Written by: Kanya Shah
Are you interested in learning a new language? Here are some tips to get you started!
1. A quick way to learn how to understand a spoken language is by watching Youtube shows and movies in that foreign language. By listening to the audio from the film, you'll learn to associate those words with the images shown. The next time somebody speaks in a foreign language, you'll be able to decipher fragments of the sentences.
2. Have a conversation with a person who can understand the language fluently. As you speak, you practice your ability to retain the vocabulary that you've learned and work on how to translate phrases. During a conversation, you can't reference a dictionary or Google Translate to help you so you're forced to rely on personal knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Fluent conversations are usually fast paced but if you're brushing up on a language or learning it for the first time, it may be beneficial to have a slower conversation because that would allow you to process what's being said.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice. The more you use the language, the more terminology you'll memorize. One avenue is to use Duolingo.com which offers several practice options in terms of learning a new language. You can choose to translate sentences, speak into a microphone to practice pronunciation, and even listen to sentences being said. This website has several languages available for you to learn, ranging from Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese to much more.
4. Listen to music in the language that you're learning. If you like the song, then you'll feel more inclined to understand the lyrics and process what you're hearing. The vocabulary that you learn from different avenues would be applied to mentally translating the song.
5. To learn how to write characters, you should learn the alphabet and grammatical rules first. Start with categories like colors, clothes, etc and build your writing skills from there. This is helpful when you're learning languages like Mandarin, Japanese, Hindi, etc.
Keep practicing and don't give up. It may seem daunting to learn a new language but once you get the basics, you can keep learning harder parts of the language.
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