You’ve probably already heard the saying that practice makes perfect. That’s because it’s true. You won’t get a gym body overnight without lifting weights or running on a regular basis. And you won’t learn a second language without regular practice either. Many people find that the hardest obstacle to overcome is their fear of learning a language, or perhaps they wrestle with their motivation. But, here are five tricks to learn a second language with greater speed and simplicity.
- Stop worrying about it
If your biggest problem when it comes to learning a second language is your fear of looking silly, it’s time you stopped worrying. You know how you spent all those nights during school worrying about your exams? Or missed valuable sleep fretting over a work presentation? How many times did it go better than you thought?
The truth is, it’s never as bad as you think. Our worst fears lie in anticipation and most people love to share a joke. So, if your grammar sounds wonky or your pronunciation off, learn to laugh at yourself and don’t let it be a reason to stop doing it.
- Make mistakes – it helps you learn
If you’re one of those people who hates making mistakes, it might be hard to swallow your pride when it comes to learning a second language. But, listen to this because it’s important to know. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re learning a language. And making mistakes is a good thing; making mistakes is how we learn.
When you’re surrounded by helpful and friendly people who will gladly correct you with gentle encouragement, it’s the best way to get better at the second language. And there’s nothing like order a plate of live dancing shrimp by mistake to make you remember the right words next time!
- Practice as much as you can
As I already mentioned, regular practice will help you master your second language quicker. So, if you’re in the country of your choice, don’t take the lazy way out. Even if you know your favorite restaurant, or friendly market seller speaks English, try practicing on them. Trust me, they’ll be pleased and surprised that you’re making the effort and will be more than willing to help you.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel every year and very few of them ever bother to learn the basics of a second language. Break the mold and set a new standard. Take every opportunity you can to practice. In your hotel, at the store, or when you’re taking a plane.
If you’re not lucky enough to travel just yet, use the internet as a resource. You’ll find a ton of language podcasts, lessons and even movies online with the right research. You can also learn on the go, by downloading an app to help you speak.
- Use professional translation services
If you need documents translated to or from any language for legal use, visas, immigration or general traveling purposes, you’ll need to use professional translation services. You can’t afford for a mistake here as legal entities will demand perfection.
There are a lot of providers online, but be sure to choose one that works with all languages and uses native speakers with the right specialty. You can even use a professional company if you need legal or medical interpretation, for any reason during your stay abroad.
- Have fun while you’re doing it
Study hard, practice often and go forth and make mistakes. But don’t get so frustrated when you commit errors or so focused on perfect pronunciation that you forget to have fun! Make a mistake? Laugh about it. Can’t understand a song? Have a giggle.
Even while you’re plowing through lessons you can still manage to have fun. When you approach anything with humor it immediately becomes more doable. Whether that’s math equations, spreadsheets or learning a second language!
However, you decide to go about your second language learning journey, keep these tips in mind. Swallow your fear, practice hard and often, and don’t worry about making mistakes. Take everything that you do with a sense of humor and, when you need accuracy and professionalism, call on a translation agency. You’ll be on your way to fluency in no time!