Learning A New Language

Posted by Kim Shelly Tan on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 10:00 AM. Filed under: Blog  

Have you ever thought of learning a new language but were unsure of where to start? Learning a new language seems so exciting after watching a new TV series or fantasizing of your dream vacation destination where the language that captured your attention is spoken. However, you may find yourself simply stuck at the thought of attempting to learn or getting to memorize only a few of the most basic words. It's okay. That's normal. Languages are complex, beautiful things. Surely, you cannot compress overnight centuries' worth of words and culture.

However, the innate complexity of languages should not scare you from getting out of your comfort zone and learning a new language. You can turn any hard task into an easier one when you incorporate fun ways to do them. Below are some tips you can do to make learning new languages exciting and stress-free.

1. Choose to learn a language you are already in love with.
It is much harder to attempt to learn a language if you have not yet learned to love it first. Your efforts in studying the language will seem more "worth it" when you are sure of where you're going with it. Ask yourself of your purpose of learning. Whether it's to watch foreign language tv shows without subtitles, to communicate with a foreign friend easier or to prepare for a visit in a foreign land, answering the question should be easy if you have truly fallen in love with the language.

2. Look for an app than can help you in as many aspects of learning the language.
If you are a little out of budget for a foreign language tutor and you are confident that you can easily teach yourself, download a language-learning app or two. There are some apps can simply translate words or sentences for you and will guide you through the basics first, instruct you on how to say certain words properly, and also teach you how to construct sentences in your chosen language.

3. Converse with a friend who speaks the language.
Engage yourself in a fun conversation with a friend who is well-versed in the language you are trying to learn. Don't worry about messing up or forgetting words. Surely, your friend will be more than willing to help you out and correct you in case you are using certain words the wrong way. Hang out with them often so you get to actually exercise your foreign language speaking skills more and also to learn about the slang words you do not get to learn in formal tutorials or in smartphone apps.

4. Get into songs in your chosen language.
Listening to songs is a great way to delve deeper into the language you are trying to learn. Find yourself some catchy songs to listen to and google their English translations so you will know the meaning of the words you are jamming to. This way, when you hear the words or phrases you've heard in songs in actual conversations, you'll easily remember what they mean.

5. Watch films and tv shows without subtitles!
Once you've mastered a good amount of vocabulary words, challenge yourself to watch a movie or a television show in the language without the English subtitles. This will test your brain into recalling what you have learned so far while at the same time attempting to fill in the blanks of the words you are not quite familiar yet by using context clues. You'll know you're immersed in the language when you say the lines in the language before the character even says it because you've caught on the plot and foreseen the character's reaction without having to look at the subtitles.

Learning a new language can surely be challenging. But, with the right amount of determination and patience with yourself, it is a feat that can be accomplished by anybody.