I hope you are all doing great!
As you already know, I come from Greece, but live in Austria. I have also mentioned that my boyfriend is Spanish. Why do I tell you all this?! Well, I speak four languages: Greek, English, German and Spanish. Fun fact: the language I learned the fastest is the one that I learned by myself, without any course, or any books or lessons.
Just by following these simple tips:
1. Listen! That’s how I started learning Spanish. I had just moved in with two Spanish friends (one of my best friends, and my boyfriend), and as you can imagine they talked a lot in their language. And I listened. A lot. After a while, I could understand most of what they were saying. So much that I even decided to try speaking! But of course you don’t need to move in with different language speaking people to listen to them talk. Find some people who speak the target language and hang out with them!
2. Date a native speaker of the target language. It’s true… It’s the best way to learn a language! I am a firm believer that you get to know the other person much better, and deeper if you can speak their language… So, I learned my boyfriend’s language! (I didn’t meet him because I wanted to learn Spanish, but the result was the same…!)
3. Don’t be scared to make mistakes. The truth is… You will say a lot of funny things in the process of learning a new language. But it’s OK! You learn from this! I for example, many times, when I wouldn’t know a word, would think of it in Greek and then make a Spanish version of it! Sometimes it worked, but of course most of them it didn’t … and it made my boyfriend laugh to tears..!
4. Switch your phone to the target language. This is a great way of having this language in your life! It might be weird in the beginning, but it will definitely help you a lot! You will daily learn new words and eventually become much more comfortable in your target language!
5.Talk as much as you can! Ask as many questions as you can. This is probably the most important tip. Don’t be afraid. It will be hard at first, you won’t be able to say what you want, but hopefully the person you are talking with speaks English, or another common language with you, so that you can always ask how to say something. I truly believe, that you can’t learn a language without speaking it, even if you spend hours in a classroom in front of books and exercises.
6. Watch series, movies, TV. I learned sooo much from TV series! In the beginning of our relationship, we always went to sleep with Spanish Series on the computer… At first, I couldn’t understand a thing and would always fall asleep after two seconds! But as the days (and episodes) went by, I could slowly understand what was going on, what they were talking about. Finally,I could even watch it all by myself!
7. Read. Magazines, Newspapers, and finally books will help you upgrade your vocabulary, and perfecting your skills on the target language!
Learning a new language can bring so many benefits to your life! You will meet more people, feel more comfortable traveling, and so much more! So, find a language you like, maybe even better one that some of your friends speak, follow these tips and give it a shot! You’ll see, it will be fun!
Thanks for reading!