jueves, 25 de enero de 2018

8 Tips & Tricks for Learning Languages


With our New Year resolutions so fresh in our minds, I'm sure some of you have the goal of learning a new language this year or maybe continue learning and improving the language you have started to learn in 2017. 
Maybe you want to refresh those French lessons you had on high school or at university, whatever is the case if you are looking to start learning a new language or improving one that you have already studied in the past this post is perfect for you because I'm going to reveal all my top tips and tricks in this specific field! 
But before we get into the tips, I would like to tell you a little bit more about my personal story learning new languages, so that you can better understand the techniques I have developed throughout the years. 
So, first of all, my native language is Spanish because I live in Argentina and I currently speak English fluently, as you can see, but I also have an intermediate level of French and I have also started to study Croatian language last year. So I have a vast experience learning languages which started when I was growing up and I had English lessons at school. They were very basic lessons, I think it was around 2 hours per week at elementary school, and then at high school, I think I had 4 hours per week. What I'm trying to say here is that I never went to a bilingual school or took any other English lessons outside of that. However, I was able to develop a very strong level of English language, which has opened so many doors for me and that allowed me to move confidently in this world.  So, how I was able to achieve that?



Well, I did it in a very unconscious way at that moment, because I was around 12-13 years when I started but the trick is to learn like you would if you were a kid. You first listen to the language as much as you can even though you don't understand it at the beginning, it will somehow sink into your mind. You will get used to listening to those strange sounds and phonemes until you start to recognize the words. Then you can look for their meaning, repeat the words and sentences you already know, and that's how you start to learn how to talk. Next step would be to learn how to read and last you learn how to write but I want to also stress that all my tips are going to help you make the most of your learning process, but they don't replace taking a proper language course. There is no way you can learn a new language without some kind of guidance in regards to grammar, or a teacher to help you with your doubts so, take this as some extra steps you can take along with your course.
So, now that you know the main idea of how I go about learning a new language let's begin with the tips!

1- Be patient with your learning process

I have to mention this in the first place because I think it's key to learning anything in life, but especially languages. You have to be patient with your process. It's not going to happen from day to night, you will have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to really learn and to become fluent in any language you want. The key here is not to rush because if you are trying to learn everything quickly is very likely that you won't learn it properly, or you will make a lot of mistakes, or forget the new vocabulary and that will only lead you to frustration and to quit. So, take it step by step, let your mind process all the new information, take breaks along the way but most importantly think about ways that will make all this learning process more fun and enjoyable to you ;)



2- Listen to music in your target language

Finding some songs that you like on your target language is the best way to start getting used to the new sounds, words, and phrases. Also, you will feel extra motivated to learn the lyrics and the meaning of that song you like so much. Therefore is a great way to increase your vocabulary as well as to improve your pronunciation because you will be singing those songs all the time ;)
In my personal case, this is how I actually started to learn English and to apply everything I was seeing at school because I wanted to translate all my favorite songs and also to sing them properly. I remember how excited I felt the first time I was able to understand the lyrics of a song without having to look for them on the internet. So, I kept doing this with all the new languages I wanted to learn and now I have some amazing playlist on Spotify with songs to help me with my learning process. 

3- Watch TV, movies or listen to the radio

This is another very basic way to get in touch with your target language and nowadays you can find media resources from all over the world on the internet or even you can download apps to watch TV or listen to the radio on your phone too! 
When I was learning French, I have started watching TV5, at the beginning, it was hard for me to understand anything but with time I got used to it and there were things I was able to completely understand and some others I was guessing by context but anyway it was super helpful.

4- Follow Youtubers

There are many amazing channels on Youtube that are specifically targeted to learning languages but more than that I find it also very useful to find some cool Youtubers that are fun to watch or that talk about a topic of your interest. Once you start understanding what they say you will get extremely engaged and motivated to keep learning! 



5- Use Language Learning Apps

Nowadays there are a lot of apps to learn new languages, being Duolingo one of the most popular. These apps are designed to help you learn while playing a couple of minutes a day on your phone. What I think it's great about them is that you can use any spare moment you have to practice a little bit and improve your language skills. I also think they work better if you already have some base with the language and use the apps as something extra.
In addition, I have tried another very similar app called Mondly, it works very similar to Duolingo but it has different languages, for example, I couldn't find Croatian on Duolingo but I was able to find it on Mondly. 
Another great app that you should try is Memrise, this app helps you to develop your memory and it's great to fix some new vocabulary in your mind.

6- Record yourself talking

Use your phone to record yourself talking in your target language, practicing some phrases and also reading. This will help you a lot to improve your pronunciation because you will be able to identify your areas of improvement, check on your accent, etc. You can repeat the difficult words as much as you need until you get them! 



7- Start Reading

Look for news portals, magazines, blogs or websites that are of your interest and try to read those articles. Once again, be patient if you don't understand everything yet because at some point you will get there and it will still help you to notice some words or phrases natives use when they write. I have also found out that it's great to look for some memes in your target language, sometimes they are easy to understand because they are short and communicate simple ideas. Also, you have an image support that helps you to understand the message, plus they are super fun and they will give you an idea of the sense of humor in that culture.

8- Talk to people

Find some webs where you can chat with some people that already know the language you are trying to learn. I have found two sites that will help you with this. One is called Languing and the other one is called WeSpeke. Both of them have the same idea, you create a profile with the information about the languages you already know and the ones you would like to practice. Then you can look for people who are also practicing the same language as you, or natives and then you can have a chat to practice. I have found this very useful, especially if you are learning a language that is not so common and it's not easy to find someone to practice in your country. 



So, that's it! These are all my tips and the things I do to learn a new language! As I said before the idea is that all of this tricks and resources help you with your own process. Let me know in the comments below if you are currently studying any language and if you have any other tip! I would love to know! :)

35 comentarios:

  1. Great post, I like it :)

    new post
    http://mensfashionobsession.com/

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  2. This post was neccesary I felt indentified with all this ticks!
    about the pages you recommend I feel like I'm ready to register now, I need to practice my english :)
    thanks for sharing
    Maggie
    www.ohmagblog.com

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    1. Thank you so much dear Maggie!! I'm so happy to read you found this post useful! Let me know if they work for you too! :)

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  3. I'm trying to learn a new language. Thanks for the tips!
    https://sykirah.blogspot.my

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    1. Thanks a lot dear!! So glad you find this post useful! What language are you learning at the moment? :)

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  4. That's cool. I like your blog. Go to my blog http://alamodenatine.blogspot.com

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  5. This is really helpful. I want to learn Mandarin but I'm having a hard time. Thanks for your tips! :)

    xoxo,
    SHAIRA
    www.missdream-girl.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Shaira! I'm so glad you find it helpful! I can imagine Mandarin must be a difficult language! Keep it up!! :)

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  6. My english is bad o need to improve it.. nice tips..
    Xoxo from Portugal

    marisascloset.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Marisa!! I'm so happy you liked the tips! Hope they help you with English! ;)

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  7. Thank you for this post dear, it´s very useful. I love to learn new languages. Curently, I can speak in five languages, however not perfectly yet. We speak in a dialect at home.
    xxM
    https://sunstreetbymonica.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much dear Monica!! That's so impressive!! I really hope the tips help you to improve them! :)

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  8. I'm a huge Duolingo fan, atm. I'm brushing up on my french and it's been great. !

    xo | Cindy Elena
    www.boringclothes.com

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    1. Thanks a lot!! Yes, I use Duolingo for french too so I don't forget everything I have learnt haha :P

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  9. I've been playing with the idea lately of learning French again and so this post has served as brilliant motivation! Being patient with your learning journey is very, very good advice :) You speak perfect English, by the way! Have a fabulous weekend..

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. I'm so happy to read that Gabrielle!! I hope you can start learning French again! It's such a beautiful language!! Thanks a lot for your compliment on my English babe! It means a lot coming from you :)

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  10. Great ideas !! I always try to read books,listen to music,watch movies in Spanish,it really helps a lot :)

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    1. Thank you so much Kinga!! Yes, those are great things to do!! :)

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  11. Definitely watch Youtube in the language you want to learn helps a lot!!

    Andrea//

    https://justohana.blogspot.com.es

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    1. Thank you Andrea! Yes, I found it's a great tool! :)

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  12. Great tips! Learning a new language can be challenging but a fun experience too =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

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    1. Thanks a lot!! Absolutely agree to that! Learning a new language is so much fun! :)

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  13. Oh wow, nice to know you can speak multiple languages dear. Thanks for the tips, I wanted to learn French since I can remember.

    www.busyandfab.com

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    1. Thank you so much dear!! I hope you can start learning French, it's so beautiful!! :)

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  14. I learned French on my own years ago and found immersing myself with films and news. And it truly does help. Though I forgot everything I did learn I've been meaning to get back into it again.

    Sxx
    daringcoco.com

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    1. Thanks a lot Sonia!! Yes, I'm afraid I will forget everything I have learnt too! We should start practicing French again! ;)

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  15. i never thought about youtube!
    xx
    kali
    www.lovelaughexplore.com

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    1. Thank you Kali!! Yes, Youtube is a great tool!! :)

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  16. This is really interesting. I've always wanted to learn French. I know it's hard, but hey, anything that is worthwhile is difficult. Thanks for shairng these tips dear!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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    1. That's the right attitude Jessica!! French is hard but so beautiful!! Totally worthy!

      Thanks for your comment! :)

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