If you are studying or interning abroad in a non-English speaking country, learning the local language is important. It opens up job opportunities, helps to establish cross-cultural friendships, and allows you to gain an outsider’s perspective about their culture. In short, you become a better learner. Apart from career gains, knowing a foreign language can improve travel experiences. Here are a few tips to master any new language.
Tip#1 Focus On Pronunciation
Watch foreign films and imitate pronunciation. Usually, there are a finite number of sounds in a language. For example, the French phonetic alphabet contains 37 sounds. You can pronounce most of them with practice. Beginners often mispronounce these words; imitating the sounds helps you break this habit. It’s better if you start pronouncing words correctly at the beginning of the learning process.
Tip#2 Review Grammar
Learning grammar in a new language becomes easy when you know technicalites of your own language. This way, you can compare how they differ or how they are similar. All languages will have a way to express an action, a verb, a method of identifying the subject, and a pronoun to replace the subject. Learning the building blocks to a language is important.
Tip#3 Build Your Vocabulary
Learning vocabulary will take you a while. By learning the 100 most common words, you can understand about 50% of the language. When you learn the 500 most common words, you will understand 67% of the new language. Get a dictionary and commit yourself to learn the first 100 most common words and slowly rise to 500 and then to 1000 words. You can learn vocabulary using flash cards and with the spaced repetition technique. You can focus on phrases that use vocabulary terms rather than individual words. This is much more effective both because phrases can immediately be used in speaking and writing.
There is no denying that if you speak English, you can get by in many places. But it will also be great to be able to say bonjour, hola, salut, or como estas when you travel to different places.
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You can also read ‘Improve Your Communication Skills By Learning A New Language for tips on learning a foreign language.