5 Tricks to Help You Learn a Second Language More Painlessly

Samantha Ruff
March 16, 2020 ·
7 min read
Inspiration

First up: a confession. There are in fact no real ‘tricks’ to learning a new language. There are efficient means by which you can do it, and there are inefficient means. Here, of course, we will include only those efficient methods by which you can improve your language skills in another tongue.

But learning to (effectively) speak another language still takes time and effort. It is important to acknowledge that nothing can make this task ‘easy’, just ‘easier’ Your dedication and motivation to learn is still the most important thing to bring to your language learning.

So, here are five things that, providing you have the commitment, will facilitate faster and more efficient language learning.

Full immersion works

Surrounding yourself in a language is, without a doubt, the most efficient way of learning a language. Parachuting yourself into a country that speaks with that tongue is, of course, the best way to do that, but it’s not a practical solution for all. After all, if you are learning Japanese because your partner is Japanese, but you don’t live (or won’t be living) in Japan, it’s not that easy to find a workable solution.

Or perhaps it is! Because immersion doesn’t just mean living in that country. Surround yourself with the sounds of the language, which can be facilitated easily with all of what modern technology has to offer.

So, change the language settings on your phone and computer, tune in online to radio and TV stations broadcast exclusively in your target language. Watch movies and series in that language. And if your partner speaks that language, only allow them to speak to you in that language. Soon you can have your own little oasis of Japanese (or whatever language you are trying to learn) wherever you may need that. Just a few weeks living like this will have a profound impact on your ability to learn the language effectively.

Use a writing assistant (with additional useful tools)

Utilizing the help of an AI-powered writing assistant to help shape all of your written communication in your target language serves to not only help you produce better quality written text in that language but also assists greatly in learning. Linguix adds value in the form of templates, a helpful online dictionary of definitions and synonyms, and empathy in assisting you to master grammatical considerations and style, while also gaining control over your typical mistakes. With this type of intelligent tool, you can quickly learn to deliver precise and articulate writing in a short period of time.

Study what is useful and practical for you

Language has so many grammatical elements, nuances, and vocabulary that a program that takes in the study of all of these considerations can become incredibly time-consuming. That is why you need to be practical, and you need to prioritize.

What is it that you want to be able to do in a language? This is the most important question to ask yourself, and the answer should frame the direction in which your studies move. Learn the vocabulary that is most relevant to the interactions that you most want to have (learn the 1000 most important words, for example) and then concentrate on communication, rather than always being grammatically correct (to start). If you need the language for business, then concentrate on those interactions that are most common in your role, and practice accordingly.

Too much time and energy can be wasted on those aspects of a language that are peripheral to what your ultimate aim is. Identify what it is that you need, and go for it.

Employ everyone around you to help

If you are immersed, then you can quickly engage all those people around you to help you in your mission to learn that language. And you must directly ask people to correct you, otherwise, they simply won’t.

If you are not living in a place where the target language is spoken, then seek refuge online in forums where it is, and against actively seek out those who are willing to point out your mistakes and share what is correct. Don’t be too proud, and don’t be afraid to ask. You may need to give a little something in return too (a language exchange, for example, is a place where you can teach your mother tongue in exchange for learning another language).

Produce

This is an obvious point, but quickly shake off the fear of making mistakes, and just produce whatever it is that you are capable of, seeking to learn from the mistakes you make along the way. So, speak, write, complete tests, test yourself and do whatever it takes to get you to where you want to be.

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