Have you ever watched a foreign language movie and wished that you didn’t have to read the subtitles? When we’re busy reading the subtitles, we often end up accidentally missing the scene. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! The language sounds so beautiful that we wish we could understand it, but we wouldn’t know where to begin. Knowing how to start learning a new language is the first step.
how to start learning a new language
Language learning is a journey, no matter what your native language is. But, it’s never too late to start for those of you who want to be language learners! In fact, it’s a great idea! People don’t become fluent in foreign languages overnight, so we want to share five tips and tricks you need to know if you’re interested in how to start learning a new language.
Before we share those tips and tricks, let’s go over why most people hesitate to learn a new language in the first place. If we know what’s preventing people from learning a new language, we can generate some tips and tricks for addressing those problems. Let’s begin!
Why Do People Hesitate To Learn A New Language?
There are several reasons why people are hesitant to learn a new language, so let’s look at some of the top reasons below.
Reason #1: No Time
Of course, we know that people are busy, whether it’s with their jobs, families, you name it. It can be hard to find time to actually sit down, concentrate, and learn new vocabulary words and basic grammar rules. As the FSI reported, there are some complicated languages that will indeed take you months.
Reason #2: Too Hard
Every language is different and complex, so we understand how difficult new languages can be. Not to mention, you have to master listening, speaking, reading, and writing to be fluent in a language. Instead of one component, there are four.
Reason #3: Nowhere To Practice
You might be thinking, what’s the point of learning a new language if I only use it two weeks out of the year while I’m on vacation?
To truly increase your language skills, you need to practice speaking with native speakers, which can be challenging if you don’t travel often.
5 Tips & Tricks On How To Start Learning A New Language
Now that we know why people often don’t start learning new languages, we can talk about some tips and tricks on how to combat or avoid those reasons altogether!
Tip #1: Find The Right Platform That’s Compatible With Your Lifestyle
One of the first questions new language learners have is, “How am I supposed to learn this language?” Nowadays, there are so many ways to learn information. What’s important is that you find the best way for your lifestyle.
For example, if you’re interested in learning Spanish, but your free time is mainly spent commuting to work, you might want to consider using an audiobook to learn new words and basic sentences. Imagine after a few hours of commuting what you can know!
On the other hand, if you work out of your own home, you might want to consider investing in an actual language book. Every night before going to bed or eating lunch between meetings, you can whip out the book to learn a few words. After a few weeks, you’ll have learned so much more than if you never started!
Tip #2: Set Realistic Goals
Next, don’t expect to become fluent overnight! The ultimate goal is to learn something new every day, not to learn it all at once! It would be best to think about your daily life and routines first and then set realistic goals accordingly.
It probably wouldn’t be realistic to set the goal of learning 100 new words every day. Instead, you can make the goal to learn 100 words every two weeks. This comes out to 7 words per day. That sounds manageable, right?
Remember that language learning is a process, so you don’t need to be overambitious. All you need to do is set smart goals.
Tip #3: Practice Whenever The Opportunity Presents Itself
Even if the target language you’re learning isn’t used in your area, you can always turn to the internet! There are tons of online platforms that you can use to meet people and practice. You might even get lucky and find a native speaker of the language you’re learning. One great example is HelloTalk.
Another great way to practice is to try thinking in your target language as much as possible. For example, if you want to learn Spanish, when you see some peppers at the grocery store, think about how to say the word peppers in Spanish in your mind. This way, you’re constantly practicing and making connections between your native and target languages.
Remember that if you ever feel overwhelmed by learning a new language, you can also watch videos of other beginners trying to speak that language. That way, you don’t feel so alone or intimidated. Don’t underestimate the number of online resources that are out there!
Tip #4: Extend Your Knowledge In Other Ways
Learning a language isn’t just about learning common words, sentences, and grammar rules. Language is, in large part, tied to culture and history.
For example, if you’re struggling to understand the structure of the language, you might find it helpful to learn more about the history of the language. Maybe the roots of the language are from somewhere else, and that’s why the structure seems confusing.
You should also know where the language is spoken and that country’s culture and traditions. It’s not enough to learn words. To reach fluency, you should know everything about the language. But don’t worry because there are so many language blogs designed to help you learn everything you can!
Tip #5: Be Kind To Your Learning Process
Please don’t be too hard on yourself and realize that it’s okay to make mistakes. Think of language learning as an opportunity to meet a great language partner, make new friends, and maybe open your eyes to a foreign country. As long as you’re increasing your language level, it doesn’t matter how slow your progress might seem.
Learning foreign languages takes time and effort. It’s better to learn the vocabulary thoroughly, rather than rushing only to forget it the next day. Remember to be patient with your learning and know that slow progress is better than no progress.
The Ling App: A Perfect Choice For Beginners and Advanced Learners Alike
If you’re a beginner or advanced language learner, the Ling App could be perfect for you.
The Ling App has been designed to help you, as a language learner, learn a new language as effectively as possible. The app features daily, comprehensive lessons, relevant vocabulary that can be used smoothly in conversations with locals, helpful grammar tips, direct feedback on pronunciation, and much more! Plus, the app offers lessons in over 60 languages ranging from beginner to advanced.
Ling also has a free language blog. On the blog, you can find topics on culture, food, and so much more to help you extend your language knowledge. The app is available in the App Store, Google Play, and a desktop version.
This might be the perfect choice for you, so use Ling to learn a new language!