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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?

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    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]

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    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.

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      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.

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          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.

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              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

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              1 STOP Being Busy and Create More Time with these Productivity Hacks 2 7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That) 3 5 Techniques to Tackle a Busy Schedule (And Create More Time) 4 8 Time Management Strategies for Busy People 5 Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

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              Last Updated on June 1, 2021

              7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

              7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

              “Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

              “Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

              As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

              Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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              The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

              To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

              1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

              Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

              “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

              2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

              Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

              3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

              If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

              It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

              4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

              One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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              If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

              5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

              It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

              If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

              Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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              6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

              If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

              7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

              If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

              So, How To Get out of Busyness?

              Take a look at this video:

              And these articles to help you get unstuck:

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              Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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