3 Hacks for Learning a New Language

Raise your hand if you’d like to know other languages besides the ones you speak already. Are you raising it? I feel you!! I think I have never really realised the power of knowing other languages until I started travelling quite a lot. And trust me, I have never really had a good relationship with learning new languages.

Actually, when I was in primary school since I loved English so much I thought I would loved learning languages, then middle school arrived and I had to choose a third language to learn and I took French. Well, let’s say that during those three years I realized that okay, maybe I’m pretty good at English but I’m not talented for being polyglot so I totally abandoned my thought about taking languages studies. Then Uni arrived and due to my itinerant course (to know more about it click here πŸ˜‰ ) if I want to have a double bachelor I have to take a language so it was like a “Oh, hi again French”. But you know what? The more I travel the more I discover the power of knowing more than one/two languages, not only it’s super useful from a practical point of view but also from a cultural, career and open-minding aspect. So to try to get in peace with my French I tried to find other ways of learning it rather than only going to class at Uni and I thought about sharing it with you, hopefully they will be useful tips for someone else as well! πŸ™‚

1 | Online classes with Lingoda.com

This one was kind of a revelation for me.Β Lingoda.comΒ is an online language school that offers you the possibility to set up your language goals and plan a kind of path in order to reach them. It’s literally like going to a school language but while staying at home or in any place you find yourself. They have both private or group classes and you can decide which class to attend based on the hour that fits you better and on the topic you want to improve/learn more about. You’ll have the materials of the class available as soon as you subscribe to that class so you can read or go through the topic previously and then you’ll be guided by a teacher throughout all the lecture who will correct you and give you advices. The teachers I connected with were all very polite and helpful, always trying to give extra suggestions about how to remember particular rules for example or putting them into a daily conversation context so it is simpler to understand. Homework is also provided and the answers as well so that you can review the class and go through what learnt. I really found Lingoda a very well organized service and perfect for who like me, likes having goals and plans πŸ˜‰

2 | Join Conversation Meetups

What about helping someone learning a new language, improving the language you’d like to learn more and at the same time meeting new people? Then joining a conversation meetup would be a great opportunity: on one side you’ll help someone learning a language you already know by chatting with them and when the time is ended you’ll start speaking the language YOU would like to learn. You can Google the name of the town/city you are and “conversation meetups” and it will be very easy finding one near you! (Sometimes even Hostels or Pubs host these kind of evenings πŸ˜‰ )

3 | Listen to Podcasts

I love listening to music and I listen to it any time I can during the day: when I walk to Uni, when I blog, when I wash the dishes… well, I decided to switch at least one “music moment” of the day where instead of music I listened to a podcast in French and it really helped with my vocabulary and listening skills! You can find many of them in YouTube or specific website based on the language you’d like to learn πŸ™‚

Overall, I believe what helped me most were the Lingoda.com classes, since I was able to practice both with a teacher and by myself but with guidelines that helped me to see if I was doing it right or not.

Hopefully these tips will be useful for you as well and do not hesitate to ask me any questions about it in the comments below!

 

What about you, which are your tips for learning a new language? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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This post was written by Lisa, an Italian girl globetrotting around Europe, blues&soul music lover and singer, addicted to crafting & healthy food. Oh yes, and in the meanwhile she’s a Marketing student.

Mmmm what else? She’s definitely a morning person, really lazy when it comes to make up and could spend more time in a stationary store than in a clothes one –

She loves sharing thoughts, feelings and reactions so do not hesitate to comment or contact her!

29 Comment

  1. Liliia says: Reply

    Must admit that conversation meet-ups never work for me. Now i am learning spanish and even though my husband is Spanish I cant talk in Spanish to him πŸ˜€ we are still speaking English with each other lol However what works for me is reading a book, depending on the level of course. I think also i m more visual person so I have to SEE how it is written and in what context. I always recommend people to read books in the language you want to learn.
    And of course just talking, the hardest part of overcoming this fear.
    Oh, also as for programs I use RosettaStone, a great program! My husband learnt Russian to an adequate level to communicate with my family thank to this program πŸ™‚

    1. Oh yes I understand your struggle! It was tough for me as well at the beginning!
      Ans yes, reading is also a great opportunity! Didn’t know abouut RosettaStone, will definitely try it, thanks for the advice! And good luck with your Spanish! πŸ™‚

  2. Jenny says: Reply

    Oh yes, there’s so many times where I wish I was bilingual. I’m obviously fluent in English and in retrospect I wish so badly that I could speak my own native language, Korean. I can understand and translate it in English no problem, I’m also decent with vocabulary words but speaking full sentences is nearly impossible for me. My mom always tells me to just go to a Korean function or as you said, “meet up” where they speak the language so that you become more acquainted. I’ve also used Duo-lingo (another online program) to brush up on my Spanish which was kind of helpful. I wonder how similar duo lingo would be to lingoda! Maybe I’ll look into their practices as well!

    xo, JJ

    1. Oh I feel you, I’m in the same situation you are with Korean, but for french!
      I hope you’ll keep it up though, it most be a very interesting language! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never tried conversation meetups. I’m going to check out Lingoda though! Another place I recommend is Duolingo! (https://www.duolingo.com) It’s free, and really works. You have to invest time daily to do it, but it really helps me. And they just added robots that you can talk to to improve your language learning skills! Check it out. I think they are awesome to be FREE! So you currently speak Italian and English…is Italian your first language?

    1. Oh yes I used duolingo as well last year, it’s a great app to practice!
      Yes, Italian is my first language, the english and I’m trying to improve my french! πŸ™‚

  4. Perfect tips, Lisa! I had never heard of Lingoda, will certainly give it a try! Listening to podcasts is definitely a great way to pick up a language too. It might sound funny, but another thing that helped me tremendously is watching TV shows, cartoons or movies, because the script is usually written in everyday language so you get to pick up conversational language and slang. Plus it’s effortless way to while away an hour or two while also learning something new! πŸ™‚ xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.com

    1. Oh yes watching a movie/video is also very useful!!
      Thank you for sharing and for stopping by, glad you liked the post! πŸ™‚

  5. Angie says: Reply

    I’m taking daily Spanish lessons at the moment. I took it in school, but I’m finally able to put it to use here in Barcelona. And I love it! I use Duolingo.com right not for daily lessons, and when we go out, I try to speak it or at least recite the words I know based on what I see. Anything I can translate from English to Spanish, I try to, even when I’m at home.

    1. Oh that’s also a great way to exercize! Thank you for sharing and keep going with your spanish! πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for these suggestions. I tried to learn German in High School, but I wasn’t into it. But now I want to learn Spanish, so I’m going to be checking out these suggestions.

    1. Oh great these tips are useful! Thank you for stopping by Jennifer! πŸ™‚

  7. Conoscevo solo meetups, perΓ² Γ¨ utile sapere cose nuove!

    1. Felice che sia stata una lettura utile! πŸ™‚

  8. SAN says: Reply

    Very useful! Thanks for sharing those tips! X

    1. Thank you for reading! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh this is great and so perfect for me! One of the goals i set for myself was to learn Spanish to Fluency! I’ll have to try Lingoda. One thing I discovered was “News in Slow Spanish” and they have other languages too! But its an app that goes through the news and current events, but slowly, so its easier to follow!

    A meetup is a great idea too! dang! Good post!

    Angie
    http://www.bobodesignstudio.com/blog/2017/1/26/death-before-decaf

    1. Glad you liked the post Angie!
      Oh that’s such a great app idea, must definitely be very useful! Let me know if you try one of the suggestion listed! πŸ™‚

  10. Debbie says: Reply

    Oh, Lisa, this is inspiring! Thank you. I’ve wanted to learn a language, and I think I let my concern about making a mistake stand in my way. πŸ™‚
    Still considering it though. Have a little Spanish, German, and very little bit of Hebrew.
    Hope you are great. Thanks for another uplifting post!!!
    Blessings, Debbie

    1. Hey Debbie!Glad you liked the post πŸ™‚
      Learning a new language ise defintiely openminding from so many points of view! And that’s good you already know a little of other languages, it’s a great start! πŸ™‚

  11. Allie says: Reply

    Love this post, Lisa! So, I grew up in the United States and of course learned English as my first language. I’ve found that a lot of Americans can be kind of lazy about language. It’s like we expect everyone to know English instead of us learning other languages. I took Spanish, French, and German in middle school, and then focused on Spanish in high school in college.

    I really like your tips! I never thought about checking out Podcasts. I’ve found a few language apps that I’ve enjoyed, especially Duolingo!

    1. Thank you Allie, so happy you like it!
      Ahh yes I know what you mean, but that’s so good of you to learn a new language! Keep going! πŸ™‚

  12. Lulu says: Reply

    Great suggestions! Thanks for sharing them! I’m trying to learn a little bit of French for my trip to Paris in May, and new resources are always welcome. A woman at my yoga studio is a high school French teacher, and she recommended Duolingo, which is a free smartphone app. I really like it! It lets you practice speaking, listening, and writing. I will definitely check out the tips you listed. Thanks again!

    1. Glad to hear the post was useful! I’ve used Duoling a few year ago and it’s a great app, good luck with your french! πŸ™‚

  13. Manon says: Reply

    I’m French and also speak English and a bit of italian too ! And currently trying to learn swedish, but it’s hard to keep motivated haha !

    1. Oh that’s so cool! I bet swedish it’s not an easy language!! keep going! πŸ™‚

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  15. Alana says: Reply

    I’ve heard so many stories of immigrants learning English from watching TV, that watching podcasts would be a natural. I am not bilingual I’m in my 60’s and I would like to learn a second language to keep my mind active. I didn’t know about either of the other resources you mentioned, so thank you!

    1. I’m glad to hear this Alana! Good luck with the new language! πŸ™‚

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