Saturday, 25 January 2014

How to learn a language in 1-2-3

1. The word is 'learning', not studying. Have fun with it.

It's not Civil Law. A language is more like a sport: practise it and you'll learn. Ergo: jump into the bath.

Of the 5 languages I speak, there's only Spanish that I learned in one month only, and for the best reason that exists: having no alternative.

I was in a small village in Spain and thus went through an accelerated process of stumbling and struggling.

(Which, by the way, everyone who ever learned a language had to go through. Don't think for a split second that you "do not have the talent for it").

The second best option is: switch your life into that language. Be it the settings of your Facebook or cell phone, be it the songs you would watch on YouTube or the music in the background: immerse yourself in - and surround yourself with - the language you want to learn.

But then again, I'm a great believer in that 'learning a language' is not a field of study, but a fun sports or game. What with all the great and fun Spanish music, it sort of 'came to me', as a nice breeze (German was more like camping in a storm - for me as a romantic that was an even greater experience though).

2. Find someone who helps and motivates you. Like this person. He's great.

His enthusiasm and results really rubs off on others. That helps, seeing the fun factor in it. Better: someone like this around you!

Personally I love those 'polyglots' you find on YouTube. If I want to learn a new language it's with them I check how it sounds, how easy or difficult it will be etc.

3. First, think hard why you want to learn a language fast...

For obviously, the easier the language... the least useful for professional or marketing purposes. For it means that many already speak it - or at least more than there are demands for it.

The same applies to 'quickly': there's just no demand for non-quality in the world.

Anything of worth or that comes with a reputation or that establishes a deep emotional connection... is difficult.

I would only ever go for that 'easy, quick' language - if it's a language belonging to a culture that you really, really love.

That love, by the way, will accelerate the process unlike anything else. No love? Forget about quick, forget about easy. Impossible. It's like wanting to win Wimbledon but not liking tennis!

In short, do you want to 'speak a language very quickly'? 

Start speaking it now. It'll feel like climbing over a hurdle, as the clown in the stadium. And the next two weeks will not be much different.

Jump in the bath. You can't learn how to swim with a bucket of water either. Which is what language courses at school so often do... forever dragging the process over years and years of a drip or a bucket of water - whereas the only way for fast results is to jump into the water.

So far, I haven't found any online course or tip that really makes it faster.

Not sure which languages to learn?

Discover the language predictions for 2025.

Veel geluk!



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