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LANGUAGE LEARNING TIPS

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 30th January 2014 09:58

The satisfaction you get from learning a foreign language is hard to match, whether it’s the endless practical uses it has or simply the edge it gives you when you can show it off to your friends, learning a language is cool.  Nothing impresses a local more than when you speak to them in their mother tongue, particularly when it’s German, which has more tongue twisters than a Dr Seuss book.

There is, however, no easy way to learn a language. Relying on translation apps on your phone or computer is quite frankly, about as useful as having pancakes for hands. Therefore it takes good old fashioned hard work and dedication to learn a language. There are many reasons to learn one too, whether you have a long term desire of working in another country to discovering your roots, intellectual curiosity, romance and of course taking the opportunity to submerge yourself in another culture.

There are a multitude of ways to become bilingual, a wealth of courses are available that can last as long as you want until you reach a level of ability you are comfortable at. What’s more, this learning can be done before you go away or preferably in your chosen country. We feature a number of the best language schools around Europe in our guides. But if you are attempting to learn one right now then here are 10 quick tips at how to boost your language learning:

1)      Watch a film. Foreign Language films are often much more interesting as they are often very different to what we are culturally used to. Whack the subtitles on and you will find yourself picking up words as you watch them.

2)      Listen to music. Learning words and phrases through melodies is an incredibly quick way to memorise words.

3)      Post it notes. Start using them. Put them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, wardrobe. Everything.

4)      Meet up with someone and actually practice! – There are a surprising number of people online looking for a language partner to practice with. Meetup.com has plenty of language groups.

5)      Read books aimed at a younger audience. The language is simpler and easier to digest and will not overwhelm you.

6)      Download a dictionary app. NOT a translation app. This is just a handy way to quickly look up a word on the go.

7)      Visit news sites. You may already know the background to some news events and therefore be able to piece together an article or video.

8)      Change your computer language settings. Facebook/Twitter/Google – this will force you to learn some handy verbs and phrases.

9)      YouTube. There are nearly always foreign language versions of your favourite videos/songs. Like this one.

10)   Pick up a foreign edition of your favourite magazine. Whether it’s Vogue or FHM, they are often published globally.

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