Let’s face it, in today’s world, going global is the best way to ensure success. Not only does learning any language increase your odds of landing a job, but it can open up business opportunities beyond the borders of your home country. To that end, Matthew Youlden of Babbel Voices, offers some tips on how you can learn a new language fast. Trust him, he speaks nine languages fluently.
Learning a new language can be fun and challenging, especially when you have a buddy to motivate you. Matt had his twin brother Michael, but you can pick a friend, or make a new friend and learn a language. Plus, it helps because you can practice with one another, because practice really does make perfect, but there’s no point in learning a new language if you’re just talking to yourself.
Talk To Yourself
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with practicing on your own, like in front of a mirror or recording yourself on your phone and repeating new words and phrases. This will allow you to hear how you pronounce things in another language and help you perfect it. Plus, it ensures that what you’ve learned stays fresh in your mind.
You don’t have to go to France to speak French. You can find groups of French-speaking natives and try to engage them in a conversation or just listen to see if your brain is ready to interpret what you hear. You can also go to a restaurant and order a dish in the language you’re learning to speak. The important thing is to find creative ways to use the language you’re trying to learn.
Make Learning Fun Again
Find fun ways to practice your new language like watching your favorite TV show dubbed in the language you’re pursuing, or listen to music in a foreign language. You can even do a little song and dance courtesy of karaoke, or write a poem and recite it on your own or in front of your friends and family. Just remember to have fun, because if you’re not, you won’t learn it.
Look, if you’re learning a new language, you’re going to mess things up, mispronounce a word, or misspell something. But that’s okay. So, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and make a mistake in front of a native-speaker when you order food or tell a joke. The best way to develop and improve your new language skill is through trial and error.
You can’t learn if you don’t listen, so open your ears, your mind and your heart, and most importantly, expose yourself to the language you’re trying to learn. For Matthew, constantly hearing a language and visualizing how it should be pronounced helped him out, because there’s a specific way your mouth moves, and a sound your throat makes when you speak certain phrases that you’ll need to master.
Now that you’ve figured out how to enunciate the words and use the same inflections as a native speaker, it’s time to act like them, which admittedly might seem like you’re mimicking them, but in reality, every country has a different body language when they talk, the way their hands, shoulders, and face move. You can imitate someone in a foreign film, or even a TV show.
Stick With It
Label your environment with words that represent the language you’re trying to master. This means you’ll have to invest in lots and lots of Post-It notes to stick to your fridge, stove, lamp, TV, DVD player, shelves, couch, and doors. This will train your brain to think in a foreign language instead of the language you’re used to speaking in.