Do you know what the secret to learning a foreign language is? Well, frankly speaking, there are many secrets, but let’s focus on this particular one today. If you really want to be proficient, you have to incorporate the language into your daily life.
The biggest mistake people make while learning a new tongue is when they learn it the same way they would learn geography or history. If everything you do is sitting at the desk and learning the vocabulary and grammar, chances are you will never know the language well. Because if you want to know the language well, you have to use it – whenever you can.
Many of you will now say: “Easier said than done”. Not true. As a proof, I will give you a few ideas you may find interesting and useful. And what’s best, my ideas won’t even require you to leave your home!
Are you a YouTube fan? Then search for a channel in the language you’re studying. If you can’t find one, maybe there is a YouTuber who’s Marshallese, Samoan, etc. and who – from time to time – likes to throw in a few phrases in their native tongue?
If you don’t like YouTube, I’m sure you enjoy watching movies or listening to music. So choose a good film and watch it in its original version, with (or without) subtitles. And then pick out an artist or a song you like and just chill out. After some time you may be able to understand the lyrics.
And of course, we can’t forget about books. Nowadays, you can get books written in most of the world’s tongues (I found a few written in Marshallese), so all you have to do is find some free time to read. Don’t get discouraged if you have no clue what the story is about – that’s completely normal. I can assure you that sooner or later this will change.
Is there anything else you can do? Sure! You can make notes, for example. A shopping list is a quick and easy way to practice vocabulary. And if you have to ask uncle Google a question, try not to do it in your mother tongue. Uncle Google is a smart guy, he will know what you mean.