In this day and age, it’s very important to know how to speak a foreign language. It’s usually one of the most important skills an employer will expect you to have, not to mention that it can also prove useful in your day-to-day life.
Despite its undeniable usefulness, I know first-hand that learning a new language can be a big challenge. Here are 3 tips that will make your journey easier:
1. Be consistent
When learning a foreign language, it’s essential that you be consistent. You’re not going to succeed unless you study periodically. Even if you’re very busy, you should try to spend at least 20 minutes of your day studying. Otherwise, your efforts may be in vain, since you’re likely to forget a language that you don’t practice often.
2. Practice speaking
A very important skill is to be able to speak the foreign language you’re studying. Even though written evaluations are typically what most people use to assess their progress, your skills as a speaker are actually far more important than that, whether we’re talking about a job or using the language outside of your professional life.
Therefore, the best way of honing your language skills is to try and speak the language as often as possible. Even if you’re self-taught, you should try to read or speak out loud to yourself in order to practice your pronunciation skills. Doing listening exercises is also extremely helpful, since they show you how native speakers actually pronounce the words in a language.
3. Choose a foreign language that’s not difficult to learn
If the prospect of learning a new foreign language seems a bit daunting to you, choosing a language that’s not so difficult to learn will definitely make things easier. If you’re a native speaker of English or German, or if you have a good command of either or both of these two languages, learning something like Dutch or a Nordic language will be easy. Similarly, if you already speak a romance language, learning another language from the same family won’t be so difficult, since there are a lot of similarities between them.