Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 Tips for Learning a New Language

Cover of "Speak Mandarin (Text, Workbook ...
Cover via Amazon
by Russell Petersen

Study harder not longer

In other words you will gain an infinitely better understanding of the language you are learning by practicing for 2-3 hours a day for a week rather than one hour every other day for a month.

Remember all those language classes you took in high-school or college? And how fluent are you now? Exactly!

Don't spend a decade of your life phoning it in while trying to learn your next language.

Really gear down and spend a week or two at a time giving the language the commitment and dedication that it requires.

The power of 100

Stanford University conducted a study demonstrating that the 100 most commonly used words for any language account for 50% of any language. So what does that tell you? You may not be fluent but you'll be able to get around town and really get a jump on the learning curve.

Start with the 100 most common words and then make sentences with them over and over again. Learn just enough grammar to be able to do this and do it until you feel pretty comfortable with all of them.

100-1000 it's just another zero right?

The same study also demonstrated that the most common 1,000 words account for 80% of all spoken communication and the most common 3,000 words account for 99% of communication. So what does that mean for you?

It means once you learn between about 500-1000 of the most commonly used words you will be able to speak very efficiently. After you have a basic understanding of the grammar you will be speaking basic sentences, shown below, in less than a week rather than years.

"Where is the mall?"
"I want to meet you for dinner."
"How old are you?"
"Did you like the show?"

The first few hundred words will make a world of difference for you. Use these to get comfortable with the enunciation and grammar. After you are confident in your first 100 feel free to expand your vocabulary.

Don't get too zealous though and start trying to learn vocabulary related to law, economics, or international trade because you could overwhelm yourself and lose some of your confidence.

Individual tutoring is the best use of your time

However that time tends to be a bit expensive but if you have the means or if maybe your company is paying for you to learn, a tutor will yield you results faster than any other way.

Going back to tip number one, if you spend 2-3 hours a day with a tutor for just a few weeks I guarantee you would be able to communicate at a conversational level.

A friend of mine recently began learning his 3rd language and after three focused weeks he was able to go on a dinner date and speak with relative ease, and since we are on the dating topic ...

Date someone who speaks the language you are learning

This will sound crazy but it is a real world example. A good friend of mine moved to China, for a girl, and could barely say hello in Mandarin. It was love at first site but she didn't speak English and he didn't speak Mandarin. Can you see where there might be a disconnect?

After 4 months of living in China with his girlfriend, he was fluent in a language that is arguably one of the most difficult to learn. This is a bit of an extreme case but it goes to show that intense focus and determination will yield genuine results very rapidly.

If you are interested in learning a new language, specifically Mandarin Chinese, you need to check out http://www.SexyMandarin.com. It makes learning a language fun and creates an experience for the user that is unforgettable.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Russell_Petersen

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