Whether you want to go study abroad or visit a foreign country, learning the language of the region is advantageous. Though this might seem like an arduous process, getting a grasp on new words can be made both fun and engaging.
Setting a realistic goal and drawing up a plan to realise the same is a great way to start. Subsequently, you can prepare a time table of sorts, after factoring in instances of exhaustion and frustration.
Many a times, you might kick off the learning curve on an energetic and excited note, but, as time passes, staying motivated tends to get hard. In order to keep the morale high, try to spend time doing an activity you enjoy. It could be anything - from running, cooking, painting, reading or watching a movie.
And, if you want to go the extra mile, you can even incorporate the new language into these activities with minor tweaks. For instance, if you have picked up French, you could play a French song while running, or binge on a French TV show, or buy a French cookbook.
As much as taking the first step is significant, streamlining the path of learning is a paramount exercise. You can do this by creating a bank of commonly used words, phrases, sentences and questions so that you can keep them handy to go through. This can enable you to learn, unlearn, and also make mistakes. In addition to this you can try finding native speakers online who can clarify doubts.
Once you begin to get the hang of the language and figure out the lags in your conversational ability, you can connect the dots. Relating the pronunciation of some words in your mother tongue to the new language is a cakewalk. Since each language might require you to pause and intone differently, you can listen to podcasts to get it right. For example, in Mandarin, the same word 馬 (Mǎ) has four different meanings for four distinct tones.
If you want to achieve proficiency in a new language, you have to step out of the comfort zone. For example, instead of simply reading a billboard, attempt to translate it in the language you are learning. If you want to be consistent in this regard, set aside some time on a daily basis to understand and assimilate all the information you read in the new language.
Edited by Roshni Shroff
Some resources and links to help you learn more about learning new languages: