When my friend Stacey L Tokunaga moved down to Mexico 5 years ago I desperately wanted to join her and move down there myself, if for no other reason than the experience of living somewhere new for a while. In preparation to make the move I decided to start learning Spanish, as I didn’t want to be alienated once I moved down there. Stacey was able to speak Spanish from a young age and she did tell me that if I wanted to enjoy living there, that I should too. Learning a language is not only fun but it gives you the chance to unlock an entire culture. If you want to get started with learning a language, here are some tips which may help you out.
Use it Or Lose It
As you learn a new language you have to make sure that you are doing all that you can to practice. Even Stacey tells me that after a couple of weeks of being back in the US that she has to shake off a little bit of rust when she goes back to Mexico, and she can speak almost fluently! In order to retain what you are learning you must find ways in which to practice and speak to others in your nw language.
If you think that you are not going to make mistakes then you are completely wrong, and the truth is that you should want to make mistakes as this is how you are going to learn. Don’t be embarrassed when you are chatting with a native speaker, just try and say what you can and they will most likely correct you if you get something wrong. The key to learning a new language is having the confidence to go out there are speak it, regardless if you make mistakes.
Although I did manage to get my Spanish to a solid level before I moved to Mexico, I have learned far more in a shorter space of time since I have been down here. The reason for this is that I have submerged myself in the language and surrounded myself with people who don’t speak English, forcing me to up my game, or sit in silence. If you have the chance to do this then I would recommend it completely. You only learn to drive a car once you have passed your test and got out on the road, and the same thing is true in terms of learning a new language.
It has never been easier to learn, practice and speak a new language than it is right now and there are so many apps which you can use to boost your learning. You can find dictionaries and social media learning apps which will help you to take your language learning to the next level.
Work hard, be brave and you will be able to pick up a new language in no time at all.