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3 Simple Steps to Learn a New Language in 90 Days

3 Simple Steps to Learn a New Language in 90 Days
Learning a language needs not take long. With the right process and strategy, you can learn a new language faster than most people in the world.Just like anything in life, we have to be aware of our current strengths and weaknesses, and use those strengths to our advantage.

1. Transfer what you already know

Let’s take start-up companies for instance. There are certain skill requisites (i.e. marketing skills for customers, coding skills to build the product), resources (i.e. talent, technology), and so on, that determine how successful you can be, and how quickly you can get there.

It’s the same for languages.

Think about what knowledge you already possess. What can be transferred to your target language? This makes learning languages easier, and this explains why Koreans for example find Japanese easier than Arabic.

2. Know the shortcuts

We should always be on the lookout for more effective, and therefore faster ways of learning. Here’s some of these methods:

Cognates

Knowing how to use cognates is a powerful strategy to shorten your learning curve because the words based from your native language can mean the same thing in another language.

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For instance, languages from the Latin root such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and others have many words in common with English.

Take words such as “action”, “distraction”, “termination”, and thousands of other “-tion” words are spelled exactly the same in French and Spanish. You can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that “-tion” to a “-ció” and “-ción” respectively.

Another example is the similarities of German to English.

“water” becomes “Wasser” (t → s after a vowel)
“chin” becomes “Kinn” (ch → k)
“father” becomes “Vater” (th → t)

Modal verbs

One of the most difficult things you can learn in any language is the conjugations, and knowing how to convert them.

Why not focus on learning how to conjugate the most common modal verbs, that will apply to 80–90% of your sentences during conversations?

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To give you a simple example, here’s the 7 most common modal verbs in German.

  • können (can)
  • wollen (want)
  • sollen (should)
  • dürfen (may/be allowed to)
  • müssen (must)
  • möchten (would like)
  • mögen (like)

In Spanish, instead of needing to conjugate “ir” — to go by saying:

  • Yo voy a tomar [something from the restaurant]

You could easily use the modal verb — “gustaria” — would like:

  • Me gustaria [something from the restaurant]

8 sentence structures: I give John the apple

This is a framework used by Tim Ferriss used to deconstruct the most common sentence structures from English to Spanish.

* Keep in mind you can apply this same framework to other languages.

 
1*BObwE56jfMqAPOokV2IBsA

    Translating these 8 sentences into the language you want to learn will expose everything from:

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    • how sentences are structured
    • how indirect and direct objects are used (the most painful)
    • how to differentiate feminine and masculine words
    • how verbs are conjugated into sentences

    For example, in English:

    The word order is: He/She + verb + (DOP)+ to (IOP).
    He gives (verb) the apple (DOP) to her (IOP)

    But in Spanish:

    The word order is: Él/Ella + (IOP) + (DOP)+ conjugated verb +clarifier.

    *IOP=indirect object pronoun
    *DOP=direct object pronoun

    If you want to read this in further detail, we recommend checking out this article.

    3. Speak it

    It’s one thing to learn the basics of a language, and another to master it.

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    There are many of us who may have “studied” a language for years without getting much results. But language cannot be studied. Language is alive. It is used for social interactions and building personal relationships. So speak more. Practice more. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You would then find yourself improving very quickly.

    Now it’s your turn.

    How will you be using the resources we shared to reach fluency in your desired language?

    More by this author

    Sean Kim

    Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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    Last Updated on June 24, 2019

    Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

    Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

    A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

    Social Media Could Lead to Depression

    Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

    Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

    If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

    • low self-esteem,

    • negative self-talk,

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    • a low mood,

    • irritability,

    • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

    • and social withdrawal.

    If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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    Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

    We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

    Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

    Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

    Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

    Why We Need to Take This Seriously

    Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

    Advice on Social Media Use

    Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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    One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

    Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

    Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

    If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

    Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

    Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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    Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

    Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

    The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

    Reference

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