Modern technology has made communication much more accessible with just the click of a button. Becoming a polyglot – someone who knows several languages – is beneficial in today’s global economy. Learning the native tongue of a country that’s a significant player in the world market can open up new opportunities for your personal or professional growth.
If you’re unsure where to start, here are some guidelines you need to know:
1. Go Places and Make Friends
When you choose to go out of your comfort zone and see the world, you have the chance to engage with a new culture. Not only that, but you also have an opportunity to learn about their language. This can be especially true if you’re going to a country where people mostly speak the native dialect, not English. It’s also a great way to make local friends who can help you pronounce the words correctly.
Of course, if you can’t travel all the way to the country whose language you want to study, you can always visit local restaurants that are operated by people from that particular nation. Befriend these people and learn the language through food by using their menu as your dictionary. You can also go to markets and expose yourself to how they communicate. Take note of their intonation and try to pick up basic words such as numbers or common phrases.
2. Know Your Reason
Identify why you want to become a polyglot.Weather your reasoning be personal or professional, your desire should stem from wanting to improve. This way, when you get stuck in a rut during the process, you don’t give up immediately. When you desire the outcome, the obstacles you face will be easier to face.
Some reasons for learning a new language include:
- Adding a new skill, which is beneficial if you want to work in a particular country or place.
- Improving your memory and other cognitive functions involved in learning and language.
- Meeting interesting people and creating friendships with those from other cultures.
- Protecting yourself against scams when going on vacation.
- Being able to enjoy TV series, movies, music, and literature in their original language.
3. Read a Book in English and Another Language
This may seem unconventional, but it’s an effortless way to pick up vocabulary from the language you’re studying. Take one book that you’ve read and look for a translated version in the tongue you want. This way, you can get common phrases and even idioms from the text. You can start with children’s books and build up momentum.
4. Practice Often
You need to expose yourself as much as possible to the language you’re learning. Have a study buddy, preferably a local, with whom you can practice conversations with every day. By using the dialect daily, you make your tongue familiar with the nuances of its speech. This practice can also help you to remember the words you’ve learnt.
Others tips that can help you when studying a foreign language include:
- Study Independently – While the traditional classroom setting may work for some, learning new words will need a more practical approach. Studying on your own and at your pace with a buddy can be better than sitting in class while waiting for the teacher to feed you information.
- Studying Hard – Taking the time to gain knowledge for four hours daily for three weeks will give you better results than doing it an hour a day for three months. For this reason, you should be intrinsically motivated when learning a new language, so you can take full advantage of this passion. This is true whether you are studying for personal growth or employment.
- Mimic Locals – Language is all about repetition and practice. Try to mimic what the locals say and how they talk to help you improve your understanding of the language.
5. Be Patient with Yourself
Different people have different capabilities. While you may want to become a polyglot in just two weeks like the others, it’s best to be aware and objective of your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t stress yourself out trying to accomplish this task as soon as possible. Moreover, don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t learning a particular language as quickly as you did with your last one. Some tongues are straightforward and easy to learn while there are others that will require a bit more time and effort.
Learning a new language boosts brain power and improves memory. Make the most out of your intelligence and keep feeding it relevant information. Communication is also a critical factor in establishing meaningful relationships, whether personal or professional. Adapting and knowing how to think in another tongue allows you to understand how different people form ideas, which is essential in leadership.
For more topics on all things related to college, check out the other blogs on College Basics.