7 secrets to learn a language quickly

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Always wanted to learn a language, but you think you're too old, not talented enough, or just too busy? we reveals 7 secrets to learning a language quickly and easily.

1. Studying grammar is for academics, communication is king

If you plan on using the language with people and not just for exams, put the books and perfectionism aside. Grammar doesn't help you to speak a language, but to improve language skills. You MUST make mistakes and lots of them. Embrace this and you'll learn it faster and reach your goal more efficiently. When you're ready and feel comfortable using the language, it's a good idea to come back to this topic.

2. Speak the language from day one

Don't wait any longer! People are way too preoccupied with the preparation until the day when they might be ready. This logic doesn't make sense, because there's always something missing, so you never, ever feel like you're 100% prepared. The only solution to this vicious circle is to get out of it. Speak now, even if you've only learned a few words and phrases! It will be difficult to get started with this, but you'll progress faster!

3. Start with a translation guide, learn it quickly and use it

The only book Skyscanner finds very useful for learning a language as quickly as possible is a cheap little travel guide. Lonely Planet, Berlitz or a similar book is good enough. Read the sentences and memorize them. Singing along with phrases makes it a lot easier to remember and apply them.

4. Use vocabulary repetition cards

There is a free program that you can download on your computer called Anki. This allows you to download pre-made decks of cards with the most common/key words of your target language. You can study them from your computer or use a version of the app on your smartphone.

5. Meet people before you travel

If you're in the country of your target language, it's relatively easy to meet people and practice with them. You can also do this before you travel. This allows you to gain a lot of practical experience! Some good ways to do this are:

  • Search meetup.com to see if there is a weekly or monthly meeting where you can practice the language.
  • Use the couchsurfing.org website and instead of looking for a place to sleep, search for your place of residence with the language criteria you want. This way you can meet people who speak this language. The people on this website are very open to meeting outsiders.
  • Ask your friends, the local library, church, clubs, or anywhere else you can think of a group or speaker in the appropriate language and connect with them.

6. Don't think so much, just do it!

One of the main problems people have when learning a language is trust. They always think about the many ways things can go wrong, reminding themselves how stupid they are. Clear your head and start talking. You exaggerate how bad things are, just let the words flow, and use some techniques that relax you and give you confidence. Remember that it doesn't matter to make mistakes, most residents like it when foreigners make the effort to communicate in their own language.

7. Have fun and enjoy speaking!

You are communicating with someone in a completely different language! That's what matters in the end. You can never do it wrong, it's not like in school that you fail after a number of mistakes.

You exchange thoughts and ideas, ask questions and enjoy this fun new way of communicating. Mistakes, nervousness and excuses that it's difficult can't get around the fact that "simply pronouncing the words" means you're communicating in another language.

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