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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