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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!

                          More by this author

                          Sean Kim

                          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                          Last Updated on September 16, 2020

                          3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

                          3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

                          In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

                          Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

                          Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

                          Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

                          These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

                          So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

                          It boils down to these four essential requirements:

                          • Emotional empowerment
                          • Aligned attraction
                          • Sexual functioning
                          • You and your partner

                          While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

                          Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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                          1. Emotional Empowerment

                          A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

                          You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

                          Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

                          By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

                          As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

                          When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

                          Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

                          Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

                          2. Attraction in Alignment

                          Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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                          We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

                          According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

                          “When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

                          Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

                          “If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

                          This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

                          “If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

                          In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

                          It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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                          While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

                          Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

                          Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

                          Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

                          “Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

                          In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

                          • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
                          • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
                          • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
                          • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

                          According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

                          Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

                          3. Sexual Function

                          Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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                          Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

                          Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

                          While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

                          One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

                          What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

                          This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

                          A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

                          Final Thoughts

                          The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

                          While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

                          After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

                          More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

                          Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

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