Useful Tips for Learning Foreign Languages

People who take up learning foreign languages have completely different reasons – some need it for getting promoted at work, some are willing to change their current occupation for a job that has to do with languages or translations, some have relatives or friends abroad and want to get acquainted with their traditions and values through the language as a mirror of a specific culture, quite many people need it for traveling or simply get involved into language studies for self-improvement and out of interest.

Most of those who make a conscious decision to learn a foreign language are grown-ups, however, it is commonly known that the elder the person gets, the harder it is for them to memorize hundreds of new words and difficult grammar rules. Anyway, grown-ups may still learn a language relatively quickly and effectively as well as children if they make notice of some useful tips and actually practice them. As a professional translator, interpreter and tutor of the German and Finnish languages (note: Finnish is one of the most difficult languages ever!), I am eager to share some helpful advice with you.

First of all, when learning new words and expressions, try to use the method of associations as often as it is possible. No matter what associations you get with this or that word, one with any English word or a similar word of the language being learned that you already know, keep it in your memory, you may organize new words with similar spelling or pronunciation into groups and learn them this way. Remember, it is always much more efficient than cramming!

It is also a good idea to write these groups of words down onto cards in several bright colors and place these cards anywhere you frequently have to look – put them onto your computer table or even hang a poster onto the wall. It may seem to be more effective for children, in fact, this method is very much appreciated by grown up people who don’t have much time for learning for an opportunity to memorize a large amount of information without getting distracted from their main occupation.

When it comes to grammar, you are recommended to make up simple and easily memorable constructions for every single rule so that you can use a ready pattern whenever you have to make up a new sentence. Learning little texts on different subjects is also effective so that you don’t only know a list of words and casual phrases but may put them all into a logical sentence and speak fluently.

When you acquire the basic knowledge and feel relatively free when talking, it is highly recommended to practice the language with a native speaker. This way you will not only refine your speaking skills but also work on your pronunciation, learn some slang words and frequently used expressions. You may make foreign friends for language exchange on personalized websites and then talk to them in any instant messenger, it may be especially useful when you learn the language by yourself, without language courses or a tutor so that you may ask your interlocutor any questions you may ever get. Moreover, use any opportunity to listen to music, watch movies and read books in the language you are learning so that you refine all your language skills at a time and also have something to discuss with your new online mates.

Hope these tips are helpful to you, I wish you good luck in all your beginnings, just remember it is never late to learn!

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