Tips on how to learn a foreign language (1)
No doubt you would love to learn at least one more language. A second language improves your social life, business, employment, your world view, travel experiences and much more. There is every incentive to do so as the need to speak another language is increasing all the time. Communications technology and means of travel enable people to move around more quickly than ever. Immigration and tourism are growing rapidly. It is likely your country will have its own language but highly probable that other languages will be spoken too. But how do you set about learning a foreign language? Here are some tips:
- Enjoy it. That sounds obvious but if you soon realise you’re bored or it doesn’t seem worth the effort then forget it.
- Don’t despair if you struggle with words or phrases. Slowly it will all begin to fall into place.
- Give yourself the right amount of time to study. Allocate enough time to study and try not to deviate from it. Maybe you are a student. If so then don’t pressurise yourself by thinking you need to study more than you are comfortable with. If you over stretch yourself, you’ll find it is counter productive because you won’t enjoy it.
- Learn with someone. This will make the process easier, and you will have someone with whom to share the burden. Although as mentioned before, if it becomes a burden then maybe it’s not right for you.
- How about friends? You may know someone who talks a different language to you but you are on nodding terms. By speaking their language you could get to know them more and you may get to know them on a more personal basis, get invited to more parties and more easily ask for help if you need it. If you live in an area where everyone speaks the same language, this would not apply. But what if you are the type of person who likes to spend a lot of time online? The Internet brings the world to your laptop or phone! It would be great to chat with someone on the other side of the world in their own language.
- If you are business person then the importance of learning a second language is obvious. Being familiar with another language allows you to develop international business contacts, prepare advertising targeted to markets that speak another language or do sales work in neighbourhoods with mixed languages. Expanding your market is one of the best ways to increase business, so why not learn the language of the market you are interested in? You have probably read stories of advertising mix ups in which a product name or advertising copy did not translate well. You can prevent this type of thing from happening by learning the language.
- Finally, think of everyday occurrences in a new language. For example, you have to phone and ask for an appointment at the doctors. When you are finished, try to work out how you would have said it in your new language.