Going away soon, but want to be able to converse? Language learning doesn’t have to be difficult, and actually with a bit of strategy you can nail the basics of ANY language in a week!
Lets put this out there. Language learning isn’t hard. We all speak at least one language, and most of us have the bare bones of another language from school lessons. The problem is the school experience tends to put many people off learning a language – perhaps fair enough as school isn’t the best environment to learn a language.
Here’s the thing. Language learning is actually great fun and is a great experience to do two things.
Socialise. And go on holiday.
Sold? You should be. The internet now makes it so much easier to learn a language so actually, even if you don’t have the time or funds to go away, you can still learn easily from your phone/laptop etc.
So if you’re looking at learning the basics of a new language in a week (or two ideally), this is how to do it, Global Playboy style.
There’s no time like the present and this is particularly true when it comes to languages. As we all have smartphones and other electronic devices (kindles, tablets etc) there are a multitude of apps, courses and video lessons that can enable you to start RIGHT NOW.
We all have ten minutes a day when we’re idle (get away from Instagram my friend) and that time can be put to good use. It might be when you’re commuting, it might be when you’re lying awake in bed in the morning, it might even be when you’re on the toilet.
Put that spare time to good use and start learning today. Whats your excuse?
Start at the Beginning
Having learned a few languages the best advice I can offer is not to skip the basics. By this, I mean the alphabet and pronunciation.
After reading this lesson, search online for learning tools for your language and learn how to pronounce the individual letters. It will make it 100 times easier when you have to actually put words together.
Get a Notebook
Don’t let this postpone your starting today (because you WILL start today won’t you) – but having a notebook that fits in your pocket is so handy for language learning. This book will become your personal phrase book, so fill it with things that you want to remember and make sure to look back over it when you have some time.
Don’t forget a pen too!
Talk and Repeat
When learning the most important thing is to talk out loud. People worry they look a bit crazy on the train or with their family looking at them strangely, but honestly, this is the one trick to get the words in your head.
Say words out loud. Repeat them again and again. Make up phrases and try to apply the words you’ve learned to something you might actually say… When you’re going about your day try and say the same words out loud, or use the vocab you have learned.
Find a Friend
Language buddies are great. This is where you practice and speak with someone in your target language and normally help them with their learning too. Don’t be afraid to start speaking even when you’re at the beginning of your learning process.
If you’re in big cities you’ll normally find meetup groups in pubs or other venues – search Meetup.com for language meetups.
You’ll also find a stack of language buddy apps, like iTalki, which offer the opportunity to find someone and chat to them online. If nothing else, this is the best site I have recommended for language learners and one I use myself regularly.
Check out iTalki if you’re serious about learning a language – with access to very affordable private tuition and language buddies.
Do Something EVERY DAY
If you’re looking to learn a language fast then this is the key aspect. The time you put in is what is returned to you in progress, so if you can do ten minutes a day, fine. Twenty or thirty, even better… Whatever you can put in, no matter how long, will make a massive difference.
Sign Up For A Course
Yes, you can pay lots of money to attend a course which will intensively teach you your target language. Udemy.com offers language courses, and the LanguagePod101 series are fantastic.
You’ll also find free course all over the internet for almost any language. Simply search for ‘free X course’, with the X being the language you’re looking to learn.
The Global Playboy 1 Week Language Learning Strategy
This is a very simple approach to nailing your language in a week. This example is built around a Latin or Germanic language, which tend to have things like verbs and cognates with English. If you’re learning a Slavic or non European language you may find that the latter steps differ slightly.
Day One: Pronunciation and basic greetings.
Day Two: Additional greetings and simple numbers.
Day Three: Reinforce greetings, learn simple phrases , ‘I like’, ‘I want’ etc.
Day Four: Basic verb conjugation. ‘To be’, ‘To go’, ‘To have’ etc.
Day Five: Verb study. Add new verbs once you have an understanding of present tense structure.
Day Six: Congates – find vocabulary that is the same in your target language as in your mother tongue.
Day Seven: Additional vocab that you will need.
Once you have started the journey to learning your language you’ll find that your brain becomes more receptive to the process. After all, language is simply communication and it isn’t something complicated. It’s normally just making those tricky first steps that is the hardest part.
Find your online language tutor and/or language buddy at iTalki!
*This article contains affiliate links