From improved memory and enhanced concentration to exciting career and travel opportunities, the reasons to learn a language are as numerous as languages themselves.
And, you know that. You know learning a language will enrich your life in a thousand different ways. No one has to convince you it’s a good idea.
The issue here is the learning itself. Where do I start? How do I begin?
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Or, if you have tried to learn a language: How do I stay motivated when it feels like I’ll never be fluent?
I feel you because I’ve been there.
Which is why in today’s post, I’m demystifying how to learn a language. By answering some frequently asked questions, I’ll (fingers crossed) give you the confidence you need to take the next—or very first—step in your journey to learn a language.
What is the best language to learn?
I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of things. Mandarin is the business language of the future. Or, Arabic speakers are in high demand.
Feel free to take whatever advice you want into account, but above all, understand your decision about what language to study is an intensely personal one.
Seriously, you may need to search your soul to find the answer.
Before start to learn a new language, it’s helpful to know why you want to study that particular language.
Having a solid why will get you through the inevitable challenges of learning a language. If you have some type of personal connection or solid reason for pursing a language, you’re more likely to stay motivated.
Maybe there’s a job you want or country you’d like to visit.
For me, I wanted to learn Spanish to better understand my family’s culture. I also knew I wanted to live abroad in Spanish-speaking countries. To me, it just made sense to learn Spanish in order to make more connections and get the most out of my experience.
How do you learn a language fast?
When you find out how to learn a language fast, please please PLEASE tell me!!!
I know there are intensive programs out there promising they have the answer for how to learn a language in 10 days, but I’m calling BS.
Learning a language, I mean REALLY knowing it, takes time.
That being said: The amount of time it takes to learn a language depends on how much effort you put into your studies.
You can’t learn a language overnight, but the more energy you devote to studying a language, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits aka actually being able to communicate.
Feeling discouraged in your language learning journey? You’re not alone! Check out THIS POST about my own ups and downs learning Spanish.
How long does it take to become fluent in a language?
You might be able to communicate after a few weeks or months, but understanding the ins and outs of another language takes time.
There’s no shortcut.
Since starting to study Spanish, the concept of fluency is something I’ve struggled with. People would ask me if I was fluent in Spanish, and even though I was confident in my language skills, I hesitated to say yes since there were (and still are) plenty of occasions when I didn’t know a word or couldn’t perfectly understand something.
For a long time, my idea of fluency held me back. In my pursuit of perfection, even small mistakes would all but unravel me. I lost confidence in my language skills and couldn’t appreciate how far I’d come.
Everything changed when I finally realized being fluent doesn’t mean being perfect.
You’re going to make mistake. A lot of them. What matters is 1) you can be understood and 2) you use those mistakes to grow.
Since I started learning Spanish, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Read THIS POST to find out my biggest, most embarrassing mistake to date.
Is the only trick to learning a new language to live in a place with native speakers?
Maybe 15 years ago this was true, but thanks to technology and the internet ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Even though I’ve lived in Spanish-speaking countries for the past few years, the majority of my Spanish learning has taken place online.
Since before I moved to Madrid for the first time in 2014, I’ve taken Spanish classes online through a website called italki.
In addition to classes with professional teachers, I also utilize the website to find language partners for FREE conversation practice via Skype.
I don’t live in a place with native speakers is no longer a valid excuse.
If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Doesn’t italki sound AWESOME?! Learn more about my favorite website to learn a language in THIS POST.
How useful are those language learning CDs?
Wait, what are these CDs you speak of?
Just kidding. I know what CDs are. I think I saw one in a book once (and by “book,” I mean my eReader because WHAT IS PAPER?!)
Resources for learning languages have come a long way.
If you want to know how to learn a language by yourself, language learning apps are a great place to start.
In THE ULTIMATE SPANISH LEARNER’S RESOURCE GUIDE, I share some of my favorite language learning apps. You might already be familiar with Duolingo for language learning, but it’s far from the only one.
Companies will try to sell you on the idea they have THE BEST program to learn a language, but what is really important is you find THE BEST way to learn a language for you.
While my resource guide is geared toward Spanish learners, the majority of tips and resources will work for ANYONE studying ANY language.
If you’re stuck on how to start learning a language or feel like you’ve plateaued, you’re definitely going to want to check it out.
How To Learn A Language
So, how are you feeling? Are you ready to finally learn a language?
To help you on your language learning journey, I’ve put together THE ULTIMATE SPANISH LEARNER’S RESOURCE GUIDE.
It highlights my favorite resources for learning Spanish—almost all of which are free!
Studying a different language? You can apply the tips and tricks in the Spanish Learner’s Resource Guide to ANY LANGUAGE.
In today’s post, I answered five frequently asked questions about learning a language, but in the FREE guide, you’ll also get answers to:
- What is the best language learning app?
- How do you make sure that you practice enough?
- How can I learn a language on my own?
No matter what language you’re studying and where you are on your language learning journey, this FREE 10-page eBook has something for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now, and start learning a language today.
Pssst…Don’t forget to pin this post for later!