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Five Ways to Speed Up Learning a Different Language

Hello. Hola. Salut. Ciao. There is arguably nothing more exhilarating than learning a new language and finding out you can converse with a native speaker with ease! Most people will sign up for classes, buy a super expensive online course to expedite the process or even move to a destination for some time to practice speaking with locals. But these aren’t necessary since there are many different (and more fun) ways to learn!

1. Through Music

Courtesy of Andrew Nelles

Music is something we all love and regardless of the minimal amount you’re exposed to in the United States, foreign countries are filled with hometown artists who thrive producing music in their mother tongue. While it may be hard to find outstanding Icelandic pop stars or a rapper out of Kenya, both of those countries have national anthems in their respective languages, along with every country whose primary language is not English. The Olympics and World Cup are fun ways to learn other nations’ anthems, in languages as fascinating as Icelandic and Swahili!

2. Video Chat

This option isn’t as easy as the first since you have to know someone who speaks another language for this step to come to fruition. But once you do, save your money and skip the trip to Brazil, unless it’s something you’re really craving. Your Portuguese-speaking friend will be thrilled to teach you over FaceTime or Skype!

3. Fiction

Courtesy of @karliekloss on Instagram

Finding a great novel in another language definitely isn’t a hard task, however, understanding the plot is. This is a step to start once you’re comfortable enough with the language to speak it with a native since it’s impossible if you haven’t got your feet wet. Once you’re ready, pick up the Romanian edition of Harry Potter and dive in!

4. Film

We all know that a good book is supposed to play a visual in your head while you read. However, this movie can’t begin if you don’t understand what you’re reading. Toward the beginning of your language-learning endeavors, get on Netflix or YouTube and find a film in another tongue. Take note of the words you understand, whether there’s a handful or a ton, and even turn on the captions to English so you can learn all about accents and pronunciation!

5. Change Your Phone’s Settings

This is potentially the riskiest option since you could end up spending an hour trying to revert it back to English. However, it’s a quick and effective way to learn how to say “Home”, “Phone” and “Messages.” And no, this isn’t a joke. Open up your apps and start reading, you’ll notice that tons of sentences have shifted from English to your language of choice!

Apart from these five steps, there are a bunch of other ways to learn a language. Conventional options such as taking classes or traveling are expensive and could be taxing and ineffective. However, everyone knows that you learn quicker when you’re having fun. Learning a language isn’t a quick process, but if you get involved and integrate it into your daily life, you’ll be proficient before you know it! Time flies when you’re having fun, and when learning another language is your goal, grab a book, look up a song or play around with your phone and you’ve started your journey!

Katherine is a sophomore at Florida State University. She is passionate about reading, writing, sports, photography and almost anything else! Cat lover.
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