Welcome to Language Learn
Hello! Welcome to Language Learn - your first steps to learning a new language.
How to Learn a Language
First things first, develop a deep desire to master the language. This may seem obvious, but passion brings the best results. Join a speaking club where the enthusiasm is infectious, or spend some time with cultural things that motivate you.
Learning the Vocabulary of a New Language
- Think in whole phrases and with emotions. So don't just memorize words but memorize a whole sample phrase with the evoked emotion. E.g. (Spanish) In order to remember the word 'bread' - 'pan,' use the sentence 'I eat bread with butter.' --'Yo como pan con mantequilla.' (Try to imagine that you are eating the bread.) This is also known as Total Physical Response.
- Likewise, try to imagine graphically the word or action you are learning. Can you see the bread with butter in front of your inner eye, even just for a flash? If so, this is a sign that your brain hemispheres have synced and the newly learned word will be available without requiring conscious recall.
- Repeat the whole phrase or sentence until you can say it without hesitation, like a reflex - just like a karate move. Language is reflex.
- Substitute words from your new language into the language you speak normally. This will, of course, cause fewer problems if you confine this to conversations with people you have notified of your strategy. E.g. (French) To make a cheese sandwich, put fromage between deux pieces of pain.
- Read the dictionary (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Main_Page). Make it a habit to skim or browse through the dictionary and note down a few words that are obviously part of common everyday speech.
- When developing a mnemonic, take note that humorous phrases will help you to remember the new words.
- Write down new words in two columns, one for your native language and one for the language to be learned. Then go over them day after day in alternate directions and carry those words you didn't remember so far over to a new page. The repetitive writing often helps memorizing.
Speaking and Understanding a New Language
- When riding the train or car, walking down the street, waiting in line, etc. simulate conversations and dialogues in your head. Carry a pocket dictionary (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Main_Page)/grammar book with you to facilitate the process.
- Repeat and memorize whole sample phrases and sentences which embody grammatical rules. Grammar requires calculation before speaking. It is easier to use a memorized sentence pattern as a basis instead. Make a quota of phrases or sentences to memorize per day, depending on your schedule. For most people, memorizing 1 or 2 model pattern sentences everyday is not too difficult.
- Most new languages contain previously unheard-of sounds. Practice them ad nauseam! Make yourself drill sentences full of new sounds and repeat them all the time. For instance, in French, "Il fait du vent" can be used to practice French f's, v's and d's, or "un grand vin blanc" for French nasals.
- Watch movies in the language and pretend or imagine that you already understand. Children assimilate languages unconsciously. TV shows and radio broadcasts are also good ways to practice a language.
- Get the melody of the language by listening to songs you like and singing them. By doing this, you can reduce your accent and almost unconsciously memorize a lot of phrases. Get the lyrics though, it may be very difficult to understand the song without them.
- Listen to radio broadcasts in the language through the internet. The Deutsche Welle's slowly spoken news reports (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,1595,2469,00.html) (in German, of course) or the Polish Radio (http://members.aon.at/aldone/retradio/) in Esperanto are both good examples of what you can find out there.
- Watch subtitled movies in the language.
- Speak with a native speaker.