Advertising
Advertising

15 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied A Foreign Language

15 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied A Foreign Language

Once you’ve learned a new language, it’s hard to go back. You develop a specific mindset and gain experiences that you can only have from learning a foreign language.

If you studied a foreign language, here are some things that you’ll immediately be able to relate to. If you’re only able to speak one language (English), these are references that you can look forward to.

1. It’s easy to get started. But so hard to master it.

Language learners understand that like any skill, getting started is the easy part. But to go from beginner to intermediate level, then intermediate level to advanced is another ball game. What’s the real secret to learning a language faster? Consistency, daily routines, and dedication.

7.-say-something

    2. Your private teacher becomes the highlight of your day

    Having a private teacher can accelerate your learning speed. When you start building a relationship with these teachers, it can become one of the best things to look forward to in your stressful day. There’s laughter, learning, and growth that happens with each session, and it can become addicting.

    Advertising

    skype-translator

      3. Going to the same ethnic restaurant again

      From sushi to Korean BBQ, we only find ourselves going to that same restaurant again, not only to enjoy the delicious food but to practice your target language.

      20150111_192253

        4. That feeling when you’ve just had your first conversation with a native speaker

        Best feeling. Ever.

        baby laughing

          5. You now travel for a completely different reason

          When you can speak a new language, you can start building relationships with native speakers living in the country. Travel will never feel the same again.

          Advertising

          landscape-1470081513-la

            6. The urge to start learning yet another language

            We’ve all had the desire to become a polyglot and being able to speak dozens of languages. But making sure we’ve established a solid foundation with one language before moving onto another is crucial.

            Reading-014

              7. Someone learns that you speak a foreign language, and now wants you to translate everything

              Then you realize how little you actually know, and how much more you need to practice.

              7_dos_and_donts

                8. The urge to hang out with anyone that speaks the language you’re learning

                When you’re first starting to learn a language, you either use it or lose it. It’s critical to find opportunities to practice your speaking skills with anyone that would speak with you in your target language. Find meetup events, conversation exchanges, online language teaching websites — anything!

                Date-a-Guy-when-His-Best-Friend-Likes-You-Step-9

                  9. You’ve mistakenly greeted someone in a foreign language

                  Especially after you just finished speaking with your private teacher.

                  Advertising

                  6.-greeting-bowing

                    10. Impress the people around you by ordering Tacos in Spanish

                    Even if you’re not President Obama.

                    President Obama orders lunch at Five Guys in Washington, D.C. during an unannounced lunch outing May 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

                      11. When someone uses the “everybody speaks English” argument

                      While over 1 Billion people speak English as their first or second language, that’s still 85% of the world that do not. As the world becomes a more multicultural place by the day, the diversity of languages spoken will only continue to increase.

                      Advertising

                      giphy

                        12. When people talk about you in a foreign language… but you understand them

                        8.-overhear-conversations

                          13. When you learn how to speak Spanish, and realize that there are 10+ places that speak a different type of Spanish

                          From Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico – they all come with different slangs, accents, and even grammar rules that will continuously confuse you!

                          limitless

                            14. The first things you want to learn are the dirty words in the language

                            Let’s face it, these are the best words to learn. It’s why I first learned all the dirty words in Spanish when I traveled to South America.

                            psy-1024x576

                              15. You’ve studied the language for so long that you forget how to say something in your native language.

                              Hola? Bonjour? Hello? It happens to the best of us.

                              2014-04-16-top-6-reasons-why-youre-forgetful-2-fb-2

                                More by this author

                                Sean Kim

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

                                11 Inspirational Podcasts To Lift You Up 10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day 9 Free Language Learning Apps That Are Fun to Use 12 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language 7 Best Languages to Learn to Stay Competitive

                                Trending in Brain

                                1 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 2 Are You Right-Brain Dominant? (7 Right Brain Characteristics) 3 How To Leverage The Subconscious Mind 4 17 Ways To Develop a Growth Mindset 5 7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

                                5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

                                Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

                                All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

                                The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

                                “Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

                                The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

                                “The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

                                The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

                                “The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

                                So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

                                  Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

                                  1. Build a Memory Palace

                                    What is it?

                                    The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

                                    How to use it?

                                    Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

                                    “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

                                    Example

                                    An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

                                    • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
                                    • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
                                    • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
                                    • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
                                    • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

                                    You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

                                    2. Mnemonic

                                      What is it?

                                      A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

                                      How to use it?

                                      Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

                                      Example

                                      I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

                                      I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

                                      Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

                                      Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

                                      Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

                                      Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

                                      C

                                      J

                                      H

                                      D

                                      Advertising

                                      P

                                      Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

                                      Cubs

                                      Just

                                      Hate

                                      Doing

                                      Push-ups

                                      Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

                                      3. Mnemonic Peg System

                                        What is it?

                                        According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

                                        How to use it?

                                        The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

                                        Example

                                        Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

                                        0 = hero

                                        1 = gun

                                        2 = shoe

                                        Advertising

                                        3 = tree

                                        4 = door

                                        5 = hive

                                        6 = sticks

                                        7 = heaven

                                        8 = gate

                                        9 = line

                                        Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

                                        4. Chunking

                                          What is it?

                                          Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

                                          How to use it?

                                          In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

                                          Example

                                          Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

                                          Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

                                          081127882

                                          Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

                                          Advertising

                                          081 – 127 – 882

                                          Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

                                          “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

                                          5. Transfer of Learning

                                            What is it?

                                            Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

                                            “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

                                            How to use it?

                                            There are two specific ways to use it:

                                            1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
                                            2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

                                            Example

                                            I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

                                            Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

                                            We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

                                            Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

                                            “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

                                            More About Enhancing Memories

                                            Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

                                            [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
                                            [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
                                            [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
                                            [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
                                            [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

                                            Read Next