Have you ever watched a movie like “The Bucket List” and wanted to see more of the world? You’re not alone. It’s common to be inspired by entertainment. One minute, you’re happily playing gonzo’s adventure slot, and the next, you’re planning your own adventure in a foreign country. Before you hit the road, it helps to understand the language of the country you’re traveling to. The good news is that you can do this quickly if you take the correct steps, starting with setting the right goals.
Set Language Goals
If you set a goal to “learn French for my trip,” you’ll get overwhelmed quickly. This goal is too broad and too vague. Giving yourself smaller steps to complete feels more manageable and keeps you motivated. For example, you may want to start by “working out the most important words and phrases by next week.” It’s a simple step that gives you a good start on your learning path. Write down each goal you come up with and set them against a realistic timeframe so you can measure your progress.
Learning The right words
Deciding which words to give the most attention to when you start learning is essential. Choosing words that are used more often and are most important makes it easier for you to communicate with people while traveling. Being selective about the words you start learning also makes the task more manageable, which is vital given the number of words in major languages. For example, there are around 93,000 words in Spanish, 130,000 in French, and 260,000 in Italian. These high numbers help you to see why you should focus on certain words and phrases when you start learning.
Speak From Day One
It’s never too soon to start speaking the language you’re learning. Watching videos and listening to podcasts is an excellent way to do this. Simply say the words spoken by the people you’re watching or listening to. Pay careful attention to how words sound and write down any that you don’t understand so you can learn them. Learning by speaking shouldn’t just be restricted to recognized study materials. You can also watch movies in the language. Start by having the subtitles on so you develop a better understanding of what you’re saying. Then, move away from doing this as your level of understanding improves.
Practice In Real Life
You can study a language using books, apps such as Duo Lingo, online courses, but you’ll only succeed in your learning if you practice in real life. There are several methods of doing this. You may want to combine more than one of them. Finding a language exchange partner is a good starting point. A language partner is someone who is learning your language, so conversations are mutually advantageous. You may also want to join a Conversation Club or meet-up group. These types of groups provide the opportunity to speak languages socially with people who are also learning as well as native speakers.
Learn About The Culture
Simply learning words and phrases is not enough if you want to be able to communicate using the language you’re learning. You also need to understand the culture behind the language. Having this understanding makes it easier for you to know what someone actually means when they say something to you. This is essential knowledge to have as words and phrases have different meanings depending on the culture and the situation.
When you’re learning a foreign language, studying small amounts of information and consolidating this learning before moving on is good. You can take a short test on apps like Transparent to ensure you understand what you’ve learned. After you’ve consolidated a few of these smaller amounts of information, usually five or six, you should test your understanding again. To do this, take a longer test that covers everything you’ve learned.
If your heart is set on learning a foreign language before you embark on an adventure, these steps will help you do it quickly, so you don’t have to delay your trip. Set realistic goals, focus your learning, get plenty of practice, and test your knowledge regularly. You’ll be amazed how soon you’re ready to speak the language overseas.