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Personal: Tips for learning new languages

Updated: May 8



Hi everyone ♡


Learning new languages is something that I've always been passionate about. Currently, I speak Dutch, English, Spanish, some Italian and French, a little bit of German and last year I started Slavic Studies at the University of Amsterdam, having chosen Russian as my major. Mastering a new language can be very time consuming, but I think it's always such a rewarding feeling when you notice that your language skills are improving. It's like every time you learn a new language a whole new world opens up to you. Besides from that, knowing multiple languages actually has several other benefits, even for your health.


Benefits of speaking multiple languages:


  • It helps improve your memory and increases your attention span.

  • It is very convenient for traveling.

  • It can help delay the onset of brain-related diseases such as dementia.

  • It could help you get more job opportunities.

  • It can help you better understand different cultures.

  • It makes it easier to learn a new language.

  • It helps you improve your first language.


As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to learn a new language! Here below are some of my tips to learn a new language by yourself.


Use Duolingo

Great application to learn new languages in a fun way. You can set your own daily goal and the app will send you reminders so you won't forget to practice.


Listen to music and the radio

Listening to music and/or the radio is a great way to get familiar with the sounds of the language even if you don't understand everything.


Watch tv shows or movies

Just like with listening to music, watching tv in a different language is a great way to get used to the sound. Plus, when you're watching something with subtitles it's also a good way to improve your vocabulary.


Practice a little every day

When you're learning a new language, practicing is one of the most important things. It's better to spend a little bit of time on it every day than to study a lot at once.


Write it down

Writing things down is one of the best ways to remember something. Typing might be faster, but writing by hand really helps you remember things better.


Read books and articles

Reading is a great way to increase your vocabulary and to get familiar with grammatical constructions. Children's books could be great to start with if you're a beginner.


Find someone to talk to

Speaking is very important and also probably the most difficult part of learning a new language. Try to find someone, preferably a native speaker, to practice with. Most importantly, don't be afraid to make mistakes! Making mistakes is inevitable and it's the only way to improve.


Last but not least, stay motivated!

Learning a new language takes a lot of time and effort so don't get discouraged when it doesn't go as quickly as you would want it to. Small progress is still progress and in the long term, you'll be so glad that you started.



Do you speak multiple languages? If so, which ones?


With love,

Lysanne

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