Learning a new language can be a daunting task. A whole new set of grammar rules combined with a new vocabulary can seem like a challenging obstacle at first.
Truth be told, it is.
Many factors determine how difficult a foreign language is. Especially if new characters or vocal patterns are involved, things tend to get a little bit harder.
But learning a language is worth the time. It can help you in your career, private life, and even benefit your brain. No matter what you are doing in life, learning a language can be a great occupation to explore the world’s diversity.
Finding an Online Language Teacher
Thanks to the internet, you can find discounted lessons and you don’t have to search for local language teachers in your area anymore. All you need is an internet connection. Language platforms connect you to language experts that give 1-on-1 sessions and improve your pronunciation and grammar.
Before you start learning a language, you might want to recalibrate your brain a little bit. Many people think that we don’t pick up new skills as effectively as adults as we used to as children. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth: While children indeed tend to learn faster than adults, this has more to do with more time being available rather than with their brains working better.
Here are a 3 benefits of learning a new language:
1. Increases Your Career Prospects
Speaking more than one language might help you in your work. If you work at a company that has connections across borders, you could be the one communicating with people from foreign markets. This could give you access to new positions within your company or even open new job chances that you did not have before learning the language.
2. Experience New Cultures
Learning a language does not only include learning a new set of words; it often comes with experiencing an entirely new culture. Since language is always a reflection of cultural aspects, you might learn something about a foreign country without ever being there. Local sayings often give you an insight into the mentality of another civilization.
3. Healthy For Your Brain
Yes, learning a new language can be challenging and frustrating. However, the benefits of learning a new language easily outweigh the difficulties. Recent research suggests that learning a language – no matter your age – might help your brain and even decrease the risk of dementia.
Here are some ways to get started learning a new language:
Learning From a Native Speaker
There arguably is no better way to learn a language than from a native speaker. Since they use the language daily, they will have extensive knowledge of grammar rules. You might even learn some form of dialect and gain access to some local slang, which might set you apart from many other language learners.
For the more autodidactic students, language apps like Babbel or Duolingo might be the way to go. In essence, you will hear a sentence or words spoken by a native speaker so that you will learn the pronunciation. Some apps even go as far as letting you talk directly via your microphone, putting your pronunciation skills to the test.
Watching TV shows and Movies
Hearing people speak a language might be the best way to pick up the general tone of the vernacular. Watching a TV show in another language can give you a good idea of how people talk in certain countries. One of the general advantages of hearing a language ‘live’ is understanding how people talk in their day-to-day lives. Learning from a book might be giving you unrealistic impressions, as this form of speaking often differs from how people speak daily.
Repetition is Key
No matter what form of learning you choose, repetition is the most crucial aspect of learning a language. You have to listen to and speak the language as often as possible to make sure you memorize the words, phrases, and sayings. Since our brain usually understands concepts better by repetition, using the language daily will undoubtedly help you.
Start by Listening
One of the essential tips for learning a new language is to learn effectively. While learning all words and grammar from scratch can be an excellent way to start, it will certainly consume a lot more time. So instead, start listening to the language ‘live’ to grasp the general way people talk in the particular vernacular. Doing this will significantly cut down the time you need to get used to hearing the language.
Always remember: You don’t have to learn every word from a new language (nor could you). For example, the English language consists of about 600,000 words (Source: Oxford Dictionary). However, you only need to learn about the 1000 most common words to talk to people. So, studying the most common words is the way to go when it comes to learning a language.