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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?

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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