No, it’s not the Rosetta Stone. Like most skills, the key to really acquiring a foreign language is to actually apply it.Photo by roryrory
“Language hacker” Benny the Irish Polyglot (who learned to speak eight languages fluently within seven years) shares his best zenhabits strategy for learning a new language: start speaking it with other people right now.
Although that might seem commonsensical, consider all of your previous foreign language learning experiences, which probably involved a lot of reading, writing and listening exercises. Despite how easy those exercises might have been, though, you might still not have felt confident enough to speak aloud in the other language.
The reason? You didn’t practice speaking the language or conversing with native speakers enough — or didn’t do so as early as you should have.
To achieve conversational fluency, you don’t need a higher IQ, a mailing address in the foreign country, or some other advantage. All you need to do is actually start speaking the foreign language as soon as you can—and with a positive attitude—to anyone who can understand you.
So, time to join those language meet-ups, host a foreign exchange student, or otherwise find a way to really use the language while you learn it. More tips in the link below. Have a tip for learning a new language quickly? Speak to us…
Simple guide to speaking foreign languages [zenhabits]