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Favorite tip for learning a language?


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I know someone who watched the Simpsons and American Idol to learn how to *use* English. They knew English properly, but learned lingo and how to actually use English through watching pop culture shows. What do you think? Are there any other ways?

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After reading so many people's experiences with learning languages, I noticed that a lot of those experiences were associated with learning a language through watching television shows. I think that learning a language through a show would be really helpful because you can see people interacting and having real conversations, so it's easy to see how the language you're learning can, and should, be used. It's also good to pick up on recent slang that wouldn't be in dictionaries and textbooks.

Of course, it's good to memorise vocabulary and learn grammar of the language you're learning, as you can then reinforce the words by watching television shows or listening to music. Another way to learn a language is to read children's books that are in that language, especially if it's a picture book. This allows you to see the word with the picture and it may stick in your mind for longer!

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I found that watching movies, listening to songs and reading books helps. I am not a native English speaker and basically that is how I learned it. Chatting in English helps a great deal too. Constant chatting helped me how to elucidate more of my thoughts in a deeper sense with the person I’m chatting with. Not everyone likes to read books but I'm pretty sure everyone either likes watching movies or listening to music which makes the learning process not boring.

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Obviously you need to work hard and study the language extensively. Reading books would be my #1 tip. That obviously helps you pick up the language fastest. You need to shut out all distractions. In addition to that, you can always learn by watching movies, television shows, listening to audio tapes is one of the better ways to learn as well. That way you are actively engaged in learning the language instead of just reading some words on a page.

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I think many people do grow up learning English from watching American shows and just consuming American media and entertainment in general. I know I learned a lot of my grammar and vocabulary just from reading American comics at a very young age. My nephew is very fluent in it as well just from watching shows and by now he's even more comfortable with English a lot more than our native language. I think the best tip for learning is really immersion. If it's all you read and hear and when you talk to someone it is what you use, eventually it will become second nature.

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For me, I think that learning a new language becomes easier if you listen and particularly like a foreign song, because it tends to stick in your head because you sing along to it, so the meaning and pronunciation becomes easier to grasp and remember.

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For me the biggest decider if i am going to learn a language or not is usually desire. If i find that  i have no desire to learn a particular language then i will most likely not do it. Or it will take much longer than usual. I have seen this in a lot of people too. The people that desire and want to learn something new are usually the ones that end up achieving the results.

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Assimilation - delve into the world of the language you are learning as much as possible, if you can. Listen to TV shows and radios using that language. Look up menus using that language. Language is more than just words and grammar and vocabulary - it is an agglomeration of a society's culture.

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I too would go with 'immersion' especially if the goal is conversational fluency. Exposing yourself to an environment where you are forced to speak the language you are learning is very important to attaining fluency of that language. Reading books, listening to radio, and watching TV/movies can only help to a certain extent. Through these different media, a person may be able to acquire comprehension and be grammatically correct when writing, but may still end up poor at his speaking skills if he limits to those and not engage himself in interacting with others using the second/foreign language.

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I think there are two things that can make learning a new language much, much easier. The first one is to have a study buddy. If there's two of you learning, acquiring a new language can be much, much faster. The second one is to find a topic that interests you and try using the language you want to learn for that topic. It's much more motivating to learn a new language that way, and therefore also easier.

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The big issue I've found with trying to watch T.V. shows though is I often can't keep up with what's being said in the program. So while I do think watching shows can help reinforce some vocabulary and you might pick up a few more words here and there, you need to have a decent base understanding of the language to really get a lot out of it.

The best learning tool for me is reading children's books. Sentences are not very long and the vocabulary is very simple. Often times as well, the writing is very straight-forward and nothing confusing going on with the stories.

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I know someone who watched the Simpsons and American Idol to learn how to *use* English. They knew English properly, but learned lingo and how to actually use English through watching pop culture shows. What do you think? Are there any other ways?

The best tip I could give for learning a foreign language is -- take your time. You are going to run into snags in comprehension -- immerse yourself as much as you can but understand that everyone's learning speed and ability are different. Try not to get frustrated.

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For me the biggest decider if i am going to learn a language or not is usually desire. If i find that  i have no desire to learn a particular language then i will most likely not do it. Or it will take much longer than usual. I have seen this in a lot of people too. The people that desire and want to learn something new are usually the ones that end up achieving the results.

I completely agree and I think this tip is actually usually underrated or looked over but it's very important because if not then the person trying to learn will eventually just end up wasting his or her time. The best thing to do is really to gauge how much you actually want to learn the language and to determine how much sacrifice you are willing to go through to learn it. This way you can be sure of what you are getting into.

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Simple : practice practice practice. What I did when I was trying to learn japanese, is I learned the sentence, then I would repeat it in my head at random times. Then I'd look up the video I learned the sentence from, and see if I got it correctly. If I did not, I made myself repeat the sentence until I got it memorized. Worked pretty well .

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Simple : practice practice practice. What I did when I was trying to learn japanese, is I learned the sentence, then I would repeat it in my head at random times. Then I'd look up the video I learned the sentence from, and see if I got it correctly. If I did not, I made myself repeat the sentence until I got it memorized. Worked pretty well .

Very true! I would say practice and immersion are 2 major keys to becoming truly proficient in a language. 1-3 hours work at least per day are essential.

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Constant repetition and memorization will really help in learning a language.  If you encounter a certain phrase being frequently spoken in movies, you are most likely to repeat it.  It not only applies to the English language, but also to other languages you are learning as well.  It is more fun learning a language if you have already been exposed to it several times. Your language skills will be further reinforced if you study it on your own as well.

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I think pop culture could be a good way to help you master  the language you have learnt but watching movies may be an even better way. Pop culture is usually unedited and may have errors whereas movies, being scripted is less likely to have errors.

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Every day we are alive we learn something new, something interesting and very practical.I feel that we should never neglect our personal growth. It is great to make time to fine tune our skills and knowledge. In this age of practicality, you can learn so many new things online. There are courses for everything...even FREE ones, so something like learning a new language has never been easier.

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My tip is to get a feel and ear for the language, listen  to the radio, especially morning shows and other day to day show's, to get the rhythm  for the language and the feel for the natural flow. Even before you can speak a word, when you hear the same words repeated over and over , you can feel and hear how it should sound, and by just listening your bran is more susceptible to the nuances that you will not get when distracted by your eyes in a TV-show or movie.

Also it allows you to hear different accents , so you hear more of the language your trying to learn.

Its in my opinion one of the best things to learn a  new language to start your morning listening to it. Then you do whatever makes you learn it faster, reading, watching TV or movies, writing, memorizing and/or all of then during the day. 

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It's important to become immersed in the culture when you are learning the language, perhaps as a motivator to learn more. But my favorite tip for learning a language is using the language with natives as much as you can. Some people overlook this with fear of stumbling over words or having long pauses, but it is so pivotal in building your confidence and being able to become fluent in the language. So whenever you can, even if you are a beginner, you should practice with a native as much as you can. People generally seem to be delighted when you make an attempt to speak to them in their own language.

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Confidence is probably number one. Communicating in a foreign language can be intimidating/awkward, but little bit by little bit, try to communicate as often as possible! Don't be afraid of looking/sounding stupid. I've found native Spanish-speakers that I've communicated with tend to be very understanding, helpful, and patient. So just go for it! Practice makes perfect.

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