Studying a new language is always an exciting road to take; however, there are times where it feels nearly impossible because you don’t know where to start or have no idea how to progress with your studies. No matter the reason, learning a new language is an amazing experience- one that you should have if you ever have the chance. Whether you’re going to take a face-to-face class, online, or on your own, these tips will help you on your journey.
- Review Grammar and Vocabulary
This goes without saying, but it’s really important to review the grammar and vocabulary you’ve learned. The further on you go in studying a certain language, the more information you will have; however, no matter how basic it may seem, certain grammar and vocabulary can easily be forgotten in due time if you don’t review it every day or at least a certain amount of times per week. You can do this with a few index cards or giving yourself a small quiz.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
It’s common to be afraid of making a fool of yourself, especially if you’re trying to speak with a native; but don’t be. Mistakes- especially when learning a new language- is a part of learning. By making mistakes you actually learn how to correctly pronounce a word and/or grammar structure.
- Don’t Use Online Translators for Sentences/ Paragraphs
While different online translators are useful, it’s not good to use them for anything that’s a sentence or paragraph long. Mostly because they can end up being horrendously grammatically incorrect; also, online translators translate word by word- they don’t go into context which most probably will end up giving you a sentence with a whole different meaning than you intended. It’s fine to use it for a word or two, but not for an entire sentence. Also, I highly recommend you check the dictionary just to be sure if there is a better word to translate it in.
- Watch Series/ Listen to Music/Play Video Games
This is really an ideal thing to do when learning a new language. Listening to music and watching series in the language you’re learning helps you get used to hearing the spoken language as well as learning certain grammar structures and slang. If you’re watching a series, I recommend you first watch it with subtitles in your language, then watching it with subtitles in its own language and finally watching it without subtitles. As for video games, you can take your time while playing it. Will it take a long time? Maybe, but with video games, you don’t need to speed through them. If there’s a word that you don’t understand/know, you can always pause the video or let the game stay in a certain part and take notes on the words and their meanings.
- Take Your Time
Not everyone learns at the same pace. Some people learn faster than others. If you’re taking a face-to-face class and see that the teacher is being too fast during lessons, don’t be afraid to ask them questions after the class or messaging them. They’ll see that you’re at least making an effort to learn and understand the lesson. If you’re learning on your own, try to find someone who knows your target language- whether it be a friend of yours or an online teacher or really anyone who speaks it.
- Use Different Resources
While using your textbooks as your main source of information for your target language, it’s not a good idea to have it as your only resource for it. There are many apps to learn languages as well such as Hello Talk and HiNative (to have conversations with native people of your target language), Duolingo, Memrise, and many more which makes it easier- however, remember that you shouldn’t rely on it as your ONLY means of learning a language. There are countless YouTube videos for learning a new language- many of which actually encourage you to continue working on it and message them if you have any questions.
- Keep Practicing
This goes without saying, but it is crucial nonetheless. Never stop practicing, because if you do, you will forget so much vocabulary and grammar structures- all of your hard work would be for nothing and you will have to start over in order to get back to where you left off. Whether it be 15 minutes or an hour, every minute counts when doing so. If you don’t feel comfortable in speaking with someone in your targeted language at the moment, keep a diary and write it in that language (tip I got from TalkToMeInKorean)- you will start to gain more confidence in looking up words and learning about sentence structures which will soon give you more confidence in speaking. Watch series, listen to music, or anything you enjoy- incorporate it into your everyday routine and you will eventually see results.
I hope you all get the chance to study a new language and have fun while doing so! Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾