit.
Talk to Yourself
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language. “It might sound really weird, but actually speaking to yourself in a language is a great way to practice if you’re not able to use it all the time,” says Matthew Youlden, linguist, translator, interpreter, lecturer and polyglot.
If you don’t know how to go about learning a new language, this can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind. It also helps build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.
Have Fun with It
Using your new language in any way is a creative act. Think of some fun ways to practice your new language –make a radio play with a friend, draw a comic strip, write a poem or simply talk to whomever you can.
You must learn to listen before you can speak. Every language sounds strange the first time you hear it, but the more you expose yourself to it the more familiar it becomes, and the easier it is to speak it properly.
“We’re able to pronounce anything, it’s just we’re not used to doing it. For example, the rolled r doesn’t exist in my form of English. When I was learning Spanish there were words with the hard R in them, like Perro and reunión. For me, the best way to go about mastering that is actually to hear it constantly, to listen to it and to kind of visualize or imagine how that is supposed to be pronounced, because for every sound there is a specific part of the mouth or throat that we use in order to achieve that sound’”, says Matthew Youlden.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, and try to tell a joke. The more often you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes and the more at ease you can be in new situations.
These were the top 5 tips to learn any language. Missed out on any other tips that can help you learn any language? If yes, share your thoughts in the comment section below.