1. Surround yourself with the language
The first and most obvious lesson is to surround yourself with the language you’re trying to learn. This means watching movies in that language, listening to music in that language, and reading books and newspapers in that language. The more you hear it the more familiar it will sound and the easier it will be for you to pick up on words and grammar patterns. You’ll also pick up a lot of slang from watching movies or listening to music! It’s very important though not to fall into a routine of only using English while doing these things because it can really hinder your ability when trying to speak, read, or write in this new language! I always try my hardest when doing these activities so I don’t just rely on subtitles but try my best at getting through them without them as much as possible (this doesn’t work for everyone but if you do have an option choose one without subtitles). These are some great resources: iTunes (for iPhone users), Spotify (for Android & iPhone users), YouTube (all smartphones/tablets), Netflix (anywhere!), Google Play Movies & TV (Android users) HBO GO/HBO NOW – If you don’t have cable you can use HBO GO or HBO NOW from your phone/tablet!!! Most shows are available as well! Subscription may be required depending on your provider. I think learning languages is fun and easy. You watch shows at your own pace, and you can start and stop when you want. There are thousands of videos, games, and quizzes that will help you learn all about the language!
2. Don’t just focus on reading/writing…listen and speak too!
Speaking a language is a very important part of learning it because without speaking it how else will you use it?! The problem I find with most people who learn languages is that they try to do everything else first (reading & writing), but then get frustrated when they realize they don’t know how to speak the language yet! So my best advice for this is: if you’re going to watch movies in the language you’re trying to learn, try watching them with subtitles turned off or dubbing turned on! Start paying attention to what’s going on in these movies so that eventually the subtitles aren’t necessary anymore (hopefully). And while doing this feel free to pause occasionally so that if something doesn’t make sense right away or if there’s a word or phrase that catches your attention but seems unfamiliar ask someone what it means!!! It may be hard at first but eventually understanding enough of what’s being said will come easily as long as you put some effort into listening/speaking. I like learning a language is fun and easy. The videos are very interactive so you can learn the words, grammar and phrases that you need to know right away!
3. Learn some basics before trying to jump in too much…
I would start off by learning the alphabet (for whichever language you’re trying to learn) and some basic common phrases in the language. This way when it comes time for you to watch movies or listen to music or read books/newspapers, it’ll be easier for you because if there’s a word or phrase that doesn’t make sense then at least you know how to say “what does this mean?” which will make things much less confusing as well! I usually try my best when watching movies but sometimes I get stuck on something that I don’t understand so if it’s not too important of a scene then I’ll pause until someone can help me out with whatever word(s) or phrase(s) have caught my attention but don’t quite make sense.
A pocket-size book of useful words and phrases in the language you’re trying to learn, such as “Where is the bathroom?”, “Do you speak English?”, or “Good morning!”. These can be found at your local bookstore or online. Also, it’s a good idea to memorize some common vocabulary, such as numbers (1-10), days of the week (Monday-Sunday), and months of the year (January-December). If you’re going to travel in this country/city/town where they speak this language then it might be worthwhile to take a class beforehand so that when it comes time for you to actually use all these new things learned they’ll be fresh in your mind!
4. Don’t give up! It will get easier…
At first most things may seem pretty tough, but once you become more familiar with what’s going on around you and with being able to understand simple conversations while watching movies or listening to music then eventually everything will not seem so hard anymore and instead feel like something that can easily be accomplished! The only thing I ask is that if there are still words or phrases that don’t make sense don’t get discouraged about them!!! Instead ask someone who speaks English how their pronunciation would sound if translated into English because sometimes people pronounce things differently from one another just like how we do here in America.