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Learning a new language: Some advice from our translators

Learning a new language is great, but it’s a long and tough process that has many detours. We will always be learning! And that’s what enriches your language skills. Italian, German, Finnish, Chinese, or even Russian: there’s such a variety to choose from!

So here is some advice from our translators that will be useful to you in your new language learning adventure.

1 . Reading, TV Series and so on!

In order to progress, there’s nothing more simple! Reading books, watching movies or your favourite TV series in your target language is all it takes. Comfortably sat on your bed or couch, armed with a dictionary and subtitles, you will learn new words, new sentence structures, and you can get a feel for the rhythm of the language. For example, the next time you go to the cinema, go to see a movie in the original language. Another thing to note, thanks to bilingual books, you can now compare both languages while you read.

2 . Long live technology!

We live in a world with so many possibilities. Thanks to technology, learning a new language is child’s play (well, almost). Your phone will be your best ally. There are so many useful applications available for language learning for example, Duolingo or Babbel. You can choose how much time to spend on the app each day and even create reminders. 5 to 10 minutes a day is enough to make progress. You can also use word game applications such as Word Search or Words of Wonders thanks to which you can practise and improve your English.

3 . Don’t do it alone!

Find yourself an e-partner to help with the learning process and motivate you. Or even join language exchange groups with people of every level. Look into the language exchange groups near you! Exchanging and talking allows you to improve and put what you have learned to use. This is an essential step in language learning. Speak with friends who are native speakers or join internet groups, or apps like Tandem. Because after all, the reason we learn a language is to speak it!

4 . Get ready for take off!

One of the most efficient ways of learning a language is total immersion. Pack your bags and immerse yourself in the culture, experiencing daily life in a foreign country is an incredible experience that will always be culturally enriching. This way, you have to speak the language, which leaves you with no other choice but to keep improving. In less than two weeks you’ll be able to order a coffee in the café at the corner and what’s even better is that you’ll be able to taste all the local cuisine. If you’re still a student, why not do an Erasmus year or a semester?

5 . Consistency is key!

In order to progress, you have to put in the work! Working consistently will help you in reaching your goals. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, 10 minutes a day is enough to progress, as long as you work (almost) every day. You can read or work on a mobile application just about anywhere, on public transports, on planes or even on trains. Stop procrastinating and get to work! Soon you’ll understand all the secrets of your target language.

So, are we ready? Which language would you like to learn?

By Annika Buslaps, for ACS Traduction, 2019.