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Tips That Helped Me Learn New Languages


Learning a new language could be challenging; however, it is never undoable. No matter how complex this language might be, you can always learn it. Having a reason and being passionate about a language is all that you would need along with my simple tips to possess that language.


Want to become a polyglot? 


1)    Look up the basic rules:

 Are you new to the Language? Thinking you need to enroll in some course or program to learn it? Feeling like you’re lost for not having someone walk you through your first steps?


I can assure you that is how I felt when I decided to learn Turkish. I started looking here and there for a tutor to teach me the secrets of it, to guide me. Adding to my parents’ belief that learning a fourth language is very unnecessary, Covid19 outbroke and brought a halt to those search attempts. At such time, the only gate to doing what I love was befriending Google and YouTube. I started looking up the tenses and the sentence structures, comparing each grammatical rule to a similar one in the other languages I know to help myself recognize the differences. This comparison also asserted me to keep track of the lessons I still need to learn in my new language.

You can always be your own tutor, so take the lead of your own sail.


2)    Get your senses used to the language:

Have you ever thought of how you learned your first language?

Exactly…you don't learn it. You ACQUIRE it. As a baby, you were surrounded by people producing sounds you do not identify with, but then your mind started acknowledging it as a method of communication. You might have never learned its rules, yet you are able to use it on a daily basis.


That's why my golden tip is: even if you're still in the beginning and have no clue what is being said, LIVE by the Language.


Watch videos, series, or movies that are in this language; this will help your ears to become used to how it sounds, and consequently will get your mind to recognize the language whenever you come across it. And, inevitably, it will enhance your ability to pronounce words correctly as your mind would memorize the sounds of the letters. Moreover, using subtitles while watching will make the process of learning new vocab easier as you will be exposed to a large variety of them.


Another way to get yourself used to the language is through reading and maybe even going the extra mile by translating what you read. Start with the simple short stories; they will walk you through the same steps as the natives.


Throughout my journey to improve my English, I wanted to know as many words as a native speaker would. That led me to start highlighting every new word I came across while reading, and writing down, in my mother tongue, things I thought I did not know what they meant in English. Then by the end of the day I will look up those words, know their meaning within the different contexts, and differentiate between them and their synonyms. Remembering how this enriched me with a lot of vocab, I wanted to do the same with Turkish. I doubted for a while that it would work as all I Knew was just a few simple words. However, it actually helped me not only to learn new vocab but also introduced me to the culture of that country.


3)    Practice daily:

Learning a new language is like building a new habit. It has to be practiced daily. Frequently practicing your language drives away the shyness and the fear of speaking a new language causes.


You can practice with a friend, with a stranger, or even with yourself. There are multiple websites and applications that enable you to practice your language. HelloTalk, Speaky, and Preply are language exchange apps that lets you practice with learners, natives and experts. There are also apps like Babbel, Duolingo, Memrise and LingoDeer, which allow you to practice your language all by yourself.


Using Speaky while trying to master English not only helped me gain confidence using it but also improved my communication skills, introduced me to different cultures and friends, and got me used to the different accents of the language. While, now, Duolingo, with its daily reminders, encourages me to improve my Turkish level despite my hectic schedule.


Even though feedback on those language exchange options is important, check them out yourselves. You're the only one who can figure out what fits you best.


4)    set goals:

Setting goals keeps you on the right path. It ensures that your learning process is continuously in progress. So when you start learning a new language you might set a plan where you determine what you would like to be capable of doing by the end of each week. For instance, if you aim to go from a Basic to an advanced level within 6 months, you might plan for it as the following:


*By the end of the first month I should be able to have simple conversations*

    Week one: alphabet, the numbers from zero to ten, the basic rainbow colors and greetings.

    Week two: be able to count to a hundred, name days and months and identify family members.

    Week three: know the main verbs used in everyday life and the names of some fruits and veggies.

    Week four: become able to form simple sentences using the present tense.


Please keep in mind that you put the plan to stay focused on your target not to bore you or make your learning journey difficult so do not set unrealistic objectives that would stress you. Also remember that learning something is always better than learning nothing at all. So if you couldn't fully commit to your plan at some point, do not let falling behind in your schedule discourage you.

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Tags: #LanguageLearning #Polyglots #LanguageExchangeMethods #Self-Learning


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