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Learning languages: embrace mistakes

You can’t ever truly “learn” a language, you get used to it. It’s not a thing that you know or don’t know; it’s a means of communication between human beings. Languages should not be acquired by rote alone—they need to be used.

One of the best things you can do in the initial stages is not to try to get everything perfect, but to embrace making mistakes.

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Focus on one language at a time until you reach at least the intermediate level. Take each language one by one, until you reach a stage where you know you can confidently use it. And then you may just be ready for the next ones!

Rote repetition isn’t enough.

You must speak the language right away if your goals in the target language involve speaking it.

In English, just 300 words make up 65% of all written material. We use those words a lot, and that’s the case in every other language as well.

  • From the start, speak at least an hour a day in the language. Have varied conversations.
  • Ensure that your conversation is improving—not just “general language skills” through some vague list of words.
  • Lots of practice and study to improve those spok...

  • To hear the language consistently spoken, you can check out TuneIn.com for a vast selection of live-streamed radio from your country of choice.
  • To watch the language consistently, see what’s trending on Youtube in that country rig...

To start developing your SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) in a language, become familiar with the European Common Framework that defines language levels.

  • Accent. Time with a native, a good Youtube video explaining the sounds, and practice for a few hours may be all that you need!
  • Intonation. The pitch, rise, fall, and stress of your words. When you repeat sentences, you have to mimic the musicality ...

Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.

Research has confirmed that adults can be better language learners than kids.

  • A completely free course that keeps getting better is DuoLingo.
  • The Foreign Service Institutes
  • The Omniglot Intro to languages
  • BBC languages
  • About’s language specific posts
  • The huge database on Forvo
  • Rhinospike
  • Google Translate....

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