Having a lot of language at your conversational disposal is a skill set that is both convenient and impressive. As language is usually the major component of effective communication, being able to speak the language of the locals in a foreign country can help to establish rapport and make your trip even more memorable. What’s more, it is easier to build bonds with people of other cultures and races, if you’re able to speak their language.
However, learning a new language, let alone multiple new languages, is a daunting task. This is especially true when learning Mandarin, one of the more difficult languages. We seldom have the free time or patience to learn them unless it is absolutely necessary. This is why we have some tips that potential bilinguals can adopt to ease their learning process.
- Find a movie in the language that you’re learning and then add the English subtitles onto it, or find a movie in English and add the language that you’re learning so that you can practice your reading skills. This particularly is a fun activity, and you are actually learning while also enjoying a movie. Watching movies in the new language will also help you to learn the way that words are pronounced or the intonation of the voices when they speak that language.
- Listen to music in the different language, and it will help you to comprehend and grasp the different intonations and pronunciation of words in those songs.
- Make flashcards – It is recommended to write down the word you are learning on one side with a little illustration to make it a bit more meaningful and then on the other side you can add English translation. The best thing about flashcards is that you can either get a family member or friend to quiz you so you can improve.
- Keep a journal or notebook for writing down new words you are learning – this is particularly helpful because you can always go back and look through all of your list of words and then include them in an essay or an upcoming assignment. Get a notebook and write anything that has to be related to the language that you are learning.
- Keep an online diary or a blog where everything you feel like expressing has to be in that language. At first, it will be really hard because you’ll find that there are some things that you want to express but you can’t find the words to express them in that language and so that would be a really good opportunity for you to search the words through Google Translate or in your dictionary. In this way, you can easily learn new vocabulary for the words that you want to express.
- Write some letters for your friends or get a pen-pal – when you are writing to a pen-pal or to your friends in the language that you are learning, it means that you are practising your writing skills with each other.
- Use a language learning app – Having a language learning app is great because it is portable, it is on your phones, you can take it anywhere, and whenever you get some spare time, you can play some of the activities. It makes learning the language a lot more interactive.
All the above strategies also work if you are interested in learning Mandarin or learn the chinese language. These strategies are also applicable when learning other languages, and are useful to help you be proficient in them.