I’m sure most of us have purchased books or online programs to learn languages then lost interest after a few weeks. That was my situation many years ago. Reading textbooks just reminded me of school. Yuck. Since then, I’ve tried-and-tested virtually everything to pick up a handful of languages in a creative way. Below are my favourite of the bunch.
THE OBVIOUS ONE:
In my experience, the best way to pick up a new language is to move/visit a country in person. Hear me out on this one, I’m not saying you need to pack your bags and book a one-way flight. However, if you’re able to work abroad or study abroad then that opportunity is definitely one to consider. In one year of living in Barcelona, I learnt a huge amount of conversational Catalan which is more than I learnt in 5 years studying from a book.
THE ADORABLE OPTION:
Let’s get traditional by reaching out to a pen-pal. As most of you know, I’m vocal about the fact I have made many incredible friends from my blog or social media. When I was younger, I made friends with a girl in Mexico and we would write to each other in different languages. It made searching words on the web a lot more exciting.
ONE FOR THE DARING INDIVIDUALS:
Change the keyboard of your phone to another language. Simple as that.
FOR THE SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES:
I urge you to join a language group or social meet-up. These are actually free in most cities/towns. All you need to do is find out what is happening where you live. Don’t know where to start? Try apps like ‘Eventbrite’ to see the activities available in your zone. You’d be surprised how many places have weekly meet-ups to learn new languages or socialize with individuals abroad. I attended a few of these prior to one of my language exams and picked up a ton of phrases only locals would use.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ZERO TIME:
Hey no judgement here! Next time you’re binge-watching something, add subtitles in another language. Feeling up for a challenge? Try it with audio. You’ll be able to hear exactly how a word is meant to be pronounced. It won’t even feel like language-learning.
ONE TO DRIVE EVERYONE MAD:
Put sticky notes on everything around the house. I found this idea particularly useful when trying to describe things in another language, rather than striking up conversation.
GOT A SPARE ROOM?
A win-win situation for both parties. If you’re able to rent out a room to exchange students or backpackers, you’ll probably see the guests on a regular basis so can push for conversation.
Until then, see you in the next post.