The Hard, But Effective Way to Learn a New Language | Scott H Young
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Pick a friend who also wants to learn the language. Agree to talk in the target language at least once per day or whenever you do talk.
The friend does not have to be a native speaker. Whenever you are stuck, use a dictionary or Google translate. But, 10% of your time should be speaking with an advanced or native speaker.
If you cannot find someone willing to commit to only speaking that language, hire a tutor.
You can also opt for language exchange with people who want to learn your language.
Prior preparation is not essential if you're traveling to the country and going 100% from Day 1.
If you want to do some practice before traveling to a country for a 100% immersion, do about 50% conversation practice and 50% with some beginner learning resource.
The non-speaking parts of learning are to supplement the conversation practice, not to be in place of it.
Open Google translate, type what you want to say, translate to the language you want to speak, try saying it to the other person.
If they understand you and say something you don't understand, ask them to write it down and use Google to translate it.
Don't worry if It feels very awkward at first.
This strategy of learning a new language only works if you speak in the language. If you are only able to spend 50% of your learning time in conversations, invest your time on the important aspects of the language that you can't focus on enough. It will be different for each language.
For instance, in Spanish, the conjugation system can be a bit overwhelming. Grammar exercise books might be useful. In Chinese, grammar is not so much the issue as pronunciation.
Although it is scary and hard, immersive practice is by far the most effective. When the person you're speaking with sees that you don't understand, they will automatically try to simplify what they communicate.
If you don't want to speak yet, you can also try reading or watching movies, until you have a high listening comprehension.
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If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run.
Once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit.
Finding some kind of partner on your language adventure will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it.
It’s a really great way of actually going about it. You have someone with whom you can speak, and that’s the idea behind learning a new language.
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language.
This can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind. It also helps build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.
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