Whether it’s for a trip, to connect with friends and family, for your career path, or simply as a hobby, learning a new language isn’t exactly a piece of cake. However, being able to speak and comprehend a foreign tongue brings with it many advantages. Here are 5 tips to help you become fluent in any language.
1. Use a language-learning app
Technology has facilitated everything for us, even learning languages! There are several apps on the market that teach you a language from scratch through games, repetitive exercises and tests. These apps make use of audio and pictures to create a fun, interactive and effective learning experience. They are practical as you can use them wherever you are, whenever you want. Examples of such apps include Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise, and Lingualift to name a few.
2. Find a learning buddy
Finding someone who is willing to learn the same language as you can be of great help. It is easier to find motivation and you can help each other out. You’ll have someone to assist you in dialogues and basic conversations, and it is also bound to make this learning adventure more fun and entertaining. It may also get a bit competitive, pushing you to do your best!
3. Make use of mass media
One of the best ways to learn a language is through practical means. You can do this by watching television, listening to music or podcasts, and reading books, newspapers or magazines in your target language. This will help you with your sentence structure, pronunciation and vocabulary. You won’t understand every single word or sentence, and that’s perfectly fine! By time you’ll understand more and probably even start using some of your favourite character’s catchphrases together with jamming out to some of the best tunes in that language!
4. Conversing with native speakers
No one knows a language better than its native speakers. It doesn’t need to a be a complex conversation about plate tectonics, some simple small talk will do. Your speaking abilities may not be perfect and chances are that you’re going to mess up here and there. You don’t need to be afraid of making mistakes, on the contrary whoever you’re conversing with will most probably correct you and thus helping you to advance. When you learn a foreign language, perfection isn’t necessary as long as what you say is comprehensible!
5. Practice, practice, practice!
A language is so vast and has so much to learn that it’s impossible to remember everything. You have to imagine yourself as a baby that’s just learning how to speak. It’s a process that works through repetition, using hand gestures and images, and listening to others. The more you practice, the more the language will become an integrated part of your life. So don’t give up, Rome wasn’t built in a day!