One of the most common goals that English-speaking people fail to accomplish is learning another language. In our digital world there have never been more resources to help you become fluent in a language of your choice. Here are five tips to help you master a second (or third) language.
1. Figure out the most commonly used words and memorize them
Did you know that 300 words make up 65% of all written text in English? It is the same for many other languages around the world as well. Find out the 300 most commonly used words in your desired language and memorize them. This will allow you to understand and converse in a new language very quickly.
2. Make use of free online resources
One of the best free apps to help you learn another language is Duolingo. Duolingo provides a fun, interactive way of learning new languages that makes you feel like you are playing a game. Another example is using the website Forvo, which lets you hear how a native speaker pronounces difficult words that may be hard for you to articulate. This is useful for when you come upon a word that you have no idea how to pronounce.
3. Completely immerse yourself in the language
You will never become fluent by practicing for a few hours per week. Accelerate your knowledge by listening to music in the language you are learning. Even better, switch all your electronic devices to your desired language. You can do this on your phone, browser and computer. This will get you used to reading and interacting with the language, which will really help you learn quickly.
4. Speak the language as much as possible, regardless of your skill level
No matter your abilities, you should strive to speak the language as much as you possibly can. By speaking in another language all of the time you become more comfortable in speaking and thinking about the language, which helps you learn much quicker. Obviously the best way to achieve this is to live in a country where the language is spoken. However, if you are stuck at home you are not out of luck, because there are many ways you can still speak the language. The website Italki allows you to talk on Skype with native speakers whenever you want. There are other websites, like Mylanguageexchange, and Meetup, which let you speak with in person rather than online.
5. Have fun
This is the most important tip. If you don’t enjoying learning you will never be successful. Having fun will not only make you study harder, but it will help you to continue working towards your goal when you inevitably run into problems. Remember, you are learning a new language so you can have conversations with native speakers and make new friends. How can you not have fun doing that!
Learning a new language is one of the most rewarding things you will accomplish in your entire life, but it is very hard and will present many challenges. It crushes your ego, forces you to leave your comfort zone, and potentially embarrasses you in front of strangers. As long as you don’t let any of that bother you and use the tips on this page, you will eventually become fluent.
Here is a short Infographic that gives you some tips of how to quickly learn Spanish. The same can be applied to any language. I hope you find it useful!