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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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                          The Gentle Art of Saying No

                          The Gentle Art of Saying No

                          No!

                          It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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                          But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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                          What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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                          But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

                          1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
                          2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
                          3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
                          4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
                          5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
                          6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
                          7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
                          8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
                          9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
                          10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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