I just started learning a language from Excel Institute of Languages and it’s been an amazing experience. So just wanted to share a few things which are helping me progress.
Learning a new language is fun, challenging and healthy for your brain. With every new connection that you make to learn a new language, you are making your brain younger in functionality.
Here’s what most people think.
You are either born with the language-learning gene, or you aren’t.
It turns out, there is no language-learning gene, but there are tools and tricks for faster learning…
Or there’s another myth that goes around
You learn languages faster as kids.
It is proven that adults can learn languages faster than kids because we can make out/fill out gaps in grammar of a foreign language easily because we know one language. The only reason why kids learn quicker as of today is because they have no choice than to learn that language and we keep giving reasons for not learning a language. That’s it! Really!
I’m going to outline a 5 tips to learn languages faster and quicker. If you implement these tips, it will also become very easy for you to follow through and become fluent in any language you chose 🙂
#1 Learn the Right Words, the Right Way
Starting a new language means learning new words. Lots of them.
Of course, many people cite a bad memory for learning new vocab, so they quit before even getting started.
But–here’s the key–you absolutely do not need to know all the words of a language to speak it (and in fact, you don’t know all the words of your mother tongue either).
You can take advantage of the Pareto principle here, and realize that 20% of the effort you spend on acquiring new vocab could ultimately give you 80% comprehension in a language—for instance, in English just 300 words make up 65% of all written material.
#2 Learn cognates (similar words in different languages): your friend in every single language
Believe it or not, you already—right now—have a huge head start in your target language. With language learning you always know at least some words before you ever begin.
Starting a language “from scratch” is essentially impossible because of the vast amount of words you know already through cognates.
Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.
For instance, Romance languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and others have many words in common with English. English initially “borrowed them” from the Norman conquest of England, which lasted several hundreds of years.
Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, tradition, communication, extinction, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation.
Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.
#3 Interact In Your Language Daily Without Traveling
Another reason (or excuse, depending on how you look at it) people cite for not learning languages is that they can’t visit a country where it’s a native language. No time, no money, etc.
There is nothing “in the air” in another country that will magically make you able to speak their language.
I’ve met countless expats who lived abroad for years without learning the local language. Living abroad and being immersed is not the same thing. If you need to hear and use a language consistently to be immersed, can’t virtual immersion be just as effective? Of course.
Technology makes it possible for immersion to come to you, and you don’t even have to buy a plane ticket. Fortunately enough, Excel Institute of Languages has technology based language learning for free for students who attend physical lectures. And they also provide just the technology part at a very nominal price!
#4 Skype Today For Daily Spoken Practice
So you’ve been listening to, watching, and even reading in your target language and all in the comfort of your own home. Now it’s time for the big one: speaking it live with a native.
If your goal is to learn to speak the language, then that’s what you must focus on and start right away.
There are 7 days in a week and “someday” is not one of them.
I’d recommend learning some pleasantries such as “Hello,” “Thank you,” “Could you repeat that?” or “I don’t understand,” many of which you will find easy to use in any language.
#5 Embrace Mistakes
Over half of the planet speaks more than one language.
This means that monolingualism is a cultural, not a biological, consequence. So when adults (at least in the English speaking world) fail at language learning, it’s not because they don’t have the right genes or other such nonsense. It’s because the system they have used to learn languages is broken.
The way you do this as a beginner is to use everything you do know with emphasis oncommunication rather than on perfection.
This is the pivotal difference. Sure, you could wait until you are ready to say “Excuse me kind sir, could you direct me to the nearest bathroom?” but “Bathroom where?” actually conveys the same essential information, only removing superfluous pleasantries. You will be forgiven for this directness, because it’s always obvious that you are a learner.
Don’t worry about upsetting native speakers for being so “bold” as to speak to them in their own language.
One of the best things you can do in the initial stages is not to try to get everything perfect, but to embrace making mistakes.
So that’s it for this post. To be honest, learning a new language is not just rewarding in the sense of an energetic young mind and memory and stuff, but it is a really satisfying experience because you actually are able to measure your progress and see it. It’s just like working out in the gym, the beginning is hard but slowly and steadily, as you start seeing your biceps toned and your body becomes fitter day by day, you get more motivated to workout and the more your workout, the better your body looks, and the cycle continues.
So what are you even waiting for, just jump into it.
If you are looking to learn a language in Mumbai/Bombay, you can join Excel Institute of Languages . These guys are amazing to a point where I actually felt like writing a 1000+ word post about languages. And yea, even if you are not in Mumbai, as I said before, they also have online lectures which have the same content explained very well. But it’s fun in the classroom because you have people around you with the same interest and you can have fun with the language in the classroom. Either way, Have fun!
I hope you liked the post, let me know if you have any questions, or anything in your mind that you think I could be of help to you, let me know through message or comment. I’ll respond as soon as possible 🙂