How to Master the Basics of Any Language In 5 Easy Steps

May 4, 2021 by

Trying to learn a new language can be overwhelming. There are so many new words, phrases, tenses, and nuances to memorize and master. And if it is a complex one like Mandarin, it can be tedious.

If you try to learn online or through textbooks, you will find that there are too many things being said at the same time. As a result, it looks so daunting and seemingly impossible.

But it does not have to be that way. This guide will take you on a journey of learning any language the easy way. Yes, you read that right – any language.

Get Yourself Ready

One of the first and most important things to do is to be ready to learn. Sometimes, you could start learning a language on a whim. Then, after a few weeks or months – if you last that long – you decide it is too hard.

Ask yourself why you need it. Will it make your life better? Will it add anything to you? Even if it is just to add to what you already know, make sure it is important to you personally.

Next, be honest with yourself and write down what it will take you to understand it. It is hard work but if you put your back into it, it is worth the effort. But the good part of it is that it can be fun.

Finally, be ready to put in the time needed to learn it. It takes as much time as it takes hard work to learn a language and be fluent. It is important you don’t start now and stop after just a few weeks. It would mean that all the time and effort already used are in vain.

People go to university just to learn languages. And they do this because they understand its importance in their lives. So treat this with the same importance.

You can click here for more on top universities to learn foreign languages.

Have a Plan

While learning a new language, it is easier and more fun when you have set goals before you. Then, consciously work towards reaching those goals within the stipulated time.

However, you have to realistic when setting such goals. Be ambitious but don’t go overboard. Give yourself breathers and congratulate yourself when you achieve a goal.

For example, your aim is to learn German and be fluent. Don’t push yourself to become fluent by the end of 3 months. Doing this makes the process harder and you tend to forget what you already learned when you push too hard.

Instead, set small goals that can be reached within short periods. You will learn with a more relaxed mind this way.

Here are helpful ways to do this:

i. If it is possible, travel to that country whose language you are learning. It goes a long way to be in an environment where that is the only one spoken. Your subconscious will pick words and you learn faster. People usually love seeing people making an effort to learn their language. So they tend to do all they can to help the process.

ii. If traveling is not possible, find a native speaker and regularly converse with them. Do this even if you don’t have a grasp of it yet. It is part of practice, you know.

iii. Read children’s books in the language. They tend to use basic words and grammar. Also, listen to and watch programs presented in that language regularly. It helps your speaking skills when you are able to hear and understand what is said.

Learn Important Words First

Find the most important words in the language you want to learn. Then, choose about 300 of them. When you have a grasp of the words and their usage, pick the next batch.

Doing this gives you a lot of results with so little effort. You find you are able to converse better and listen to others without feeling lost.

Every language has thousands and thousands of words. However, only a few tens or a hundred are used every day. Words such as I, we, you, me, my, your, our, them, want, go, come, eat, water, what, where and the likes are examples.

Therefore, pick these ones and master them fast. Then, practice speaking them regularly to embed them in your memory and get used to them.

It will amaze you how well you will be able to converse with native speakers when you master using these words. And you will find that your confidence expands when you are able to pass a message across successfully.

We know that learning with textbooks and other such materials can be overwhelming. But there are a few books and online courses that can help you on this journey.

YouTube is a treasure-trove of such online courses. A site like language throne is another where you’ll find easy-to-use resources for learning, whichever language it is.

Speak the Language

After learning the most important, everyday words, it is time to try speaking what you already know.

Don’t be afraid to try this; it is part of the process. It helps the words stick to your memory. What’s more, you could learn better ways to structure sentences when you try conversing with a native speaker.

It is important not to wait long before speaking the language, using the words you know. Why? This is because it makes the learning process real to you. If you have been learning without applying, speaking brings it to life.

You also find that you don’t forget the words so easily. Learning from the books is one thing; using the words entrenches them in your mind.

Additionally, speaking builds your vocabulary and grammar. As you speak, you will discover new and better words as well as ways to upgrade your grammar.

One way to improve your speaking, apart from conversing with a native speaker, is to use a tutor. If you are willing to spend money on one, there are many you can find online. But do this only if you don’t mind having mini-classes along the way.

However, if you opt to use one, be sure to choose right. It makes all the difference. So how do you know if you have chosen the right tutor?

You will know if they:

  • Are pleasant and easy to talk to
  • Offer correction in a manner that does not discourage you.
  • Have common interests with you
  • Are empathetic of how difficult it is to learn a new language
  • Are supportive and patient
  • Know your goals and work to help you reach them
  • Encourage you to speak as often as possible
  • Explain the use of words and grammar generally but not in a manner that gets you confused

Try more than one tutor until you find the right one. You don’t have to stick with the first one you find unless they fit your needs perfectly. Otherwise, keep looking until you get the right fit.

You can have steady conversations with them. A tutor will always be more readily available than any other person.

Have your tutor ask you basic questions in the language. Then, try to answer them as correctly as possible. Work your way up from there to build your confidence.

Don’t Stop Speaking the Language

Practice makes perfect, they say. And this is true. You become an expert in that which you practice often or always. And languages are no different.

While many resources claim it is almost effortless to learn any language, it is not entirely true. It takes speaking it regularly to truly learn it. So speak and don’t stop.

Take out time to study your learning material every day, at least for 30 minutes. If you can spend a longer time, all the better. Then, add about 1 hour of speaking with a native speaker or your tutor if you have one.

If you cannot give that much time to speaking every day, do it 3 times every week. Make a habit out of it so that you get uncomfortable when you don’t do it.

With time, you will find yourself creating a natural pattern with which you easily flow. This way, it won’t take too long to become fluent.

Another way to relax with the language is to say jokes in it. As we said earlier, it is easier to learn a language when you have fun with it.

Therefore, find jokes you are comfortable with and say them in that language. Since jokes usually use contemporary words, you will understand every day, conversational words much quicker this way.

Tips for Easy Learning

The following are tips that will help make learning any language easier for you than any other learner:

Write Words Down

Little else works at helping you remember than speaking or writing down what you learn. Though writing the old-fashioned way seems to be going out of fashion, make it a habit to write down new words and phrases with a pen and paper.

You will find that doing this etches the words and phrases in your memory better than just reading them. To make it more fun and easier to remember, you can use different ink colors for different words and phrases.

Watch TV Programs

What better way to spend your day than watching your favorite shows and programs? But you can turn it into a learning time by watching programs in that language you are learning.

You may not understand everything happening at first but consistency is key. Watching TV this way helps your ability to pick up words in that language, learn contemporary words, phrase sentences better and improve general sentence structures.

Here is what you can do:

Watch the programs, whether movies or TV series, without any subtitle. If you get lost at any point, try using a subtitle in English. Watch the same thing over and again until you are familiar with it.

Then, remove the subtitle and watch the same program in your native language. See if you understand anything. Write down what you do understand for practice later.

Use Music

It is widely known and accepted that music helps people learn languages. Because most people like music, they tend to sing along even when they don’t understand a word of it.

Therefore, get songs in that language you are learning. Find ones you can vibe to and play them until they stick to your memory. It is easy to find lyrics online these days so you can find them and learn the words.

If it seems to be too much, slow down. Go with the easiest part first, which is usually the chorus. Know the words and infuse them into your vocabulary if they are appropriate. Then, get the words of other parts of the song. It makes for a more wholesome journey.

Change the Language on Your Phone

Phones are like everyone’s best friend these days. So when you set it to the new language and look at it, you have to understand what you need to do, reading in that language. Over time, if you don’t give up, you will find yourself getting comfortable with it.

Another thing you can do along these lines is to change the language you communicate with on your social media platforms, even your emails. In no time, you will get used to everyday words such as share, read, copy, like, and so on. This is especially true if you stick to it.

Conclusion

A new language may seem like something exciting and adventurous at first. But when you start, you will quickly discover it is not a walk in the park; it is hard work.

However, if you can reduce the work you have to do or make it fun, why not? Therefore, this guide is tailored to make the process easier and simpler. It is not just about speaking it but also writing it.

Remember: speak it and don’t stop. Don’t get discouraged even if you sound like a mess at first. Everyone does at some point. But consistency is key.

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