hacks and tips for learning languages

hacks and tips for learning languages

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1

keep a personal journal in the language you are learning. no matter how busy you are, you can find time to write a short summary of what you did and how you felt each day. it doesn't matter if your syntax is terrible and you have to look up half the words. the most important thing is that you can relate the language to your daily experience.

you can make an additional activity out out of this: each time you write an entry, one week or month later you can revise it, improving the grammar and vocabulary. if you make a deal with yourself to do this each day, you will find that your fluency will improve to the point that you can spot errors in earlier entries much more quickly.

enjoy!

2

base your personal program of study on materials that are immediately interesting to you. of course general vocabulary is necessary at first to string a sentence together but you need to make sure you are using material that you do not need additional encouragement to view again.

personally i am a football fanatic so i make sure to look at relevant short articles and interviews about brazilian football (i'm learning portuguese).

3

record yourself or a friend reading relevant material in your target language, which you can later listen to on a daily commute for example.

4

for flash card apps, i can reccomend anki (available for free on android but not on iphone :( ). it allows you to manually enter words and makes you review these according to how accurately you can recall them. very good as an addition to classes or some other program of learning.

5

memorising a large number of words helps. i remember memorising 3000 english words in 2 months. what i did was, i read the words and their meanings to tapes and repeatedly listened to these tapes whenever i had a chance. at the end of every week i revised the list and deleted the ones that i already learned. eventually, i was able to memorise all 3000 at the end of the second month.

6

more of a general idea than specific tip but.. be bold. keep a proactive and calm attitude

learning a new language forces you outside of your comfort zone. in my view, the greatest obstruction to effectively learning a language is embarrassment. people fear that others will mock , misunderstand or ignore them.

honestly, all of these things are possible but really these are meaningless setbacks in comparison to the joys you will find in communicating with others despite often vast differences of culture and background.

if you accept confusion and misapprehension as part of the process you will have a much greater chance of success. in learning a language you essentially rebuild your model of communicating with the world so it will take time but in the end make you much stronger as a person.

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