The Stages Of Learning A New Language

Learning a new language is an exciting and riveting process. As somebody who is fascinated by different languages and dialects, learning multiple languages is a goal of mine that I wish to pursue with success in the future. Currently, I'm in the process of learning Hindi, Spanish, Korean and Punjabi (listed in the order of my fluency). It goes without saying that it is a challenge to master new forms of writing, pronunciation, and communication but I truly believe that the merits of being able to communicate with different people outweigh the difficulty.

Initial interest

There's always a moment that sparks interest in learning anything. My impetus for wanting to learn Spanish was taking it as a language for the first time in 6th grade. When I started listening to Korean music in 2016, I felt the urge to learn the language so that I could understand what I was listening to! As for Indian and Punjabi, I learned the two growing up but fell out of practice as I spoke mainly in English as I got older.

Methods of learning

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to absorb new languages. Since Hindi is spoken at home, I practice by speaking to my parents and grandparents. My understanding is pretty fluent but is subject to improve as my speaking gets better. Since early 2016, I’ve pretty much immersed myself in the world of Kpop and different forms of Korean popular entertainment. By listening to songs of my favourite artists, watching dramas and variety shows and speaking with my friends, my Korean has improved a lot. I learned the alphabet from a series of YouTube videos. Finally, I’ve employed the most conventional way of learning a language to Spanish and Punjabi- taking a class. Studying Spanish for 7+ years has safely burned the language into my mind, though not fluently. Practicing by watching telenovelas is something I’m not against!

One of my favorite k-dramas is Go Ho’s Starry Night, starring Girls Generation’s Kwon Yuri.  A perfect starter drama for if you're a novice! Confusion

If you’re anything like me, you start to get discourage whenever verb tenses and grammar come to mind. Pretty ironic for an English major to say! It is safe to say that foreign grammar isn't really my specialty. I'm trying to not let this discourage me, as fluency is my ultimate goal.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Luckily, I’ve been pretty good at remembering phrases and vocabulary words and using them while conversing with native speakers. Although having a good memory is a plus, it’s no replacement for regular practice! After all, practice paired with repetition is truly the key to getting better at pretty much anything. You can practice alphabets by rote and vocabulary and phrases by making flashcards.

No matter what language you want to learn, always remember that it's a great thing to pursue and is possible with routine practice. Something that started as a hobby for me turned into something that has open many doors of communication and friendship. Happy learning!