Learning a new language can feel intimidating. Unless you majored in a foreign language in college, you probably don’t remember much of what you learned in high school language classes. Sadly, I didn’t retain anything from my French days. It was made very apparent when I visited Paris just three years after high school and couldn’t remember anything other than “bonjour” and “oui”. As an adult, you may think it’s too late to pick-up a new language, but with these helpful tips, it is not only a possibility but an enjoyable and enriching experience, too!
Why I Decided to Learn a New Language
Recently, I decided to explore my German roots, and this prompted me to pick up learning a new language. You guessed it – Deutsch! Although I do find speaking and pronunciation to be a bit of a challenge, I have made huge strides in my ability to read, write, and understand German. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with my progress. I have taken multiple approaches to immersing myself, short of moving to Germany (which I desperately wish I could do). Here are a few tips to learn a new language – no matter your age or experience level.
Tips for Learning a New Language
- Download an app – I love Duolingo (and it’s free!)
- Use a program such as Rosetta Stone
- Join a local club or chapter in your town. Meeting and mingling with others who are learning the language, or already speak it fluently, is a great way to practice your conversational skills! Check-out the class schedule at your local recreation center or look into sites like Meet Up for groups in your area.
- Read books in your new language – find books you have read in English or start with a children’s grade-school level book.
- Listen to Podcasts – Coffee Break German is a favorite of mine. They offer multiple language options and the basic courses are free!
- YouTube shows
Most importantly, don’t give up! It does take time and it may feel overwhelming in the beginning. Over time you will begin to catch on, and once you do, it’s really exciting.
Have more tips? Share them below!
* I have no affiliation with any of my recommendations, I simply have used them and think they are great options!