Learning a new language is an entirely new experience by itself. You have to learn a new alphabet (with some using characters rather than alphabets) and sentence structure. But after all the tiresome struggle, the end result leaves you with a feeling of pride and something to boast about. Here are some ways with which you can make the tiresome journey fun.
1. Dedication: Learning anything new, requires dedication. Language study more so. You have to dedicate a specific hour on the clock to learning a language. Irrespective of whether it is to learn an alphabet or vocabulary.
For example, say you are trying to learn Mandarin. Mandarin is a language of characters and tones. You have to spend an hour every day, focusing on getting tones right. Differentiate between the 1st tone, 2nd tone, 3rd tone and the 4th tone. Then learn the tone rules. And so, and so forth. Dedicate a certain amount of time in your routine to this business.
2. Create a diary: Write in this diary using the language you are studying. You can write poems, essays, stories, anything you wish. All you should do is write in the language you are trying to master.
3. Do not look up words you do not remember: Try to force yourself to remember. This will help your memory skills. You will not have to check back the dictionary each time.
4. Listen to podcasts, music and watch movies, serials and news in that language. This will improve your listening skills, helping you to distinguish between homonyms and homophones. It will also help improve your language skills, adding more to your vocabulary. You will also learn how to use a particular word in what context.
5. Read: Bring alive your inner bookworm or bibliophile by reading scripts in the said language.
6. Talk to native speakers: Search on the internet to see where people who speak the said language are, in your vicinity. Or you can use skype, Facebook or any other social networking site to find someone online. Both ways are good. You should whichever works for you. Matter of fact there are special websites or apps, dedicated to meeting native speakers. You can teach them your language and they will teach you theirs.
7. Dictionary: Carry a dictionary with you everywhere you go. It will save you time and frustration. The dictionary can be physical or digital. The main aim should be something you can consult. It is important when you are having a conversation with a native speaker and do not want to disrupt the flow of it. You can also learn extra words from it. Digital dictionaries with speech programming are best but physical ones would work well! For example, Hanping Chinese Dictionary for Chinese learner works best!
8. Alphabet: Refrain from using too much romanization. It is alright in beginner stage but as you go on, use the alphabets of the language you are learning. It will be better for you to sound the words out as well as read and pronounce the words. Apps like infinity Korean, infinity Japanese and infinity Chinese work well for this purpose.
9. Vocabulary: Focus on 100 most common words and learn them. Just by learning few words you can understand what a sentence means. After learning those 100 words, move to 1000 common words. Learn only those words which are the most relevant when it comes to you. Do not go learning about dogs when you are cat breeder.
10. Numbers: Learn to count in the language. In certain languages, you can just do 1-10 because the rest of the numbers are based on these. You then have to just learn the 100, 1000 and 1000.
11. Anki: Ever heard of it? It is a much popular software program and smartphone app. It helps you memorize words, phrases and numbers with flashcards. Just upload your cars with the vocabulary you wish to learn or download from the preexisting one to test yourself.
12. Duolingo and Memrise: These two are free language learning tool available both for iOS and Android. Duolingo does not focus on memorization. This app gets the user to read and speak the new language by using see, hear and speak. Memrise on the other hand is another flashcard program which allows users to memorize words, phrases and stuff using memory tricks, images and useful tools. You can even compete against other users. Both these apps make language learning a game and hence, fun!
13. Babbel: A much less renowned but good app, Babbel is fun, interactive and amazing language learning app. It helps users improve their vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Users are able to identify their problems areas, based on which there are exercises. This app caters to individual need.
14. Do not use google translate: Google translate is not accurate when it comes to sentence translation or formal and informal exchange. It is not accurate, giving the layered meaning.
15. Language learning books: Purchase grammar guide as well. You will need dual language book to see translations. Choose books other than textbooks, like novels, novellas or nonfiction. You may also choose to learn more about the country.
16. Grammar rules: It is better to focus on conversation skills first, but do not forget grammar. Chances are that the grammar style of your and the other language differ from each other. Spend some time learning sentence structure, word order, parts of speech, tense, subject-verb agreement, preposition etc.
17. Basic phrases: It is better to learn few phrases beforehand. Phrases like “How are you doing?” or “I am doing fine.” These phrases will help you remember common words as well.
18. Change the language of your phone to the language you are learning: Many online apps and games allow this function where you can change the language. Do this with apps you are familiar with, playing them intuitively. With this you can see new words regularly and commit them to memory.
19. Goals: Set goals for yourself in order to keep yourself motivated.