8 Tips for Learning a Language

I’m quite good at learning new languages, understanding how it works. I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures, with grammar and with vocabulary, and that has really helped me develop my language skills.

Now I must say that everyone is different, react to different methods differently, and learn at different paces. Some people may learn a new language in 6 months, others in 1 year, I’m only going to touch on what has helped me learn new languages.

  1. Start with grammar. No matter what language I’m learning I need to have a sense of its grammar first. I find that knowing a lot of vocabulary but none of the grammar really demotivates me, as I’m not able to use anything in conversation. Of course I start learning vocabulary shortly after, I just make sure I’m not forgetting the grammar.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the culture. Knowing the culture and how people act really helps understanding speech patterns and how people react to different situations.
  3. Watch TV. I cannot stress how important this is. Not only does it help understand the culture, but if you listen to it enough you’ll start getting vocab and phrases you’d never learn from a book. Pro-tip: I’d started watching foreign TV shows with subtitles in your own language. When you feel comfortable, move on to TV shows with subtitles in its original language, this will really help you understand the different accents and improve your spelling. When you understand most of what’s going on, take out the subtitles completely.
  4. Find a good app/studying tool. Innovative Language is my favourite app for learning new languages and has helped me a lot, offering lessons, lesson notes, flashcards, vocab lists, word of the day, culture insights, etc. It is paid, however (very cheap).
  5. Find your motivation. You must really want to learn a language, otherwise keeping your motivation up can be hard. Make sure you have a good reason why you want to learn a language – you’re about to move, you’re visiting the country, you love the language, you have a significant other who speaks it, etc. There are many reasons why you’d like to learn a language, just remind yourself.
  6. Listen to music. And research the lyrics. If it’s songs you love, there are all the more reasons for you to familiarise yourself with the pronunciation and what it means.
  7. Talk to someone. This one, as a mostly introverted person, I find very hard to fulfil. However, nothing helps you understand the language and improve your accent more than talking to a native and carrying a conversation out.
  8. Read a lot. Reading a lot helps your vocabulary immensely! Keep reading good books (pro-tip: if you’re just starting out, start by reading kids’ books that you’re familiar with and learn new words that way).

These are just some tips that have helped me. I will write some more here or explain how I learned English in another blog post 😊

What languages do you want to learn?

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. ArtsyChic Creations says:

    Great tips, my favorite is doulingo. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. newpmv says:

      Duolingo is great for vocabulary and helped me with French because I already knew the grammar, but it really lacks in explaining why certain words are used, or the culture, or even the grammar. It’s an amazing support tool though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, you are right. Everybody has a different pace in how fast he or she is learning a new language. However, we would agree with point 2. Immersing and getting to know the culture is an essential part to help and improve learning a language.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I moved to France a couple of years ago with nothing but school girl French learned 30 something years ago. I made some friends and we communicated via whatsapp so I was writing in French all the time – I found that I learned very quickly. I am now trying to learn Italian (I have some Italian friends) and, although I can understand a fair amount I really struggle to speak the language so I’m going to have a go with some of your tips – thanks for the post :O)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sakamotosays says:

    I’ve been using WaniKani lately to help me learn Japanese kanji. And it’s been surprisingly helpful. I’d definitely recommend it. Now I just need to work on my grammar…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newpmv says:

      I’m learning Japanese too, so far JapanesePod101 has helped me immensely with vocabulary and grammar. Haven’t started with Kanji yet though (scary :P)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sakamotosays says:

        You’re quite the linguist! I hope you’re not overworking yourself. Haha. Oh, but I should mention that knowing hiragana and katakana is an encouraged prerequisite before using the site. And while Kanji can be a bit confusing since so many of them look complex and alike, WaniKani breaks down each kanji by every single component and give useful mnemonics for each radical.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. newpmv says:

        I got hiragana and katakana down, but will definitely look into that for the Kanji, thanks for the tip 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Genevieve Lyn says:

    I’ve been learning languages since I was young. Now being a polyglot, I can say I agree with every fact stated. I love Innovative Language, any of the Pod101’s and textbooks. I’ve recently started Korean and Japanese, I can’t seem to find much for Kanji though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newpmv says:

      Ah that’s so cool! Yeah I do love their websites. For Japanese they have some lessons on Kanji and radicals that are helpful, but when I get into Kanji I’ll probably go for the good old textbook and kanji notebook (got that already) to practice writing them over and over 🙂 Thanks for commenting with your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hopyrane says:

    I’d like to learn Spanish, Hindi, French and Hausa languages but erm…it hasn’t been working for me. Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newpmv says:

      I’d advise focusing on just one that you have a passion for, and even better if it’s closer to your native language 🙂 too much can get overwhelming!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopyrane says:

        Yes. I suppose you’re right. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I always encourage people to open their world to another language🇧🇫🇦🇪🇦🇮 Expand our horizons🇨🇦🇨🇺🇧🇼
    English, French, Spanish myself🙋‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

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