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The Best Way to Learn a New Language

Whether you are more of a social learner, or you prefer a cut-and-dry grammar course, we have got tips for how best to study languages, tailored for your style of learning. All the above aside, however, the one best way to learn a language is likely to simply be listening and talking. If you are unsure about how you are going to study a new language, talking keeps the new words and phrases fresh in your head.

Make a phrase out of a new word you are learning, its meaning, and a word that sounds similar in your mother tongue. You could even refer to Google Translate or the dictionary of that language as you are chattering, so that you learn the new words as you go, as and when you need them. If you are taking a foreign language class, you can use this same system of assembling words to help you study and review your assigned vocabulary. When learning a new language, it can be difficult to practice words in context, since you still need to learn enough vocabulary to construct complicated sentences.

With languages, you can always learn more vocabulary and more grammar, but the one thing that you cannot really solve later is pronunciation. When you are looking for the fastest way to learn another language, blurting out a bunch of words without polish gets you far faster than waiting for the right ones to arrive. Knowing the grammar definitely helps, but spending the bulk of your time learning a language memorizing complex grammar rules does not seem to be the most efficient way to learn. Sometimes memorizing a never-ending list of words and phrases that you have been told you will need may seem to be the most time-consuming part of your learning journey.

Learning a new language involves studying A LOT of material, so you are going to want to utilize your study time as efficiently as possible. While there is no substitute for the amount of work and effort required for studying, you absolutely can learn a new foreign language quickly as long as you follow the right strategies and commit yourself to the process. Learning a foreign language is challenging in adulthood, but there are ways to make it easier. Some of the best learning happens in real-life situations, especially those where you have no other option than to use your foreign language.

While many might not have the luxury of dropping everything and traveling around the world, there are still plenty of ways you can improve your language skills right where you are. Whether it is reading news articles in your target language online, watching foreign films with subtitles, or sitting down to a favorite novel in translation, there are tons of ways to dive into language without ever leaving your front door. If you are bored at home, or you have dreams of visiting a foreign country and soaking up the culture, you may begin to wonder whether learning a new language yourself is a possibility. If you have watched every episode of Netflix, played every board game you have, and baked more bread than you could ever consume, consider spending some of your newly found free time learning (or re-learning) a language.

Reinvest the time you would have otherwise spent binge-watching Love Is Blind on Netflix (no judgment) into picking up some key phrases in your new language–whether that means learning to order pastries in Swedish, request another size shirt in French, or locate the subway in Japanese–through an app, an online course, or something else. As you start learning a new language, spend a little time learning about the culture of the people who speak it. If you cannot observe and emulate the native speakers themselves, watching movies and TV shows in a foreign language is a great substitute for studying. By exposure to actual, live-action conversations with native speakers, you increase the chances of learning the language quickly.