Are you having difficulties to learn a second language? Did you always want to wander on the street in Paris and speak a perfect French? Or do you want to follow your heart & soul by living in Cuba, and speaking Spanish every day?
Don’t be scared to do the first step!
When I started to travel, I didn’t know much English but I kept traveling and I can tell you that best practice is always on the ground… When I told my friends how I’ve been struggling to pick up a second language, they were laughing out me knowing that I speak & write 5 languages.
If you want to learn any languages, you need to know your motivations, this might sound obvious; but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you won’t be able to learn as well. I should be honest, I practiced my ass off. If you really want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, then you will become the person you always wanted to be.
Learn by practising Spanish or French with native speakers
I’ve compiled a list of language learning tips I’ve gathered over the past few years.
Practice, practice, practice
If there’s one secret to learn a language is “practice”. It doesn’t matter where you come from, how much you know in a foreign language, what is your motivation, if you don’t practice. Unless you practice your skills, you won’t be successful. You learnt your native tongue because you grew in a family that spoke this specific language & why you speak this language is because you practiced daily. You must be motivated to learn and I don’t care how cool your studies are, you are never going that far if you don’t invest in yourself. Learn & motivate yourself to communicate with a native person or practice by listening an audio program on your computer but you should do the first move.
A language is a process and not something you can learn by heart. I became an expert in language learning, and with my experience; I can tell you that practice is the best asset you have. I strongly believe the reason why is that our minds place most of our time based on experience and our emotions are really tied to them.
Intensity is better than length of study
Our brains are designed to learn a lot of intensive things in life, to survive and cope with challenges in life. All things considered, you really are getting a small return for your time to learning a language. I spent over 10 years learning English in a classroom and results were close to 0. However, when I decided to move to Australia & realize a gap-year, my life really changed.
Language requires a lot of repetition, a lot of experience with native people, and a consistent perseverance and investment. My cousin came for two weeks to study English in Galway, where I am currently living. It’s better to have 1-2 weeks where you go 100%, than simply allocating a few hours over the course of months or even years.
Learning a foreign language is like learning an instrument
Keep practicing in your head
This might sound weird but to excel in a language, you will need to practice constantly. If you don’t push yourself to think in the language you are learning, you won’t go very far.
Find someone interested
I learnt several languages by connecting myself to the natives… I learnt English by mixing up with Aussies, I learnt German by going to Austrian cafés in Vienna, and I learnt Spanish by mixing up with a group of Columbians while being an Erasmus student in Germany.
Even if you have some issues to find a partner to join you in your next language adventure, try to push yourself to learn the language and connect to native people.
Have fun while learning
When I traveled down to Australia, I was learning English as such a kid having fun learn activities…Think of some fun ways to practice your new languages and how you can have fun doing it. I was writing a lot of poems while learning English so it helped me to have a better English.
Learn another language with friends by having some beers!
Remember that the best way to speaking languages is for people to talk back to you. You should definitely try having a conversation and enjoy the process of learning, it will be like a huge reward for yourself on the long run. Don’t worry too much if you can’t talk properly, people will accept the way you speak and will even reward you on the long run by seeing yourself achieving more.
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Are you inspired to learn a new language? What language beside English do you find the most useful nowadays? Does learning a foreign language help you going outside of your comfort zone? Leave a meaningful comment…
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