I know you have always wanted to learn a new language. Come on! Admit it! At least half of the world’s population is bilingual (and a third of the population is trilingual). Our cognitive capabilities increase multi-fold during the course of our learning.
It is not difficult to learn a new language from scratch. Let me get you started!
Head over to Duolingo and start with any language and supplement your learning using these simple tips. Fun is definitely guaranteed!
Language Learning Tip #1 – Change your phone’s language to your new language
A phone that’s in a completely different language you can’t understand? The best way to learn new words. You anyway know the symbols for the most used functions (call, message, settings etc.). Why not learn a few new words as well? Just make sure you know how to switch it back quickly. You can use a language switcher app for easy access.
Language Learning Tip #2 – Learn English from your new language
Take any good language learning app, like Duolingo. If you want to learn German, ask it to teach you English with the interface in German. You will learn a great deal this way!
Here’s how I learn German from Spanish.
Please record a video of your facial expressions when you try Tips 1 and 2 for the first time. I definitely want to see it!
Language Learning Tip #3 – Talk to your Digital Assistant (Siri/Google Now) in your new language
You can speak to your personal digital assistant in your new language (after changing your phone’s language) and ask it to set alarms. If it misinterprets and calls your boss instead, well, there’s always a learning curve. But you can rest assured that you are certainly on the right track!
Granted, it may evoke a few suspicious stares from your near and dear. Who on earth sets her/his phone to a different language that nobody at home can understand? And who speaks weird sounding words into a phone? (Well, almost every telemarketing caller, but that’s different).
It may even earn you a well-deserved reprimand from your significant other. But it’s worth the effort.
Language Learning Tip #4 – Use a dictionary only for difficult words
You can easily remember and recall many words (in any language) if you have been learning it for at least a few weeks. Make a list of all your difficult words and refer a dictionary only for these words.
You will force/train your brain to remember more words easily this way. You will also earn the cool nickname ‘Dictionary Dame/Dude’!
Apps like Memrise and Drops will automatically give you a list of your difficult words.
Language Learning Tip #5 – Read newspapers in your new language
Remember the times when our parents asked us to read newspapers to improve our English vocabulary?
This can be effective even when you have just started to learn a new language. The mere sight of any known word will excite you and you will slowly begin to understand by context. Start with the most popular online newspapers in that language.
Also, you can find out if the ads are just as boring in Spanish/German as they are in English!
Immerse yourself in your new language. Surround yourself with videos and online radio. Then thank me later in your new language!
Let me know how it goes! Adiós ! Bis Später!