How to learn a new language fast? 

Comment apprendre une nouvelle langue rapidement ?

You want to learn a new language by yourself, quickly without having to travel in other countries? It is possible! Of course, it will take more time if you want to become bilingual, but if you want to understand a foreign language and to participate in conversations, this blogpost is for you. Have fun!

1. Learn the basis

To start with, you have to learn the basis of the language you want to understand, that is to say the tenses, the conjugation, the most used verbs, the sentence structure or word order, the numbers, the gender and number of nouns, some prepositions, some conjunctions and adverbs, some nouns and some adjectives. Okay, it seems to be a lot, but this is necessary and pretty easy! You can buy or borrow a grammar book from the library and read it, or you can also get grammar lessons for free on internet, just google it! Here are two examples of website I have been using in order to improve my english: englishgrammar and learn-english-today.

I want to add that the best way to learn a language is to take classes with a teacher. When you do so, you are corrected if you make mistakes, you can ask questions if you do not understand something, you can practise and do a lot of exercices, and you do not get lost on internet looking for grammar lessons. Some language classes are free if you are in the University or in school, just get some informations about it. 😉

2. Learn some vocabulary

If you want to understand a language, you have to know some vocabulary so that you have to learn a lot of new words. In fact, you will be able to communicate (speak and write) more clearely, you will understand people more easily and, reciprocally, people will understand you more easily.

You can find vocabulary lists on internet, you just have to print one of them and learn it. For example, you can learn two or three words a day. I know vocabulary lists associating words with some pictures exists. They are very useful and help your brain to make connections between the object or the idea and the word.
You can also use an app which will help you to learn some new words such as Memrise, Babbel or Duolingo.
When you meet a new word and you do not know its meaning, please do not miss out! Open your dictionary and find its translation, it only takes two minutes and you will have learn a new word!

3. Read, read, and read

The more you read, the more words you are exposed to. In addition, it is pretty easy to find something to read.

You can consult websites in the language you want to learn, just chose a topic you like and read it.
You can also read books or magazines. In France we have Vocable which is a magazine helping you to learn English, Spanish or German. I love this magazine since it unites articles from popular newspapers and give you the translation of the complicated words. You can familiarize you with sentence structures and learn some vocabulary about current subjects, this is a good deal!
Moreover, you can change the language of you mobile phone. This is an easy way to learn a new language.
In addition, you can follow foreigners on social media. Each time you go on Twitter, you read in a foreign language and over time, you will speak more it easily!

4. Train your ear

It is very important to train you ear to understand a new language. In fact, the intonations are not the same to a language from another so that you have to know how to recognize the accent and at best, you have to learn how to imitate it.

For example, you can watch youtube videos about something you like, or watch films or series with subtitles or not (as you prefer), or a TV program. You can also listen to a foreign radio or foreign musics.
Some examples of Spanish series: El Ministerio Del Tiempo, Narcos, Alli Abajo, Mar De Plastico…
Some examples of British series: Sherlock, Doctor Who, The Crown, Doctor Foster, The Five, Crashing (UK), Undercover…
Some examples of American series: Grey’s Anatomy, Flash, Arrow, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Vampire Diaries, Criminal Mind, Once Upon A Time…
Some examples of French series: Clem, Plus Belle La Vie, Versailles, Fais Pas Ci Fais Pas Ca, Sam, Baron Noir, Profilage, Section de Recherches…

5. Play games

You can download free games app on your phone and play in a foreign language. Or, you can do word games on internet, in books or in newspapers such as crossword puzzles, word jumble, anagrams, Scrabble or Boggle. These games will help you to discover new words and expand your vocabulary easily.

6. Interact with people

You have to practicate a lot and to be engaged in conversations if you want to progress. In addition, you have to interact in your language daily. No, you do not have to have time or money to travel in a country where it is a native language. Today, thanks to internet, you can speak with strangers through social media and this is a really interesting point. Make friends and share your culture with them!

7. Talk to yourself

Okay, it might seem a little bit weird but I assure you that this is actually really effective. When you have no one else to speak to, you can speak to yourself with the little voice in your head. It is all right! By doing this, you keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind, you can also improve your vocabulary and your expression, you can find words more quickly to make sentences and you hesitate less.

8. Improve your writting

By writing in a foreign language, you train yourself to think in this language and to find words more quickly. You can do dictates or you can use a journal. You do not have to write a lot of things, just what you have in mind. You can also have a blog like me! If there are some kind people who can help you to improve your writing, you will progress fast!

I hope this post will have make you want to learn a new language! If so, what language?
In French we say ‘J’espère que ce post vous a donné envie d’apprendre une nouvelle langue ! Si oui, quelle langue ?’

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