Learning A New Language
Learning a new language can be pretty difficult especially when you’re an adult. I’ve been trying to learn German for quite a while now and although it’s been super fun it has been challenging as well. I’ve been using the Duolingo app and one of the biggest challenges I faced was sticking with it. However, last year I decided to get serious about it and recently I got this notification telling me I’ve been doing lessons daily for an entire year!
Naturally, this made my ever-growing ego even larger and I have begun to think of myself as somewhat of an expert at learning new languages now. I decided to share some tips and tricks that have helped me get to 365 days below and in case you would prefer a more detailed, audio version I’ve made a podcast episode discussing these tips in more detail and you can listen to it on any of the platforms listed below:
The volume isn’t the best so you may have to increase your volume a bit.
Make It A Habit
As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenged I’ve had with learning German has been finding the time to do a lesson everyday. Some days I’m genuinely busy but sometimes it’s just me being lazy. I did this a lot before which is why I stopped learning German for a while and then came back to it last year during the lockdown.
One thing I decided to do when I started learning German again was to force myself to do the lessons even when I didn’t feel like it. I made them a part of my daily schedule and that really helped make it a habit. For the first few days I really wanted to procrastinate but I pushed past the feeling and kept going and now I’m so used to doing lessons everyday I don’t even think about it.
So, my first piece of advice would be to try to fit it into your schedule and do your lessons daily so that it becomes a habit and you keep progressing. It’s hard sometimes but it will be worth it in the long run.
Think Like A Baby
Now, I don’t mean start eating mashed up food (unless you want to I guess). I mean look into how the language you’re learning is being taught to small kids because when you first start out that’s kind of the level you’re at.
One thing I did which was actually pretty fun was watch cartoons in German that were made for little kids and it helped me better understand how native speakers of the language pronounced words, used the language more informally and more. Also, it’s watching cartoon so who can complain.
This makes the learning process a lot more fun and gives you a different method of learning. It also helps you get used to things like pronunciations.
Do Your Research
If you’re choosing to learn a new language you probably know a bit of information about it but it’s always a good idea to dive deeper and make sure you know a little bit of history behind the language, how it may have changed over time and more.
You may learn some really interesting facts that will get you even more into the language or you may learn some fun new words you could use.
Learning Vs Memorising
I think this is a topic that’s very often discussed when it comes to education of any sort. Are you actually learning or are you just memorising the information? One of the biggest issues I have with learning languages with apps like Duolingo is that they focus more on the memory part than actual learning. Duolingo has gotten a bit better at that but not enough in my opinion.
If you are using Duolingo or a similar app I would recommend not taking their idea of learning too seriously. Firstly, we all learn differently and secondly they tend to focus on earning goals, trying to sell you their stupid premium deal etc. Do the lessons and don’t feel like you need to rush through them, do them at your pace and go back to stuff you think you didn’t feel fully grasp. Don’t feel pressured to keep moving ahead without properly understanding what you’re learning.
Have Fun With It
My last tip is just to have fun with it! Don’t turn something you are excited about into something dull like they do in school. Have fun learning it because most people learn a lot more and a lot faster when they are having fun and genuinely enjoying the learning process.
What movies and TV shows in that language, read whatever you can in that language, try to talk to people who speak that language or learn it with friends who are also interested in learning a new language.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found the tips helpful. Are you currently trying to learn a new language? If so, which one is it? What inspired you to learn a new languages? How many languages do you currently know? What is something interesting about your language? Let me know in the comments below because I would love to hear from you guys or simply let me know how your day is going!
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76 thoughts on “Tips For Learning A New Language”
The only language I would learn is Spanish but it’s not a priority even though so many people down here speak it. I’m fluid, or fluent in English as it’s my native tongue. What is your native tongue, Pooja?
Spanish sounds interesting- I used to watch a lot of telenovelas so I picked up a little a few years ago lol. My native tongue is Gujarati 😊
One of the best motivtors fo learning another language is to bear in mind why nyou want to learn it. Each day in my work, because of a diverse clientele i can sometimes use 3 or 4 different languages. Sometimes it’s spanish for guests from mexico or french for the guy from the camaroons, even a few words of Polish for my work coleeagues. JUST KEEP AT IT AN DON’T BGIVE UP. a WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU.
That’s very true- remembering why you wanted to learn it in the first place helps a lot in staying motivated and not giving up is definitely key!
I’ve been trying to learn Mandarin. I find it difficult because I’m learning it as an adult. Like you said, I need to make learning it a habit.
Good luck with it!
Great tips, Pooja.
I only speak English for now. I haven’t had the need to speak another language. I think it would be like most new learnings – being happy to do it, and consistency!
Thank you and yes it’s absolutely like that!
Learning a new language is always fun. Even I learnt Deutsch on Dulingo but the issue is about practicing. Unless you use it in daily life or have a partner to speak with innthe language on regular basis you cannot actually polish it.
Stay blessed always.
It’s definitely difficult but also a lot of fun!
I have just been thinking of learning a new language! This is perfect😊 Thank you!
So have I😁😁great
Thanks and let me know how it goes when you start!
Pretty excellent description, Pooja. Learning a new language is surely a major challenge. We should consider ourselves as kindergarten kids in order to master it.
As of now, I’m fluent in English & Hindi(mother language). Looking forward to learn Spanish in the near future.
Thanks! Yes, it’s quite difficult since you start from scratch. Hope you’re able to learn Spanish it sounds like a great language to learn!
Just downloaded the Duolingo app. My journey begins. French being the starting point. Just cause I enjoyed learning it in primary school.
Yay and good luck with French!
Well articulated dear, for now I know two languages and currently trying for Marathi. I am bit lazy for that, let’s see when I am there 😛.
Thank you and good luck with Marathi!
Thanks dear ☺️
That’s amazing you’ve completed your 365 days streak.
I’ve been learning French and currently at 278 days streak. Hope will make it to 365 and beyond.
Thanks so much and congratulations on your streak too- I’m sure you’ll make it to 365 too!
I usually watch dramas from all over the world and some how the small words are stuck in my brain and I do know some small words but definitely want to learn so many languages!
I do that too- it’s a great way to pick up some basic words!
These are some really great tips! Do you attend the virtual Duolingo meets to practice speaking?
As of today, I have a 412 days streak in Duolingo and I’m learning German too. What’s helped me the most is listening and “trying” to speak.
These are some really great tips! I like how you encourage us to go in our own pace, rather than rush through for the sake of earning points. If I may ask, how fluent are you in German after a year? Btw, CONGRATSSSS on your streak!! 🥳
Thanks! No I haven’t attend any meets yet but I want to when I get some time. It’s so cool that you’re learning German too.
I’m not very fluent but I can successfully speak/write/understand basic German now. I still have like half the course to finish at this point. How about you??
Same here! I’m at the 3rd tree, almost finished with it. We’re soemhere close, I guess 😀
Oh that’s great- I started the third one a little while ago so I’m at the start of it right now!
Cool! 😀 If you find time, do try to make it to an online meet. It’s fun and helpful.
I definitely will thanks!
You had mentioned this app before on your blog. I’m glad that you didn’t give up and kept going on. Those are some great tips, Pooj
Thank so much- I’m glad I stuck with it too!
I took Spanish in high school for 2 years and it was just memorizing, now I have forgotten it because I didn’t learn it. I believe I will try to learn it as you suggested. Thank you
Good luck with Spanish!
Congratulations on your success! I tried Duolingo but didn’t set it as a priority or scheduled it into my daily life so I ended up dropping it. I have seen I pick up languages from being around people who speak them, so even watching movies in those languages, with the subtitles on is very helpful. In the beginning I let the language wash over me. Just listening to the rhythm of the words helps to get a feeling for them and gradually I find than I’m able to start healing words separately from just a rush of sounds. With time I feel more comfortable listening to the words and start to understand a few, from seeing the translation on the screen. I honestly haven’t done this for a while, but now I feel inspired to!!
Thank you! I’m the same way so I always try to watch movies/tv shows with the subtitles in German and I also like to listen to how it’s spoken. It helps with sounding more authentic. I hope you decide to learn a new language it’s a lot of fun!
😊 I just might! 😉
Damn it, you’re telling me eating mashed up food wasn’t the way to go?
Agree with all your thoughts as well! Especially the last one, it’s important to have fun along the way, or else it’ll become a chore and you’ll eventually give up on the way. Find a genuine reason to become passionate about the language, and it won’t even feel like work when you’re trying to study it 🙃
Surprisingly eating mashed up food doesn’t help with learning a new language… 😂
Yeah absolutely having fun and enjoying the experience is part of learning something new.
great tips; it’s on my bucketlist to learn a second language, but I might wait until I retire, in about 3-4 years…
Thanks and that would be a great way to spend some free time when you retire! Do you have any language in mind?
most likely Spanish…
That makes sense. Spanish seems to be a popular choice which is awesome.
and I think it would likely be the language I would actually use in real life at some point…
Yeah I think it would be useful for you in the US since a number of people speak Spanish there.
and it is expected to continue to increase…
I bought children’s books for learning Spanish. Then once I had the basics I got GCSE (school exams at 16) revision books and papers.
However, the best way is simply speaking with speakers of the language you are learning. Make mistakes, learn from them. Getting something wrong trying to speak with a native speaker won’t be offensive or rude, they’ll appreciate your effort.
🇪🇸 ¡Buenos suerte! 🍀
🇵🇹 Boa sorte! 🍀
Yeah I absolutely agree speaking is one of the best ways to properly learn a language and it helps a lot with the pronunciations too.
Thank youuu. I’m currently learning Hangul (Korean) and it hasn’t been a joy ride but I’ll definitely practice again using your tips✨
Thanks and good luck with Hangul- Korean is such a beautiful language!
Sto amando imparare la lingua Italiana!
Seriously, that was one of the things I earned to say as a side to my studies to impress my Italian friends.
You’re completely right, just getting a new language thrown at us makes it so hard. especially if we find it dull. I didn’t get a choice in school, we had to learn French, even though I’m finding Italian much, much easier. I was talking to a friend of mine about language studies not so long ago and he pointed out that the French language is quite mono-syllabic, whereas English and Italian have many syllables. English and Italian are also quite ‘tip of the tongue’, so many that’s also why I’m finding it much easier. I think to learn a new language, it helps if you want to learn it. I love Italy, so it made sense for me to learn the language!
Good luck with your German studies!
Ooh interesting! I was forced to take French in school too and I was not a fan lol. I always preferred German so I decided to learn it on my own. Being passionate about what you’re learning definitely helps a lot. Thanks and good luck with Italian!
Such great tips Pooja.. you will need them.. hahaha 💖💖💖🙏 I try to learn when I meet people but never enough. 💖
Haha thank you! Even if you pick up a few words that’s still awesome 💖💖
Totally true.. You should hear my Spanglish! 💖💖 🤣 so good. 🤣🤣
What a wonderful post. I am so glad that I read this post of yours. I also try to write a post on this topic, but from a different angle. For example, how to get rid of your fear of language learning and make it a positive, happy, and nurturing event for your own mind. I was quite “brain damaged” by the English learning process in school and for a very long time, I hate language learning and consider it the worst thing a person can do to torture oneself. However, recently I have some different opinions and have started to learn something new. I really want to share my new insights… I am still procrastinating and hopefully I will do it one of these days.
Thank you. I went through the same processes with the languages I learnt in school. I had to learn English, Gujarati, French and Swahili and to be honest my teachers made learning these languages kind of a nightmare especially French which I didn’t know at all. At least I used the other three in everyday life so it wasn’t too bad but I had no experience with French. I’m glad you’re enjoying the experience of learning a new language more fun as an adult and I look forward to reading your post about your experience so far.
I wünsch dir viel glück! 🙂
I grew up learning two languages at once- one of them belongs to the Slavic group of languages. That fact being given, it’s relatively easy for me to learn a Slavic language because they all have similarities with each other. There are more groups of languages- learning German (for example) can enable someone to learn Germanic languages with ease. Interestingly, I’ve learned that right by and/or at the border of China & Russia, the languages have been supposedly combined- Russian words with Chinese!
Oh wow that’s so interesting- I didn’t know about the two languages being combined in that area.
Yeah learning German definitely opens the door for learning Germanic languages which is pretty cool.
I started learning French at the beginning of the year on the Babbel app and while I found it beneficial I didn’t find I was learning how to speak the language all that well. Definitely agree it helps to watch shows and speak to people where you can immerse yourself more in the language.
Yeah that’s the problem with learning through apps- you don’t get a well rounded experience of the language. Hopefully, you’ll be able to really learn French soon!
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