The Fastest Way to Learn a New Language (Complete Guide)

The Fastest Way to Learn a New Language. People want to learn a new language for various reasons, be it for personal enrichment, career advancement, or travel. No matter the motivation, it’s important to learn a language effectively and efficiently. Even though it doesn’t happen overnight, there are some ways to make the process smoother and easier. Below we outline the fastest way to learn a new language, and provide tips and tricks to help you on your journey.


Figure Out What Motivates You

You’re more likely to learn a new language if you have a tangible motivation. Part of establishing an effective language learning program is figuring out what sways you. To make it more tangible, start by asking yourself why you want to learn a new language. Is it for work? Education? Personal growth? Or to better travel around the world? Naming the ultimate goal will help ensure that you remain committed to the process.


Build a Comprehensive Learning Program

Not all language programs are created equal, so a little research is definitely in order. Evaluate the many available online programs for a variety of language learning options dual immersion programs, online courses, or classes at a local college or university. Choose the one that‘s right for your motivation. If it’s travel, choose a program that emphasizes the basics of everyday conversational skills and spoken language. If work is what drives you, then you can focus on mastering more complex language forms.


Get an Accountability Partner

Accountability is key when it comes to achieving goals, and it‘s no different when it comes to learning a new language. Enlist a friend or family member who is just as interested in learning a new language as you are. Being accountable to another person (plus, the added incentive of friendly competition) will help keep you motivated and on track.


Utilize Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a memorization technique that helps you retain information over time. It involves revisiting information at spaced intervals based on your individual level of retention. The idea is to review material more often when you are having a harder time memorizing it, and less often as you become more confident that you won’t forget it. Many language program apps offer this feature, or become familiar with language-specific reviewing programs like Anki, a program built to help you maintain the concepts you’re currently learning.


Read and Listen

Read as much as possible in the language you are learning. Not only does this help to familiarize you with the language’s written form, but it helps with understanding body language and intonation. Once you develop a certain level of proficiency, move from reading to listening. Listen to radio programs, podcasts, or interviews in the language you’re learning. This is an excellent way to practice both spoken and written language, sentence structure, and eventually pronunciation. Plus, you won‘t get bored of repeating the same stuff over and over, as there will always be something new to learn in this type of listening.


Speak and Practice

The best way to learn is to begin speaking the language yourself. That can be daunting in the beginning, but just practice saying simple phrases out loud. Find a native speaker who can help you correct sentences and pronunciation, or join a spoken language class.

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For the more socially-minded types, join a language exchange, which match native and non-native speakers, allowing them to learn each other’s languages. You don’t have to pronounce every word perfectly, but keep your responses short and simple, correct yourself if necessary, and listen to how the speaker responds.


Use Memory Techniques

Using memory rules or mnemonics can help imprint the language more effectively in your mind. To remember a word or phrase, use a story or visual description of it. Research other memory techniques too, such as chunking and combining images and letters  both of these are safeguards to avoiding forgetting what you have learned.


Immerse Yourself

One of the best ways to really become proficient in a language is to immerse yourself in it think of why children usually learn a language so easily: they are exposed to it every day. Unfortunately, not all of us can just completely immerse ourselves in a foreign language for various reasons, such as family or job commitments. That said, you can still find ways to bring immersion into your daily life, even if it’s in small doses. Listen to podcasts while you commute or do chores, make sure to always carry a phrasebook, watch film in the language you are learning.


Have Fun with It

The best way to stay motivated is to enjoy the process. Having fun with it can help you stay dedicated and make arduous studying more pleasant. Learn conversations to use when you visit the country, watch films and television shows in the language you are studying, or make playlists with songs with the target language. Learning a language doesn’t have to be a chore.


# FAQs

How do I measure my progress when learning a new language?

There are many ways to measure your progress. Keep a chart that outlines your learning goals and the time it will take you to achieve them. Alternatively, time yourself continuously and do one-minute or five-minute quizzes, or listen to recordings and answer questions after listening. Assigning yourself tasks, as well as keeping track of your errors and successes will help you gauge your improvement.


How long does it typically take to learn a language?

It depends on your learning style and how much time you can commit to it. According to the Foreign Service Institute, it takes approximately 5-6 months to learn a language to the point where you can have basic conversation. To become proficient in the language, it takes about 44 weeks.


What are some tips for learning a language more quickly?

Create rewards for yourself in order to stay motivated! Feel proud of your achievements and want more. Make the language a part of your everyday life. Listen to music, watch films, read books and magazines, all in your target language. Utilizing online programs (such as Duolingo, Busuu, Babbel, Lingoda, etc.) and speaking apps (HiNative and HelloTalk, for instance) can help speed up the process.


What are the different types of language programs available?

A variety of language-learning programs exist, from audio and video courses to books, apps, websites, and even local classes at universities or language institutes. For audio courses, some popular programs are FluentU and Pimsleur. Fit Language offers video courses, Rosetta Stone and Babbel emphasize online programs, and Living Language is a series of books.


Can anyone learn a language?

Categorically, yes! You can teach yourself a language, or you can join a class. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to language learning, so find the one that works best for you and go with it.


How can I use something I already know to learn a new language?

When learning a language, it can be especially useful to use courses, words, and phrases that are related to subjects you’re already familiar with. Start with what you already know and build on that with new words and phrases.


How can I learn a language without actively studying?

Many language learning apps offer passive learning opportunities. Digital flashcards and games can help make language-learning a passive process while you’re on the go. Listening to podcasts, watching movies, and reading books in the language you’re learning also help with passive learning.


What is the best language-learning program or app?

It depends on your individual needs. Pick one that has the features you’re looking for be it games, audio and video comprehension, interactive conversations, or writing skills. Do some research and find one that speaks to your specific needs.


Learning a new language is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, motivation, and dedication. With some due diligence and tenacity, and with the help of the above tips, tricks and techniques, you can become proficient in a language of your choice in no time. Through hard work and diligent effort, you can become great at whatever language you desire, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time or if you can’t pronounce words correctly. With the right language-learning program, and by following the guidance outlined above, you’ll be speaking a new language like a native speaker in no time.


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