Learning a new language can be fun and informative. It can, however, also turn out to be tiring and frustrating. Reason being that just like any other skills that you learn, languages too need to be learned by following some fundamental time-tested techniques. These linguistic techniques have been developed and used by language experts over the years in order to make language learning faster and more efficient.
Let’s now look at top 10 techniques to learn a language faster –
1. Basics are essential
Just like a building without a solid foundation is destined to fall soon, similarly a language learned without grasping its fundamental grammatical constructs wouldn’t survive for long in your mind. There is only so much you can learn by rote! So, dig in and build on the basics for the long haul of your language learning journey.
2. Weave learning into your routine
Languages need practice to perfect and need to be high on recall. Language learning will be more efficient if you read something in the new language as a routine. Even a simple daily routine of reading up websites native to the language you are learning on your commute to office (or school) can give that much needed nudge to the new vocabulary learnt every day.
3. Practice along as you learn
Always aim to practice and perfect what you have learned before moving ahead. Learning theory till the day of exam and then trying to master the language in one day could work for history or geography but wouldn’t really give you the edge when learning a new language. So, buy workbooks or checkout websites which offer practice exercises in your chosen language and keep going at them.
4. Buy a dictionary and keep it handy
Every once in a while, you will come across a new word you don’t know about. Keeping a dictionary handy allows you to keep enriching your vocabulary as you learn. Rather than learning words without context, learn their meanings in the context of an article or book you are reading or a song you are listening to. Do this and see how your fluency starts building up fast.
5. Join a language learning group or meetup
Learning alone can seem fast but then you miss the perspective of the collective. To learn better join a language learner’s group or a meetup in your desired language which might be happening in your area. Doing this provides the benefit of getting valuable feedback from the group which in turn helps you filling in your dark spots which you yourself are unaware of.
6. Watch movies or shows in the language you are learning
Learning can become tedious as you progress. Using online web-based video streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix you can see films and television shows in your chosen languages. As a bonus many of these sites provide subtitles in your chosen language as well.
For example: If you are learning French, then if you see movies in French with French subtitles then you not only start picking up on French natural style of conversations, but you also learn how to write French sentences in a smooth flowing way.
7. Talk to yourself in the language
A great way of learning and remembering is to speak out what you have learnt to yourself. Put simply, read to yourself. This helps in learning, revising and remembering the new language all in one go. Efficient right!
8. Pick up your learning speed with Cognates
Cognates are words that have similar origins, sound similar, and may have similar meanings across languages. If you know them in one language, you will pick them up faster in other languages. In essence, your existing linguistic ability helps you in speeding up learning of a new language. So, use cognates to learn quicker.
Example cognates – night (English), noche(Spanish), nuit(French) and Nacht(German). All of them mean night.
9. Associate words with pictures
With so many new words in a new language, you might end up jumbling them up in your mind. An effective way out is to associate words with their descriptive images. This helps in precise recall and helps you expand your vocabulary faster.
10. Have clearly defined goals
Define weekly or fortnightly targets for yourself and stick to them. This last tip works well when used along with tips to 1 to 9. Pacing your language learning along with using the efficiency enhancing tips would give you the ideal combination of speed and quality to achieve your linguistics targets.
Following the above tips will put you on the path to achieving brilliance in your linguistics learning. Happy learning!