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Linguaholic

What aids do you use to learn you new language?


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For me, I find it useful to have sticky notes stuck all over my house. My living room had labels on almost everything, lamps, TV, radiator, each with the name in Spanish.

I picked the names up much faster as every time I used the item, I said the word and it wasn't at all like I was revising.

You should see my kitchen now :-)

What tips do you have?

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My next language will be Spanish and as I do not want to waste years to learn it, I would prefer "total immersion". As I live in Switzerland, it is pretty convenient and cheap to go to Spain, so if I got a chance to work there for half a year or a year, I think that would be sufficient for learning it. I already speak French, therefore studying Spanish should be fairly easy for me.  :grin:

I'm heading to Barcelona for a couple of days in one weeks' time, so I have a chance to study a few words already (Unofortunately I just stay there for 3-4 days).

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Other than using a textbook, I like to watch shows in the language I'm learning. When I was studying Japanese, I watched a bunch of Jdramas and listened to Jpop all day. And even though it's entertainment, it really helped a lot and I started to understand bits of what they were saying after a while.

Another aid I use is the Language table at my school. Here, people who are studying (or know) the same language you are studying will gather and talk only in that language. I go to the Japanese language table to talk to people all the time and it really helps brush up my Japanese. So definitely use your friends and the people around you as resources.

Of course in the end, I did buy a textbook. But watching entertainment videos and talking to other people definitely helped me build a stronger foundation for my studies.

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Some good ideas and I like the basic approach of reading the children's books it reminded my that I actually watch the local version of kids shows such as Sesame Street. Its a basic step by step approach.

Add to this the many cartoons for children that are available also.

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  • 1 month later...

The most important aid to me, when learning a new language is informative videos. They are really helpful, because they keep you attentive while teaching you something new as well. Without these videos I might be behind in my studies honestly.

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My biggest "secret weapon" is probably watching movies in the language I'm trying to learn, and getting subtitles for them. It's mostly useful once you have a general idea of the language and its grammar, but it increases the process pretty swiftly after that. Reading articles or posts on the internet in that language is also helpful, especially in learning slang and modern language usage.

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A great aid for me was making my own didactic material.  I actually enjoyed gathering all sorts of images (from the old microsoft gallery), because those images were perfect for the creation of learning materials.  I liked to print those images, along the corresponding word in the language I liked to learn.  I used this method with the finnish language! 

I'd then glue them to a cardboard, cut them and buy a special material that I used to coat my new cards :) I created a lot learning material for my english classes using this method as well.  This can be really useful, specially if you are a visual learner :)

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The aids I am using right now in learning a new language are beginners book for the language, internet videos teaching with proper pronunciations and actual conversations with persons who knows the language. Right now this works best for me and I am learning slowly but surely.

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Television and internet for one. Nothing helps you earn a language more than listening to over and over. There are a lot of softwares for language learning out there but to be truly able to 'get' a language you need a teacher teaching it to you.

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