Good tips for learning a new language quickly

Jul 17, 2019

It is always easier to travel in a country or collaborate with people from other countries when you speak their language a little and is able to understand and formulate the most basic sentences. It might also help open doors so that you get to know the locals quicker.

In this blog post, you get some good tips for how to learn the essentials of a language quickly. The blog post is not about what it takes to learn a language at a high level, as is required for professional translators. It is about how you in the quickest way can learn to manage the most basic challenges in the local language like ordering a table in a restaurant, asking for directions to an attraction and understanding what others say to you.

If you want a head start, you can also download our small travel dictionary, where you can find usable sentences in six languages for your next trip.


Just take the plunge

Your own approach to learning a new language is essential for how quickly you will become confident in using it.

If you are curious and attentive and if you try to soak up all the linguistic impressions you are exposed to, you will learn quickly.

Your courage is also a major factor in learning a new language. It is best if you can manage to overcome your fears and jump straight into it and do not hold back and let yourself be put down if you make grammatical mistakes, mispronounce words and have to speak in simple sentences.

If you spend all the time listening and only say something when it is absolutely perfect, you will have a hard time progressing quickly when you learn a new language. You should therefore avoid striving for perfection. It is perfectly alright to make mistakes, just throw caution to the wind whenever you feel out of your depth.


Talk to yourself

To learn a new language, you must use it actively.

You have to speak it as much as possible, so do not be afraid of talking to yourself while doing the dishes or walking the dog. The most important thing that you get talking from day one.

Practice the sentences and words you have just learned, both to practice pronunciation and to make the words stick. Do not worry about your limited vocabulary and lack of grammar, the more you talk the better you will get. This may also help you overcome your fears, so that you are not afraid of asking for what you need in the local language the next time you go to the baker. It is about putting yourself in a situation where you are forced to speak the language.


Listen to radio, podcasts and music, and watch movies and TV

You may find it a waste of time to listen to something where you may only be able to understand a few words and sentences. However, it will not be in vain when you are trying to learn a new language, because the more you listen, the more you will start to understand. Listening to others speak the language will also help your intonation, so it becomes easier for the locals to understand you when you speak.

Obviously, it is best to live in the country, but even if you don’t, you have plenty of opportunities to listen to the language. You can listen to the radio and music or stream a movie in the local language.


Read as much as you can

You will rarely be able to remember a new word the first time you see it. However, if you see it again and again, you will eventually be able to commit it to memory. That is why it makes good sense to read as much as you can to expand your active vocabulary.

Even if you are not ready to start reading books, you can read other things. For instance, when you are on holiday and go to the supermarket or the local market, you can read the signs. This way, you will learn a lot of basic words for food.

You can also look for text in the language in other ways although you are not in the country. Simply go to and read websites, blogs, recipes and buy easy-to-read children’s books or comics when you travel. This blog post will give you some ideas to children’s books that have been translated into almost all languages


Learn simple sentences and avoid grinding grammar

You should take difference approaches depending on what you want to use the language for.

If you need to speak the language as part of your work, you need to learn other words than if you simply need to speak it on your next holiday.

When you need to speak the language professionally, it also makes sense to focus more on understanding the basic grammar rules. However, if you only need to speak it for your next holiday, you might not get very far, if you focus too much on grammar. Here, it makes more sense to start by learning a lot of basic sentences. You can always add the grammar later.


Language courses and Apps

There are a lot of alternatives to the conventional language courses. Many providers offer online courses that are planned according to your wishes, purpose and level.

For instance, check out Italki. This provider offers one-on-one courses via Skype and the main goal is to teach you to speak the language. This means that you do not have to travel abroad to get to use the language actively. Now, you can sit in London and learn Spanish by speaking to a person from South America.

There are also a lot of Apps that offer language training. The popular language App Duolingo, which covers many languages, makes sure to adjust the level to your level, so that you can learn the language at your own pace.

The possibilities are endless; however, it is always a good idea to test the Apps before spending too much money on them.


Stay determined

The key is to stay determined and not give up when you want to learn a new language.

Your learning will not just follow an upwards curve, and you will for sure have periods where you think that things are going in the wrong direction. However, that should not make you give up.

It is wonderful to be able to speak another language, so just get started. Good luck ?


PS. If you should end up loving the country and want to settle in it or perhaps buy a house, AdHoc Translations can help you with the translation of the legal documents needed to buy a home abroad.


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