People tell me that I’m good at languages. I usually don’t agree since I know there’s no much I need to learn. But then sometimes I remember that I know a lot more than other people, especially for someone who’s never been in an immersion situation for most of the languages I’m learning. So, I thought I’d share some of what worked for me:
- Increase your exposure to the language. Set your Facebook to the language you’re learning (once you get far enough along that you don’t be completely lost), watch movies/TV-shows in the language, get penpals that are fluent, talk with your friends in the language… These things can go a long way. (My Facebook is in Japanese and I’ve been trying to watch anime more lately.)
- Punctuate your thoughts with the language. As you think something, try to see how to say (or sign) that in the language you’re learning. It helps you improve sentence structure and helps you become more aware of the things you don’t know so you can check them out later. (If you know me, you see me signing to myself a lot…)
- Have as wide a spectrum of fluent friends as possible: vegan, Buddhist, linguist… It helps you learn a wider variety of vocabulary than if you just have friends with similar interests as you. That and you learn a lot of culture that way! (I have four Jewish friends online that know Hebrew; two are vegan, at least one isn’t religious, one is a linguist, and one has a doctorate.)
That’s it for now. My humble attempt to help. I’d love any other suggestions if you have any! As well as to hear your own experiences.