One of the simple joys of life is learning a new language. While there’s a lot of adventure to be had in learning a new language, it honestly is a very challenging feat to accomplish and takes a lot of determination and mental energy. Learning a new language is a skill that will help develop so many great things about a person.
It will help them develop character because it takes a long time and the path is often fraught with mistakes and lessons learned the hard way. It also helps them understand the human experience from a completely new angle because language is more than just communication; it’s culture and experience all wrapped up into one!
If you have been wondering how to learn Chinese, or any other language, like Spanish or French, then there are a lot of answers out there for you. When it comes to learning new languages, humans have been doing this for centuries, and thanks to technology, there are now new fun and engaging ways to learn. So whether you want to learn Chinese or Portuguese, here are some great ways to get started and some things you need to know right off the bat!
Count the Cost
The first thing you need to know about learning a new language is that this is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. Learning a new language is more than just memorization, although you should be very prepared to start memorizing a whole lot! It’s about learning how to rewire parts of your brain and understand a completely new form of communication.
This can be a challenge for some people more than others, as language learning can be a natural talent; however, being able to move from basic understanding to fluency can take anywhere from three months to two years of studious discipline and application. So much of language is also tied up into culture and nuance; to really learn a language, you have to learn an entire people group. This can represent even more commitment and investment into the language learning process.
If you are a student looking to add on an elective, then learning a language through high school and college can be a great way to naturally have discipline in your life. However, if you are an adult wanting to learn a new language for your own enjoyment, this could be a costly process. Not just in time, effort, and mental capacity, but also in exposure as traveling to the country of the language you speak is a great way to learn, but not cost-effective.
Here are some methods that you should consider when looking into the question of learning a new language:
Take Advantage of the Apps
In today’s modern day and age, there are a plethora of great apps with quite a few being free of charge that can give you an introductory taste into language learning. These apps are not by any means good material for serious learners, but they are a great resource for anyone who is curious.
They can help give insight into the particular depth and challenge that certain languages hold. Not only that, but they can be a good proving ground for your own determination. For example, if you want to see if you are serious about learning a language, download a free language learning app and see if you can complete a free course. If you succeed, this might be an endeavor that’s worth taking to the next step.
Get a Teacher
For serious language learners, getting a teacher is an irreplaceable resource. Thankfully, this is where technology really broadens the scope of possibilities and makes getting a fluent teacher more accessible than ever. Thanks to one-on-one online teaching services, you can find a fluent speaker to give you personalized lessons.
The reason that a teacher is so invaluable when it comes to language learning is that they can offer unique corrections and tailor the lesson plan to the learner.
Find Opportunities to Immerse
Immersion is a technique by which a person wanting to learn a new language will surround themselves with native speakers. A lot of times, this process is confusing at the beginning as it’s not uncommon for the learner to not have a firm enough grasp to understand much. However, this allows the learner’s ears to start to get used to the proper pronunciation and cadence of words.
This can be tricky for some people depending on where they live. If they don’t naturally have a population of that language-speaking group nearby, it may not be a viable form of learning.
Don’t Give Up!
The path to learning a second language is challenging, but it’s well worth it! Not only will you expand your knowledge of the world, but you will also grow in confidence that you can achieve things even when they are deeply challenging.