Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Let's learn a language!!!

Today we're going to talk about learning a new language, sure many of you want to learn a new one and maybe you want to do it on your own, but how?

Hello World! in several languages
I think that there are two ways: a longer one that I used for English and a second one, shorter, that helped me with Spanish.

With the first method you could start searching online some website specialized in teaching languages, there are planty of them on the internet, you will learn grammar, expressions and common words, so when you will have a solid base (depending on how much you practiced), you can start reading news online in that foreign language, with your good friend Google Translate helping you with that.

I link this handful extension for Google Chrome, called Google Dictionary, you can configure it with your own language and when you're reading a text you can just double click on a word to get its translation.
There's a similar version for Firefox, i haven't tried it out, but it should work as expected.

Now that you've studied grammar and expanded your dictionary it's time to develop your listening and speaking skills, how? Well, in my opinion, the best way is to watch videos in the foreign language. First of all you should start with YouTube, sure you're gonna find videos in a language about something you like, that's the key, when you start, try to watch something you're interested in. I like tech stuff and videogames, so at the beginning i started watching videoreviews about phones and videogameplay (so nerd i know! XD), but the fact is that if you listen to something you're familiar with, the comprehension will be surely better.

When you feel ready, you can start watching something harder, like tv-shows or tv-series. I do it all the time, and this really helps a lot. Obviously, you will need subtitles, I suggest at first, in your own language and when you will be more prepared, in the language you're studying. After a while you will realize that you're understanding has improved and you're dictionary enlarged. Furthermore, your speaking skills will be improved as well, even without practice, because listening a lot will help you knowing the right pronunciation of words.

As i said, this way is pretty long, but i think it's the best one if you want to properly learn a new language.
Now let's talk about the second way, i said it's shorter, but how it works? Simple, find a foreign friend!

Exactly, if you find a foreign friend, probably online, you have a great chance to learn a language without studying too much. This was my case about Spanish, it all started when I  was looking for a way to practice my English, so i found a website called "Interpals", it allows you to contact people from all over the world who wants to learn languages as well, so you could find a person who speaks the language you wanna learn and at the same time is trying to learn yours!

I found a Spanish friend there, i was not expecting to learn it, but well after emailing a while we started to skype as well, and phone each oher. I had absolutely no base in Spanish, but in a couple of months I could properly have a speech with a Spaniard without too many problems. Of course Italian and Spanish are pretty similar and this helped a lot, but I'm sure that if you find a good friend and you're really inquisitive( you have to be willing and very curious), in no time at all you will find yourself speaking a new language!

The key is to remember the translated sentences and the meaning in your native language. Actually is a method, in which you don't have to study grammar, the way you learn is by "copying" the others, and eventually you will be able to make diferent sentences, and what's better is that your friend will be there to correct you! :)

Then again, if you want a better base, after you feel pretty comfortable with this new language, try to follow the first method's steps, you will find them easier and then you will have a total "language background" and you will be ready!!!

That's all for now, tell me if you had an experience like this and if you know a better method to learn a language. Byee!!! :)

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