Learn A New Language This Summer

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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By now we’ve all watched the impressive YouTube video of a young man named Matthew Youlden, speaking 9 different languages fluently. He isn’t content with just 9 though, he’s still learning more languages such as Dutch, Serbian, and Croatian.

With the summer fast approaching, there’s no better time to learn a new language. If you are heading to the Algarve, why not learn some Portuguese If you are planning to go to the European football tournament in 2016, wouldn’t it be great to speak to the locals in French

We’ve got some very useful tips for learning a new language.

1. Key Words

Study some of the key words in your chosen language. If you’re taking a trip to Madrid, it’s almost certainty that you’ll be in a restaurant, hotel or taxi at some stage. Learn words that are commonly used in those settings, build up your vocabulary from greetings, to key words about objects and grammar.

Try to commit a decent amount of hours in a short space of time for studying. 1 hour a day over two months isn’t as beneficial as 3 hours a day for a fortnight.

2. Conversation

Practice, practice, practice. It’s the most important way to master a new language. Arrange to meet a native speaker of the language you’re trying to learn in a cafe, bar, or online (Skype). It may be awkward at first, but speaking to someone directly who can help you and correct you is vital.

Speaking and listening to someone face to face will make it easier to memorise words and phrases. Implementing what you’ve learned and staying motivated are going to be key to your success.

3. Practice

While you’re are taking care of daily errands, try thinking in your new language. If you’re at the supermarket, try to name objects on the shelves or instead of listening to music or a podcast while you’re are walking, try to have a conversation with yourself. Repetition and practice are a guaranteed recipe for achieving your goals.

4. Dictionary

Download a dictionary on your smartphone or carry a pocket dictionary with you. It’s a must have when learning a new language. When you’re having a conversation or trying to read a menu and you’re unsure of the word, look it up quickly. Then you can quickly resume you conversation.

If you come across a word you don’t know, or think of a word you haven’t learned yet, write it down and look it up later. Watch as your vocabulary grows and grows.

5. Mistakes

You’re going to make plenty of mistakes when talking to a foreigner in a language you’re learning. Don’t be embarrassed or discouraged if you ask the waiter for a parrot, instead of asking for a fork. Persistence and learning from your mistakes are the best way to overcome these obstacles.

Remember to have fun, try to write down the lyrics to your favourite song or write a little poen in your new language. Varying the ways you absorb information and pairing it with hobbies that already interest you are crucial.

Immersing yourself in a new language and leaving your comfort zone are essential to succeeding.

Frank Bolger

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