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Learn a New, Foreign Language

By Edited Jun 10, 2015 1 1

Ninety-nine percent of the utility and the joy of language is for face-to-face exchange of ideas, opinions, and emotions. Learning to speak a language is like learning a sport it is a skill, not just an accumulation of knowledge and sterile facts. Intellectual intercourse is the most valued driver of language mastery. When you speak a new language, you will feel the excitement of communicating.

LANGUAGE IS JUST ONE DIMENSION OF COMMUNICATION

Don't sweat the little stuff. You know a lot about communication that supersedes components of language. Smile, point, gesture, mimic, and use the many means you use when speaking in your own language to communicate what you mean. All this will help you get your message across even if your usage is not perfect. The more you practice, the better you will get.

YOUR NEW LANGUAGE IS NOT SO DIFFERENT

Look at and understand similarities between your native tongue and the one you wish to learn. If the new language uses the Roman alphabet, you are halfway to learning it. Most languages have parts of speech like subjects, verbs, objects, prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs. Learn the basic order of these words in common statements and questions, and you will be able to guess a lot by deductive reasoning.

TALK TO A FRIEND

Make friends with someone who speaks the new language as their mother tongue. (If that person doesn't speak English, so much the better!) Try to find some common interest you can speak passionately about in English. Then try to express your knowledge and enthusiasm in your new language, You can develop a whole new persona in your new language – it's fun.

LEARN SOMETHING EVERY DAY

Make a conscious effort to learn new vocabulary every day. Make a routine for the time when you learn. Tear-off calendars with a "phrase of the day" or "word of the day" text messages are convenient ways to be certain you get your daily dose. Your confidence will grow as you increase your vocabulary in your new language.

USE IT OR LOSE IT'

Make opportunities to use your language every day: interpret for a visitor, help someone who looks lost, make friends in your workplace or profession with someone who speaks the language. Once you have become conversant in a language you will never totally forget it, but, like other skills, to be on top of your game you must practice every day and be driven to improve.

GO TO THE COUNTRY AND LIVE IT

Go to a country where your new language is spoken and your motivation and fluency will double. Most people will be flattered when you try to speak their language -you will be perceived as respectful and sensitive.

DON'T BE SHY

Plow ahead, make mistakes. Your efforts will be rewarded as people and their culture open up to you. Your warm reception will provide exciting insights and experiences that your English-speaking persona would never enjoy,

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Comments

Jul 11, 2012 10:06am
Introspective
These are very good tips to help people when learning a new language. "Thumbs-up!"
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