Expat Life,  Travel

4 Tricks to Learning a New Language

NewLanguageTricksOne of the reasons that my husband and I wanted to move abroad was learning new languages. Learning a new language, you learn a lot about another culture. You leave your comfort bubble and open your mind to new people and ways around life. By learning, you exercise your brain, and like exercise, the trick to learning a new language is consistency.

Today, I just turned my first language journal for a graduate class that I am taking. Yes, I am back in school. I am a lifelong learner, and classes keep me accountable to stay focused and disciplined in my education and learning. I have a habit of starting projects and not finishing because I can get easily distracted on something just as exciting. 😉 I write this not only for others, but for myself as a reminder of what I need to do while I am learning Montenegrin.

USE technology!
In today’s modern world, it is now easier than ever to learn a new language with software and websites available. RPM’s Jayne loves using Rosetta Stone as she is learning Mandarin. I have used Rocket Language in teaching my daughter Spanish. And, Google Translate is another resource, BUT I would not trust it completely, as it speaks like a robot not a person. 😉 As I have learned the language and grammar, it has been more useful when I cannot figure out the correct word when writing a paper or talking to professional. Lastly, watch TV and movies in the language or with subtitles. You’ll be amazed at how much you will learn in pronunciation and vocabulary.

Work on it DAILY!
Make learning a new language a priority, by making it a daily habit. I don’t have language class everyday, BUT I take time to work on it at least for 30 minutes. Whether its minutes or hours, be sure to set aside a small amount of time each day to study your new language.

Don’t be afraid to SPEAK!
This is my biggest obstacle: FEAR. I allow fear of what others may think of me or saying the wrong thing hinder my language development. Fortunately, daily I remind myself that I learn from mistakes and so can you! Having someone correct you doesn’t make you dumb, not allowing yourself to be helped does. Locals will appreciate the effort, even if they don’t quite understand you at first! Some of the greatest times of laughter have been when I have stumbled over the language. 🙂

PRACTICE, practice, practice!
Consistency requires practice…everywhere! Like earlier mentioned, watching TV and movies is practice. Greeting the people in the new language, reading foreign websites or finding people in your community that speak the language are great ways to practice. Take every chance you can to practice speaking, reading and writing!

Any tricks that helped you in learning a new language?

Wife. Mom. Editor. Host. Speaker. Culinary Explorer. Fashionista. Altruist. Persuader. Coffee Aficionado. Arachnophobic.

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