Best way to learn a language?


#1

Hi guys,

I know there are many ways to learn a language such as online resources, learning through courses etc but what do you think is the best way to learn a language?

Since I began making money online, I have really learned about the importance of communication and I have realised how lucky I am that English is my first language, but I would like to learn other languages such as German, which I did in school.

I’m guessing actually going to the country which the language you want to learn is spoken would be a great way to pick it up quickly but going to Germany for an extended period isn’t really an option for me.

I thought this would be a good question to ask MPSocial members as I know we all come from different parts of the world and communication is key in this game.

Thank you in advance :slight_smile:


#2

Best way to learn any language is to start learning.


#3

Language is tough, though I’m really bad at it, I’ve tried numerous times and realized it’s something I’m terrible at, like math.

However some programs seemed well structured for learning like Duolingo, Babbel and Rosetta Stone.


#4

is great. I recommend it


#6

The fastest way to learn a language without complete immersion is to use the tools that @ian talked about, plus find someone who’s language is native to that tongue and take lessons.

Classes are fine, but you need one on one plus practice.


#7

I’m Indian and other than English and my mother tongue, I know about 4 other regional languages.

The absolute best way to learn a language in my experience is to just find someone to talk to once you have the basics of the language down from a course or app. A Polish lady who works in my office picked up quite a lot of Hindi by just chatting with her cab drivers and shop keepers here.

Movies (+subs) and music (+lyrics/translations) are really helpful too if you’re into these things. I’ve picked up 2% conversational Japanese (very very basic phrases), with about 15-20% comprehension of the spoken language (0 writing skills, obviously) doing nothing but watching anime/movies!

That said, my learnings have always been faster when I learn the script of any language instead of just learning to speak it. Easier to remember words & phrases when you have a way of storing them, I guess.

Good luck!


#9

Since I studied linguistics, I can easily give you some pointers:

  1. Duolingo and such small apps are fine, but they will only teach you the basics. The last time I tried duolingo was when I was trying to remember some of the German I learned once ago. The experience was basic, but if you are a total beginner, it might be worth sticking to for a month or two.
  2. If you want to speak a language fluently, there’s no other way than talking to a native speaker. If you don’t have the option to buy the services of a local one, I’d suggest italki.com (I’m not affiliated with them in any way). Lots of teachers that you can choose from and some offer excellent quality tutoring. I believe that you can even talk with native speakers (not tutors) for free or something. Never used this one, but if you can find a good tutor, it’s going to speed up the learning process significantly.
  3. Above all, stick to it for at least 3-6 months to see any measurable growth.

#10

So I’m in a similar situation trying to learn a language as fast as possible. I have been living in Austria for over a year now and my German is shit.
When you say a native speaker do you mean get a native friend to find a teacher? Cus since my German is a way to basic my friend speak to me in English. I guess its just easier for them.


#11

No sure if anyone is a fan of Tim Ferris here but he speaks about 7 (maybe more?) languages and recommends fluent forever:

He’s probably got some affiliate link to the book…I’ve got the book and am impressed.
Currently taking on Mandarin and I’m surprised at how well everything sticks into memory.
Really ‘foreign’ words (native English speaker) are recalled with surprising ease. I studied French and Spanish at school/college and am finding Mandarin sinking in quicker which, to me, is strong evidence for this methodology.

It’s a bit more work than duolingo etc but the author explains the science behind taking on languages fast and it makes sense (and does work).


#12

If one is to read though the thread, there is an apparent theme of “need for speed” which if you think about it is somewhat ridiculous.

How many years, classes, exposures, conversations, experiences, etc did it take it you to learn your own language?

A LOT!

There is no hack for this. No app, no shortcut, no memory trick that will allow you to learn a language and be good at it. If there was, everyone would be fluent in at least 4 - 5 languages.

There are people who have a gift for it and tend to pick up things a lot faster. But it is their nature, not a Tim Ferriss’s hack.

At the end of the day, learning a language is like learning any other skill - it is a matter of 1) motivation and 2) practice.

Learn the basics and immerse yourself in craft as much as you can. If that is watching movies with subs, watching sports with commentary in the said language, finding a friend to talk to in said language, reading books, playing games, taking a trip to or something else - do whatever works for you and will keep you engaged the longest.

It will be hard, it it will take time. Everything worth learning does.


#13

There are a lot of apps like Babel that help you learning a language. You will have troubles with the native expressions but you will learn them on the go.


#14

I’ve had good results using flashcards that are optimized in order of how bad I am at remembering the term in question, they are good for simple vocab but you can also attach images and the pronunciation. Good for med/law school too.

I’ve used these guys for years and remember paying $25 for their app back in the day.

https://apps.ankiweb.net/


#15

Learn 3-5 words daily. Connect each of those words with something that the given word reminds you of. For example, the Italian word for “thank you” is “Grazie”. Personally, it reminds me of Graz (the city). So, If I want to remember how to say thank you in Italian, I will recall that city. You only need to learn 3,000 words to be able to speak in foreign language, everything else is of a secondary importance.

Also, it would be good if you find a speaker of that language (someone who won’t criticize you - that is very important), and try to engage in conversation in that language, no matter how much mistakes in pronunciation and grammar you make. It’s the best way to learn the language; when babies say their first words, no one criticizes them but they encourage them. So, your foreign language mentor should encourage you to speak regardless of errors you make.


#16

Move to somewhere that speaks it! Ive been in Colombia the last month or so and my spanish has gotten 100x better
I went there only being able to say Hi “Hola” and now i can say

Hello, goodbye
good morning,
Bye
How are you?
where you from
where we going
whose finger is this?
beer please
Food

amazing right?
All jokes aside I have learned a lot, you just gotta surround your self in it. Also Duolingo (app) is helping alot as well


#17

I found that I don’t have the talent to learn a language.


#18

Travelling to other countries + installing tinder can be a nice experience. Hope you are pretty enough tho lol


#19

in my experience, learning was not the issue…retention was. know 4 words a day – fine and good, it is hard to remember the 4 words you remembered last week! Best way,( for me) watch videos of the culture ( or movies) put on subtitles if have any in your language and practice.


#20

I wouldnt push longer than English + your native language. But it depends liking of each person.


#21

Why? The more the better right?
I’m trying to learn my 4th right now and hopefully won’t stop there.

Hahaha, I tried that but people are to pretty here or I don’t look exotic enough for them to put up with the language barrior.
And tinder girls are crazy man, don’t you think?


#22

It’s not a question of talent. Like everything else it’s a question of effort and putting in the time.
Try going into the country side on the weekends. People there talk simpler Spanish and sight seeing is never a bad idea