It is estimated that over 95% of the British population are monolingual English speakers, compared to the continent where monolingual Europeans are now in the minority. 19% of Europeans are bilingual, 25% are trilingual and 10% speak four or more languages.
If you are thinking about picking up a new language here are a few pointers that should help you learn fast, so you’ll be bilingual (or even trilingual) in no time:
What’s your reason?
This might sound obvious but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language you are less likely to stay motivated in the long-run. Think about why you want to pick up the language, make note of it and then commit to learning it.
You probably think that learning a language as an adult is much harder than learning it as a child, but you’d be wrong. There is new research countering that very ‘fact’, finding that there is no direct link between ‘age and the ability to learn’. Which means there must be another reason as to why children can pick up languages faster than adults and it might come down to their attitude to learning. Young children have an innate lack of self-consciousness that enables them to have the desire to learn and the willingness to make mistakes without worry of being embarrassed. As adults we are far more likely to not want to make mistakes, even though that is exactly how we all learn. This can hold you back when learning languages, so let the fear of making mistakes go and throw yourself into learning. The more mistakes you make the faster you will learn.
Keep it relevant
If you are going to learn a language you need to know how to converse, so make it easy on yourself and learn about what’s relevant to you first. If you make conversation your goal then you are unlikely to lose time on unhelpful textbooks and most importantly, you’ll keep up the interest in your language, meaning you’ll want to keep learning.
Listen to the language you are trying to learn as much as you can, even if you are not concentrating on it too much. Every language that you don’t understand sounds strange at first, but the more you learn the more familiar it will become, which will make it easier to speak.
If you don’t have anyone to converse with in your chosen language, then speak to yourself. Speaking a new language helps to solidify new sounds, words and phrases in your memory so it really is essential that you try to talk in your new language as much as possible.
Learning a new language is in itself a creative act.Think of some fun ways to practice your chosen language: you could write a song, a poem or even a play. Not up to writing from scratch? Try and translate something you enjoy into your new language.
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