Ciao, hallo, ahoj, здра́вствуйте…that’s hello (hi) in languages that I’m
learning - italian, german, slovak/czech (my first language) and
russian. As you can see, I love languages. You could call me a language
freak. I enjoy learning them and I would love to see other people
enjoying it too. So that’s why I’m here today. Writing this post about
how to learn any foreing language.
- 1. VOCABULARY
For me, vocabulary is the most important part of any language. You can know the grammar, the pronunciation and everything else, but if you don’t know words, you can’t do anything. For many years, as I was younger, I struggled to learn new words. I often just translated them and that was all. Then I finally did what was necessary. I wrote them down.
Yes, that’s the first step. Write the freakin’ words somewhere, then write the translation, if you need to, a sentence where it is used (in languages such as german, do it so the word will be in nominative, so you won’t mess up the article). Read it out loud and when revising, make flashcards.
One tip when it comes to flashcards with vocab. Don’t make a flashcard of every single word you have on your list. It will consume your time, paper and your energy. Do it only with really hard words that you can’t remember.
- 2. GRAMMAR
This is the most annoying thing for me to this day. I don’t like grammar, I struggled with grammar even in my native language (because we have i/y and billions of rules, you would understand if you were from Slovakia). What usually works for me is a simple training. Make a chart of the words in sentence, and write how did they change, or where do they need to be and so. Then just write simple sentences and have someone to correct them (teacher or some friend who is really good in the language).
- 3. READ
Read books and articles in the language that you are trying to learn. Underline and translate the words you don’t understand (then follow the steps in 1.) Reading help so much. My english is not a product of teachers in schools and language courses after school. It’s the product of me reading every single book in english since I was 10 (or around 10 I think). Don’t worry about you not enjoying the book or the plot. That will come later. First few books are there for you to get used to it and then you will enjoy it. I promise.
- 4. SPEAK & WRITE
Find someone who you can speak and/or write with. Native speakers are the best and if they know your first language, that’s even better. This can help you so much, because you are actually using the language in real life situation. If you don’t know anyone in person, try the internet (if you want to speak with me, message me any time).
- 5. MOVIES, TV SHOWS
This one is really simple, just set the language to the one you want to learn. First you can try with only subtitles, then also the language. Maybe you won’t notice, but you will learn the correct pronunciation of words and you will learn the accent.
- 5. THE GREAT SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE - INTERNET
If you are on your computer or phone, use sites like:
- any news site in language of your choice
There are also applications where you can create digital flashcards (Wokabulary for example).
- 6. MOTIVATION
Never forget - the biggest thing is to have motivation. Don’t learn a language without one. Find something you love about the language, have some goal or something, but don’t learn the language just because you need to. It only makes you hate the language.
For example I learn italian because I love the culture and people there and I want to be able to make friends in Italy as I go there every year. My reason to learn german is that I want to study (and late maybe live) in Austria and there is only a limited number of universities that teach in english so I need to be really good in german. Find something like this and I guarantee you that your next hobby is going to be called “foreing languages”.
I hope this will help you on your journey to become the ultimate language freak like me.