Languages are exciting. They help us travel, discover new cultures, improve our memory skills and verbal impression. And if boring high school lessons of foreign language discouraged you to discover your linguistic potential – fear not! There are many entertaining ways to learn languages.
The easiest and convenient tools are mobile apps. Instead of staring into Facebook feed on your smartphone on the way to school, you can spend these minutes learning new vocabulary via Duolingo, Busuu or Memrise. I recommend the last one, because it has cool system of reminders based on short-term memory study and this app notify you when you have to refresh your recently learned vocabulary. All those apps are free, suitable for different levels and language variations. Another great memorizing program is Anki, based on flashcards and it is useful not only for languages but for learning various subjects and facts.
Another surprising, but extremely helpful tool, is Google translator, we use it on daily basis, without recognizing that it can be good for checking synonyms, variation of a word in different languages or just quick help to understand foreign sentence.
The best way to learn a language quickly, of course, is learning it from native speakers. You don’t have to travel (which is also a great way btw), because you can start with finding language exchange online or offline. For the online option go to Italki or similar platforms. For the offline, try to find events related to the language and culture you are interested in. It can be food event, film festival, traditional dancing, etc. There are also language exchange programs organized by schools and student organizations. If you know that there are some foreign students or working expats in your city, try to join their community on social networks and go to events they organize. You will meet new friends and improve your language at the same time.
The last one is a lazy way of learning language – just surround yourself with it! Change settings in your email, phone, Facebook account etc. Put stickers with words on everyday subjects (yea, it works), listen to the songs, watch movies and Youtube videos in original language with subtitles. If you learn English and want to watch something inspiring and educational definitely check out TED talks, for most of them subtitles are available.
If you are structured learner, bunch of free language courses by top universities, you can use MOOCs like edX or Coursera.
So choose your language and start now! And the most important if you learn a language – don’t be afraid to speak it, it is the only way to master it.