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7 Great Ways to Practice Foreign Languages

7 Great Ways to Practice Foreign Languages

How to practice foreign languages with minimal effort

Language learning is one of my favorite topics.  Languages are what drive the world.  Think about it.  Perhaps, do you remember a time when you were traveling and ordered something but didn’t actually order what you thought?  How about the other day when you were eating dinner at that restaurant and got the most delicious meal? How did those both occur?  Through language, or a lack there of.

In reality, we get what we want fundamentally through communication.  We order food with words.  We win a convincing argument by adequately conveying our point.  We learn things on the internet by reading in a language.

This article helps you to practice foreign languages and learn more words daily just by going through your normal routine.  You don’t have to sit for long hours and study or listen to tapes.  Just practice these language learning tips below and you will be on your way to learning a foreign language.

Language learning tip #1 : Change your electronics to another language.  Your cell phone, your computer, television, and more can be changed to another language.  By casually changing these items you will learn new vocabulary and context for words that relate to those topics.  My cell phone has been in Spanish for years, and I can honestly say that I have gained a few vocabulary words from doing this.

You can also do this with things like your email accounts.  One of my email accounts is in Italian and the other is in Spanish.  Sure, I don’t know all the words and their functions, but I can promise that I learn them when needed.  (In practicing this tip, make sure you don’t change anything that you can’t reverse and that what you change is not life or death. If it helps, you can write down how to change it back in case you forget.)

Language learning tip #2: Listen to music in a different language.  We are living in the digital age and we listen to a lot of music.  When was the last time you did much of anything without bring your Mp3 player along?  Think about how much time you spend working out, relaxing, or studying with music.  All of that time could be spent practicing a foreign language.  Remember, you don’t have to understand everything.  Learning the context of a word in a song, or just 1 word a day even, is progress.  I have some playlists in Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, and more on my YouTube channel here.

Language learning tip #3:  Being an upstanding citizen such as yourself, surely you follow the news.  Where do you get your news? What is your source?  It doesn’t really matter, all that matters is that you are getting that news one way or another.  If you spend the same time reading, listening to, or watching the news in a different language imagine what you will learn over time.   Moreover, you won’t be taking any more time to do it.

Language learning tip #4: This will be for more advanced people in a language, but try to add a different keyboard to your computer’s settings.  You can easily add almost any language through control panel/keyboards.  Although your keyboard buttons will still be in whatever language they are currently, you can easily toggle between other languages when you are typing to get the feel for the other buttons.

Language learning tip #5: This tip depends somewhat on where you live, but look for and seek internationals in the language that you want to learn.  Students at universities and people in bigger cities will have more ease in doing this.  Use your resources and find out these people. Embrace them, eat with them, and learn their culture. Remember that part of learning a language is embracing a culture.  It is very difficult to completely learn a language without embracing the culture that holds it.

Language learning tip #6: Practice your acting and talk to yourself.  When you are going about your daily routine, practice doing things in that language.  Think about how you would explain what you are doing in a foreign language.  Better yet, say it when you are doing it.  The car is a great time to practice your accent.  (P.S. You might not want to talk to yourself around others. They might think that you are a little crazy! )

Language learning tip #7: Handle your small affairs in another language.  What do I mean?  Well, things like going to the grocery store, eating at a restaurant, ordering something, et cetera.  If you live near a big metropolitan area, then the chances are that you will be able to find people speaking the language that you want to learn unless it is really obscure.  Go there to take care of stuff.  When you are feeling confident, press #2 para español. 

Bonus: Have no fear! Practice, practice, practice. If you don’t you won’t learn.  Remember that just 1 word is progress.

In conclusion, learning a foreign language is all about drive.  It is true that some people are more gifted at learning languages than others, but that doesn’t mean that those others can’t do it.  It just means that some people have to work harder.  It is not impossible, and you can do it if you wish.  I hope that you enjoyed these tips and that they help you to gain some more insight into the language learning process.

 

Leave a comment below!

What language are you learning? Why are you learning that language? If you could know any language instantly, which language would it be?

 

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16 comments

  1. Personaly I use Polyglothub.com to practice languages with native speakers.

    • What is unique about polyglothub? I´d like to know somethings about it before logging into it.

      • It has some features that you won’t find on any other language learning social network, in short, it has online videocahat right on the site that means you won’t need Skype anymore to videochat with your friends. Yet ther are: blogs, multilinguagl forum (25 languages), teaching videos and applications.

  2. Great tips, Andy. I would also add that people shouldn’t think that they need to actually be in the country in order to learn the language properly, especially at the beginning. The early stages of language learning are all about becoming familiar with the language and building a vocabulary core, and you can do this from your living room! If you’re the kind of person who is motivated by speaking, you can also join sites like iTalki.com to start speaking with native speakers from the start.
    Olly Richards recently posted…7-Language Welcome VideoMy Profile

    • I definitely would say that you do not have to be in a country to learn a language. Especially at the beginning as you say, it can be almost better to not be in the country. Rather, just studying basics before getting into the culture side of things. I have not heard about iTalki.com before, I will check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Starting will small things really does help, especially because it helps you work up your confidence to doing bigger stuff. The first steps are tough, but once you’re over that first hurdle the language learning process gets so much more enjoyable.

    #6 made me think of a friend who put labels on all of the stuff in her bedroom in French. Her room looked weird, but it worked!
    Jessica of HolaYessica recently posted…7 Things I Miss About Barcelona When I’m Gone…and 3 Things I Don’tMy Profile

    • I agree Jessica. Starting small and working up to bigger things will help you in a lot of ways while learning a language. The labels thing is a bit time consuming but it certainly helps you to associate objects with names. It also reminds you to say them as you go through your day.

      Thanks for stopping by Jessica!

  4. I agree with Language learning tip #3. Read the news in another language. Found a newsletter that does just that: http://www.thenewsintwos.com

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