How to Pick Up a Foreign Language in Three Easy Steps
Have you ever been on vacation in a foreign country and wished that you could converse with the people who live there as easily as if you had lived there your entire life? Perhaps, at some point, you have gone to see a movie in another language, where it seemed like everyone understood the jokes – everyone, that is, except you. Maybe you have applied for a job and were turned down, not because you were unqualified, but because you only knew one language. Sound familiar? In an increasingly globalize world, the need to learn a foreign language is greater than it ever has been before.
Apart from simply being a useful skill to have, being bilingual or even multilingual can actually be beneficial to your mental and physical well-being. How? Learning a foreign language can reduce the risks of getting some of the most common age-related symptoms and diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer's. In addition, knowing a foreign language can help you to increase your working knowledge of the grammar of your own language. The process of learning a foreign language is actually quite simple. The following are a few tips that will help you to be on your way to language mastery in no time!
As with most new experiences, if you are not willing to appreciate the difference nuances of a different language, all the work in the world will not make a difference. Instead of attempting to insert your own personal views into your learning experience, try to embrace the various perspectives of the language you are studying. By keeping an open mind, your path of study will be a much more enjoyable one.
Before you can run, you need to learn how to walk. The same theory applies to learning new information, especially when the new information involves an entire language. Don't try to put together whole, complex sentences until you have a better grasp on the fundamental structures of the language. Consider purchasing some supplemental tapes or books so that you can see how each aspect of the language comes together as a whole. These tapes will also help you to understand what each part of a sentence should sound like.
While extensive amounts of studying and language tapes will certainly help you to obtain a better grasp of the necessary concepts, immersion is always a much better, more effective method of learning a new language. Try to seek out places where native speakers can be found and practice with them. Remember that you should be learning at your own pace; don't try to keep up with someone who has spoken the language all his life until you have a better handle on your own knowledge. Rather, inform the other person or persons that you are learning and need to have information presented slowly, so that you can better understand it. Restaurants, which serve food from different countries, are excellent places to practice in, as you have the perfect opportunity to practice your knowledge while learning new words. Finally, if native speakers are not readily available to practice with, try to obtain CDs or other forms of media in the language. The various idiomatic expressions and dialects will slowly seep in, and before you know it, you will be on your way to mastery of the language.
Once again, if you are not motivated to learn the information, nothing will stick, and your efforts will be entirely in vain. Your goal is to learn a new way to communicate with people from other cultures, not reinvent the wheel. Have fun and enjoy the ride!