Advertising
Advertising

How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

Our brain possesses phenomenal abilities and can do some amazing things. Take the example below. If you can read this, you just might have a strong mind.

    However, when we attempt to learn a new language after the age of three, it seems too difficult and takes way too long. If you have tried to learn a new language, how many hours did you spend each day on this task? Now ask yourself, how many devoted hours did you spend on this same task? Probably not nearly as much. Doing this, you will see that “five years” could net maybe 15 days of actual genuine work towards learning a new language.[1]

    What would you say if you could learn a method where learning a new language is as easy as breathing? If you follow the methods discussed here and have an extreme devotion to learning a new language, then it can be as easy as breathing. So, how can we do this? How to make learning a new language as easy as breathing?

    Advertising

    Focused Attention and Deliberate Practice

    Famous professional golfer Ben Hogan was known for deliberate practice. Some people credit him for inventing practice. He entered every practice session with a purpose, which resulted in one of the most finely tuned swings in the history of golf.[2] So what exactly is deliberate practice? Let’s take a look.

    Regular practice includes mindless repetitions. Deliberate practice requires focused attention. Deliberate practice can be used in learning any new skill or becoming an expert in the skill. Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster and used deliberate practice to become one of the greatest chess players in history. He created a strategy of learning chess by playing it on a computer, which allowed him to play multiple games at once. This allowed him to accelerate the pace at which he could identify different chunks (arrangements of pieces on the board).

    Some useful tips for you when you’re trying to practice:

    1. Burn the Boats! Using the advice of Tony Robbins, “If you want to take the island, then burn your boats. With absolute commitment come the insights that create real victory.” The best way to learn a new language is to live abroad. For example, if you want to learn Chinese… then move to China. However, I know this might not be realistic, so try these tactics: Schedule time for language study before anything else; listen to podcasts in the language you are learning; write in that language at every opportunity; and even think in that new language![3]
    2. Find Language Partners. Join online communities (such as Facebook) and find physical events allowing you to communicate with others learning this new language. Immerse yourself into the language as much as possible.
    3. Choose Fluency, Not Accuracy. Fluency can be described as the ability to express yourself articulately (using language smoothly in real time). Accuracy is the ability to be correct and precise (communicating without error). Think of it this way… You can be fluent in a language without being 100% accurate. Essentially, we are going to make errors, but that is the fun part of learning (and where learning actually occurs). So stop worrying about being accurate and start learning!
    4. Mistakes are Good! You are going to make lots of mistakes when learning a new language, but who cares. In fact, start congratulating yourself when you make a mistake as you have now provided yourself a learning opportunity.

    Use Mnemonic Devices to Memorize New Words

    Are you looking for an outside-the-box approach to learning a new language? If so, then pay attention to this technique. Using Mnemonics, we can learn a new language using the same technique designed for improving memory. Let’s take a look at this 3-Step approach.[4]

    Advertising

    1. The Mnemonic should be memorable. The more outrageous or unexpected, the better.
    2. Make it Visual. Abstract concepts are much easier to comprehend through visual images.
    3. The Mnemonic device should easily tie back to the meaning of the word.

    Let’s take a look at a couple examples of this concept in practice (learning Spanish).

    Comer (combed hair). Comer means to eat. We can visualize eating from a plate of combed hair!

      Here is another.

      Advertising

      Gracias (grassy arse). Gracias means Thank You. We can visualize giving someone a grassy arse as a gift.

        Use Spaced Repetition to Learn at Lightning Speed

        Stop cramming and use spaced repetition software to help you learn a new language. Through spaced repetition, learning a new language becomes faster (ironically) through increasing the intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned information. Furthermore, technology can assist us with this.

        Advertising

          Some recommended spaced repetition software:

          FluentU. If you are looking for a program that takes real-world videos and turns them into language learning experiences… then you should use this software. Try it for free at Fluentu.com.

            Duolingo. If you are looking for gamification poured into every lesson, where you earn rewards (such as streak counts or hearts) then try learning a language for free with Duolingo. Find more information about it at Duolingo.com.

              By immersing yourself into learning through deliberate practice and focused attention, combined with powerful strategies and technologies, you can easily learn a new language. Use these tactics and make learning a new language as easy as breathing!

              Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!)

              Trending in Productivity

              1 How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life 2 How to Develop Mental Toughness to Help You Stay Strong 3 How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious 4 How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future 5 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Published on April 16, 2019

              How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

              How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

              When was the last time you did something for yourself?

              Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

              Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

              However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

              And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

              So how can you make that happen?

              Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

              Listen to Yourself

              The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

              This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

              Advertising

              What is your purpose?

              Have you ever thought about this question?

              Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

              In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

              Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

              All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

              If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

              But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

              For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

              Advertising

              If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

              How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

              Seek Out Continuous Education

              Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

              It’s Super Practical

              Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

              You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

              When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

              Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

              You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

              You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

              You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

              Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

              With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

              Advertising

              In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

              Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

              People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

              We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

              “Knowledge is choice.”

              Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

              Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

              Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

              Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

              Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

              Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

              Advertising

              When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

              Habits Make Your Time a Priority

              How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

              It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

              This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

              Your Well Being Comes First

              We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

              If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

              The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

              Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

              Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Read Next