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How to Learn a Language Faster From 12 Language Experts

How to Learn a Language Faster From 12 Language Experts

In a world that demands rapid learning and massive change, the ability to learn a language faster is an important skill to acquire. Concerning learning faster, skill acquisition can be transferred to just about anything you want to learn. The most common mistake we see people make when trying to learn a language, is going at it alone.

It makes sense if we take a step back, as this is how we’ve been taught to learn our entire lives. After enduring years of long nights at the library reading textbooks or hours of sitting through boring lectures, we’ve naturally transferred over this habit to language learning.

But learning a language, like any skill, has already been learned from language experts around the world, who have revealed some of their best kept learning secrets. By modeling someone who has achieved what we want, we can learn from their mistakes, and get to our end result much faster.

Here are 12 of the best ways to learn a language faster by 12 language experts around the world.

How To Learn A Language Faster By 12 Language Experts

1. Don’t Look Up Every Single Word

“There will be times when you’re simply dying to know the meaning of a particular word. Fine – but if you stop to look up every word, you’ll never get anywhere. Instead, only look up words that seem to be cropping up again and again – they will be the key to understanding what you’re reading.” – Olly Richards, iwillteachyoualanguage.com

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    2. Set Specific Goals

    “To be successful in learning what you need for your trip, you need as much specificity as possible. I’m lucky enough to typically have three whole months before a trip, in which I can devote most of my days to learn a language, and that makes fluency a realistic target.” – Matt Kepnes, NomadicMatt.com

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      3. Act Like A Child

      “The idea that children are inherently better learners than adults is proving to be a myth. New research cannot find a direct link between age and the ability to learn. The key to learning as quickly as a child may be to simply take on certain childlike attitudes: for instance, lack of self-consciousness, a desire to play in the language and willingness to make mistakes.” – Matthew Youlden, fluent in 9 languages

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        4. Learn The Cognates

        “Starting to learn a language “from scratch” is essentially impossible because of the vast amount of words you know already through cognates. Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, tradition, communication, extinction, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.” – Benny Lewis, Founder of Fluentin3months.com

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          5. Modal Verbs: Embracing The Infinitive

          “Learning all forms for every verb can be exhausting, especially for the dreaded imperfect or simple past. How about instead you merely learn to conjugate just seven words that will let you express almost everything you need? Sounds better, right?

          As a formula it looks a little like this:

          Subject + Verb + Object → Subject + Modal Verb + Object + Verb (infinitive)

          How is that helpful? Because it allows you to use all kinds of verbs in a great number of sentences without knowing how to conjugate each and every one of them. As long as you memorized how to conjugate the modal verbs, all you need is the infinitive form.” – Nick Schaferhoff, FluentU

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            6.  Learn 625 Basic Words: Using Pictures, Not Translations

            “To begin any language, I suggest starting with the most common, concrete words, as they’re going to be the most optimal use of your time. This is the 80/20 Rule in action; why learn niece in the beginning when you’re going to need mother eighty times more often?” – Gabriel Wyner, author of Fluent Forever

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              7. Establish Consequences

              “A lot of people fall short of their goals because there are no ramifications if they quit. Remedy the issue by committing to negative incentives (such as doing your roommate’s laundry for a month) should you fail to stick with your goals. Or, sign up for StickK, an online service that holds money in escrow and donates it to an “anti-charity” of your choice if your goal isn’t met.” – Nick English, Greatist.com

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                8. Focus On Immediate Immersion

                “One of my more controversial pieces of advice, but one that I absolutely insist on when I advise beginners, is that you must speak the language right away if your goals in the target language involve speaking it.” – Tim Ferriss, Fourhourworkweek.com

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                  9. Be An Active Learner

                  “You must be an active learner. Most people allow themselves to be taught to, but you have to take an active role in asking questions. The best way to understand this process is via video” – Maneesh Sethi, Founder of Pavlok and Hackthesystem.com

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                    10. Mix Old Concepts With New Ones While You’re Learning

                    “It’s not as easy for adults to pick up a new language as it is for little kids with their sponge-like brains. But you can still master a new language and learn efficiently if you know how your brain works when confronted with this challenge. The science of learning a new language shares why spaced repetition is best, you should study at night, look for content in the other language in subjects you enjoy most, and why you should mix the old concepts with new ones while you’re learning.” – Melanie Pinola, writer at Lifehacker.com

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                      11. Let Technology Help You Out.

                      “Dmitrochenkova has a great idea: “A funny thing like resetting the language on your phone can help you learn new words right away,” she says. Ditto for changing the language on your browser. Or you can seek out more structured learning opportunities online. Dutch translator Els De Keyser recommends Anki for memorizing vocabulary with its ‘intelligent’ flashcards” – Krystian Aparta, TED.com

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                        12. Conversation, Conversation, Conversation.

                        “If there’s a “secret” or “hack” to learning a new language, it’s this: hours and hours of awkward and strenuous conversation with people better than you in that language. An hour of conversation (with corrections and a dictionary for reference) is as good as five hours in a classroom and 10 hours with a language course by yourself.” – Mark Manson, Author of Models: Attract Women Through Honesty

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                          Over to you

                          Which of these 12 language learning tips did you resonate with the most? If you have any friends who also want to learn a new language, please share it out!

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                          Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                          7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                          7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                          Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                          For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                          Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                          1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                          A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                          It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                          It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                          How it helps you:

                          If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                          Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                          2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                          Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                          Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                          How it helps you:

                          Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                          Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                          If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                          Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                          3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                          Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                          Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                          How it helps you:

                          This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                          For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                          Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                          A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                          4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                          To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                          A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                          How it helps you:

                          One word: hierarchy.

                          All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                          In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                          If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                          5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                          Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                          Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                          How it helps you:

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                          Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                          If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                          This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                          6. What do you like about working here?

                          This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                          Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                          How it helps you:

                          You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                          Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                          Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                          7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                          What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                          As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                          How it helps you:

                          What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                          First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                          Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                          Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                          Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                          Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                          Making Your Interview Work for You

                          Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                          Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                          More Resources About Job Interviews

                          Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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