There’s no "secret” hack to learning a new language other than persistence, practice and a positive mind.
If you are serious about learning a language then don’t be afraid to work hard, speak often and early with people, make mistakes and actually learn from them. The truth is that you will slip up, but with a few simple starter tips you’ll be ready to take on the locals with confidence.
Know why you’re doing it
If you want to stay motivated in the long-term, you need a good motivation. Whether you just want to get by on your holiday, or have long harboured a love for a particular culture and language, the important thing is that you keep this reason in mind to help spur you on, even when you feel like you’re going nowhere fast.
Find a partner
You are either born with the language learning gene, or you aren’t. Luck of the draw. At least that’s what most people believe. "Je ne comprends pas,” repeat this multiple times and you still don’t understand. It can be defeating without another to pick you up. That’s why a partner with the same goals, aspirations and dreams can be incredibly motivating. You push each other to really go for it. When you realise they’re doing more, not only do you congratulate them but are compelled to outdo them – and the other way round.
Get out of your comfort
Accept now that you’re going to make mistakes and, at times, embarrass yourself. It’s awkward, but it’s the only way to get better. No matter how many times you repeat sentences aloud, you will never learn a language unless you speak to people. The more you practice with other people, the more your comfort zone will expand, until eventually you find you have the confidence to tackle a whole host of difficult situations.
Save your money and make use of free resources
Why pay for private tuition when there are plenty of free opportunities to practice out there? For example, the mobile app Duolingo is fast growing in popularity, with over 70 million people signing up to the free service. Launched in 2012, the app helps users learn English, French, Spanish, German and more. The main philosophy is to create a service where everyone has equal opportunities to learn. This (of course) only applies if you have a mobile, tablet or similar – not quite so equal then.
But what’s the point?
Now we’ve got you on board with how to learn a language you may be questioning why. Think of speaking another language as a window to the world. You have a different way of analysing and interacting with others. These interactions are key to the enjoyment of your holiday, with locals providing inside information about the best restaurants, activates and days out. Once you’ve caught the language bug, there’s nothing stopping you learning others too. Keep going and soon you’ll be exploring your favourite destinations worldwide.
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