We often hear people say that ‘I’m linguistically inclined, I love learning different languages.’ Learning different languages is a very interesting hobby. Not just for hobby, many people want to learn a foreign language for a business purpose, for better job prospects or to communicate with relatives living in different country. Learning a foreign language can be quite a harrowing task because it’s not that easy to learn a language about which you know nothing. It’s diction, dialect, accent, correct pronunciation, and there are so many things that one has to keep in mind. More often than not people leave it in between just because they couldn’t cope up with it or they find it too challenging. Let’s just agree to this that every time we start learning a new language we feel like some illiterate person who knows nothing. We just gape at every word with awe, wonder and sometimes even become frustrated. So how can we become fluent in foreign languages without getting tired of it?
The most basic thing to keep in mind is focus. You have to focus completely on the language you want to learn, the more focussed you are the less difficult it will be. Watch videos in that particular language, try to focus on the accent and pronunciation and repeat it. The more you practice, the better you become. The second thing is to have a calm and composed mind. You cannot learn a language if you lose temper every time you fail to understand anything. Nobody can become a master in one day, to have one correct pronunciation you’ll have to practice nth times and you’ll have to maintain your calm throughout.
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Your fluency also depends upon the amount of effort you put in. If you’re attending any foreign language class then it’s important that you practice the lessons at home. Try to frame sentence of your own. Start with the small sentences, focus on using correct grammar. Make strong efforts to improve and remember specific grammar rules. Rules of grammar for different languages are different. If possible download language app and check if the sentences you are making are correct or not. Talk to yourself in that language. To increase your vocabulary, find the translation of different English words in that language. But always avoid a literal translation of English sentences because the sentence structures of different languages are different. For the beginners’ literal translation seems easier because you try to relate the words and sentences of the language you do not know to the one you know. So when you become acquainted with the language, you should try and stop yourself from using your mother tongue every time. Think like a baby, how they start learning a language, what they do.
Other than taking classes, you can also watch movies, listen to songs and watch videos in that language. It’ll be difficult in the beginning, but when you watch it, again and again, you’ll start catching some common phrases and words. Apart from that, you can also browse newspapers and magazines. Looking at the pictures can help you relate to the words. If you’re living in the foreign country, then observe the locals when they talk, their body language, facial expression even that can help you understand the language better. Focus on the pronunciation. The correct pronunciation is the key.
If you’re taking foreign language classes, then it is very important that you have a group of friends with whom you attend the class. In this way, you can try to communicate with each other and be fluent. Practicing what you’ve learned is very important. Apart from speaking, improving your writing skill in that language is also very important to become fluent. Write small essay like you used to do in school. Pick up small topics and start framing easier sentences. Get it checked by your teacher and check your mistakes. Write again and again until you get it all correct. After you have mastered the easy topics and small sentence go to the next level. Write on a bit difficult topic with little longer sentences. Get it corrected by your teacher, ask questions regarding your mistakes, correct it, learn from it. With conviction, you are sure to master the language one day.
After you start writing essays and paragraphs start reading story books in that language. Start with easy one. The one used for kids. The more you read the better you become. Most languages, like French, writing and speaking is very different from each other. The French language is very accented, so it is important that you have grasp on the accent and diction. Then with proper accent and diction read the books. Read until and unless you feel confident about it. With time and dedication, you can be fluent in any language you want to.