7 Tips to Learn and Master Any Language with Ease
Has learning a new foreign language been on your to-do list for the longest time? Is the whole ‘I-don’t-think-I-can-do-it,' or ‘it-doesn’t-sound-easy-at-all’ mindset keeping you from learning a new language? Here’s some good news — it is not difficult to master any language you want. In fact, you can even learn multiple languages at the same time.
Here are 7 tricks to learn a language easily:
Intensity Over Length
Studying longer isn’t the trick — the intensity you put into the learning sessions is what will work in your favor. It is better to invest three hours a day for a week rather than one hour a week for 15 days. Sign up for language learning courses and allocate some time dedicated to intense learning everyday, even if it’s for a month rather than having sluggish sessions that last for years.
Learn Sounds Before Words
Start by learning the sounds of the alphabet before jumping on to the vocabulary. Once you perfect the sounds, learning the words becomes easier. Most online language learning tools or applications have an audio feature that would help you hear and learn sounds and pronunciations clearly.
Learn the Cognates
Cognates refer to the words that sound similar to those in your language. Languages such as Spanish, French, Italian have many words that are common with English. For example, words ending with -tion (like action, communication, solution) are spelt exactly the same in French but they are pronounced differently. For Spanish, you need to change the -tion to - ción, -zione for Italian and -ção for Portuguese.
Several languages have words that have a common root in Greek or Latin but are spelt differently. Hélicoptère is helicopter in French, capitano is Captain in Italian and Saturno is Saturn in Spanish. Learn such cognates first — you can easily search for them online.
Language learning is easier and faster when you do it with a friend rather than doing it alone. You can motivate each other, and at times, a little competition goes a long way to making the learning journey more fun and interesting. And the best part? You will always have someone to practice on and speak to while learning.
Connect New Words to Weird Images
This is a fun trick in foreign language learning because there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Let’s take an example — clothes are called la ropa in Spanish. You can remember that by imagining that all clothes made up of ropes. It might seem like a weird image but it would be a memorable one. Similarly, you can associate any weird image to new words to remember them.
An old but extremely effective trick — flashcards. Write up flashcards and put them in different places where you can see them through the day, like in your bedroom, desk, car, etc. Seeing the flashcards repeatedly will help you retain the memory.
Every language sounds different from what it reads. Learn to listen to the language before you speak. It will sound strange in the beginning but it will start getting familiar the more you keep exposing yourself to it. This will make it easier for you to speak eventually. Talk to native speaking locals and listen to how they speak the language, watch movies or listen to songs or audio books in the language you are interested to learn.
Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes. It is a part of the process. Learning a new language is an absolutely amazing thing to do but it will take time, persistence and sincere effort from your end. But once you master it, you can surprise others by fluently speaking in a foreign language as and when you want.