Wiki says that Mandarin language (Chinese family) is spoken by 1025 million people, French by 120 million people, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu) by 490 Million people and English by about 1.5 billion people!
Learn a couple of new languages and you will be introduced to millions of new people, their literature, their culture, their way of thinking, their way of living, their music and the works!
While traveling abroad, when you speak the language of a country to its natives, you respect their people and you get their love and admiration in volumes in return. Just look at the surprise and the smile on the face of the native person even when you smatter out a question in their language, let me tell you, it’s worth all your efforts in learning a new language.
There are certain general tips that may help you in learning a new language:
1. Choose the language: The choice of the language depends upon your reason for learning it. Whether it is for your immigration purposes, whether you are going to study abroad, or may be, like me you are impressed with a country and would like to know more about them. The reasoning follows the choice of your languages to learn!
2. Courses and materials: The physical and the virtual world is full of courses for learning various languages; you may choose the course in full time, part time, week end, e-course, satellite course etc. depending upon your time availability, your time zone and the duration of the course etc.
3.Tools and Materials: Different tools may be made use of, apart from your course materials, for your learning purposes; like dictionary, thesaurus, e-books, DVD, grammar and phrase books, e-translators etc. You may even take the help of easy readers like Amazon kindle, Sony Reader, Cybook Opus and the jetbook to download any books that you may need for study or reference.
4. The Time Factor: Guess human race must be the only species in the Universe, which is perpetually complaining of their lack of time before taking up any new task! We always crib for short of time, despite having 86,400 seconds in a day! Time can be easily made use of, if you take advantage of all your slippery seconds, minutes and the hours!
5. How to learn in anyway? : Learning a brand new language is a different body of game altogether, compared to learning a language from the same family. Ex: If you know Sanskrit, it would be easy for you to learn Hindi, Tamil, Kannada etc. as they all belong to the family of Sanskrit.
If you are learning a brand new language like Spanish, French, Chinese or Russian etc. you need to listen to the phonetics, focus on the words and phrases; understand the characters and practice; accumulate your vocabulary; there is a wealth of sources available on the net. Listen and read; read and listen. Meet new words and note down their meaning and use in phrases. It of course, needs the investment of your time, the time that would be well spent!
6. Learning and You: A teacher can teach you only to a certain extent: whether it is at the basic levels, middle or advanced levels, the trainer can only train you to a certain extent. Unless you put you heart and brain into the learning, a language can not be caught hold of. You should take the responsibility of your learning and should show an enormous interest in them.
7. Make friends with the native speakers: If you are learning German, and if possible, try to make friends with some one who speaks German and practice your language on them. It will help you in correcting your pronunciation, learning to make use of the same words with different meanings and for accumulation of new words etc.
8. Watch Movies: The easiest way to learn a new language is to watch plenty of movies in that language while undergoing the course. With the body language of the characters readily expresses the meaning of the dialogue in the movies, it will be easy for you to co-ordinate the details in the mind. That’s how I had learned my new languages.
Q. I have started learning a new language: it’s very tough to learn, pronounce the words, and commit to memory. Sometimes, I feel that I should stop this pain right away. I am overwhelmed!
- This is how the beginning happens and as you have not stopped learning so far shows your commitment to learning. That’s a good sign!
- Just like you have segregated time for eating, sleeping etc. segregate half an hour for studies, apart from your classes, for your new language. Don’t skip.
- The more you will start learning, the more interest you shall develop, and the more time you would start allotting automatically for more studies.
- Use entertainment channels constructively: listen to music in your new language, watch TV serials in your new language and watch movies in your new language; never mind, you won’t understand much in the beginning. You will start understanding the language in the due course of time. Be patient and give yourself some time. The moment you start understanding the language in bits and pieces, you will start loving the learning in anyway!
When you know foreign language communication becomes easier while traveling to that region. You can easily and immediately connect with the local people. It’s helpful on work front, for students who have gone to study there, appreciating their culture and literature, making new friends, global understanding etc.
Learning a new language opens doors to an entire civilization! Don’t take learning as a burden. Enjoy learning other languages.
“Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know.”
– Czech proverb
E – Book - Why Learn Another Language?
E – Book - The Benefits of Second Language Study
E – Book - 10 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language