There are many reasons to learn a new language. Many people take on the tough task because they have a passion for languages and want to learn about new cultures or to see the world through a new set of eyes. Other individuals to improve their chances of landing their dream job. Some polyglots learn additional languages simply because it is a hobby or competition with peers or siblings. Whatever your reason for learning a new language, there are definitely many advantages to being multilingual.
However becoming fluent in a language is not an easy task, and you must be committed to conquering the various levels of language proficiency. There are several tips to help you learn a new language. If you are interested in learning a new language, the best people to gather tips from are professionals who translate languages on a daily basis. I asked some of the translators at flexword Translators & Consultants to get their tips on learning a new language. Below is a summary of what they had to say.
- Have a reason. Just like most things in life, there needs to be a driving force or reason behind wanting to learn a new language. If there is not a good reason, then there is a possibility that you will give up when the task proves a bit more difficult than expected. Learning a new language can be difficult and having an important reason to learn is the best way to ensure that you will meet your goal.
- Learn the basics and then start conversing. Try to memorize a few basic phrases and words and then start talking. Once you have picked up a decent vocabulary, you need to learn how to use the vocabulary effectively. Learning a new language is a personal process. Therefore, it is okay to start in a classroom or with audio training on your computer, but once you have the basics down start using the language in conversation. Begin by learning the best way to ask how to say something in the language you are trying to learn. For example, “How do I say schnitzel in English?”
- Actively use the language. Every chance you get have a conversation in the language. It is the best way to practice and learn a new language. Human social interactions help the memory retain new words and meanings for future use. So, do not just read in the language you are trying to learn, but also communicate in every way possible. Studying a language is a very good idea, but it will never take the place of actually interacting with a native speaker. In every way possible, surround yourself with the language. Things such as watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading magazines and newspapers in the language will help. If you always practice and immerse yourself in the language and culture, before you know it you will be speaking to yourself in the language.
- Live in the country. Part of surrounding yourself in the culture of a new language is being in the location where the people speak the language every day. If possible, live in the country where the language is spoken. This is an excellent way to force yourself to learn a new language and culture. In addition, you can learn all the local slang and idioms that make up regional dialects.
- Don’t give up. Learning a new language is no easy task, and it can be very difficult at the beginning. Stick with it and really and try to enjoy the learning experience. Mistakes are not a bad thing, but the best way to improve. Adults sometimes have difficulty admitting they are not good at something, but you need to get this idea out of your head to learn a new language and perspective.
- Practice, practice, and practice some more. This tip could also be labelled repetition, repetition, and repetition. The intensity of the training is necessary. If possible, get yourself a professional trainer or partner to help you practice the language as often as possible. The more you practice, the better you will get and the quicker you will be able to pick up the new language. Learning a new language comes in levels. Each new accomplishment we bring you to a new level in your language skills, but ultimately learning a new language is an ongoing process that does not stop once you reach your determined level of fluency.