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7 Tricks To Learn Languages… When You’re Bad At Languages

Having trouble with your Spanish? Check out these easy and useful tricks from Babbel:

1) Memory:

Create connections between topics that interest you and the language you’re learning. How are you going to use the subjunctive in Spanish to express your desire to see your team avoid relegation? “¡Deseo que mi equipo no baje a la segunda liga!”

2) Pronunciation:

Perfect pronunciation isn’t fundamental to communicating in a language, but people will understand you more easily if you can train yourself to avoid the most common pronunciation errors. […] Fortunately, there are always tricks to elevate you from pronunciation purgatory to enunciation ecstasy. There are specific tricks for every sound — I picked up the German r by gargling progressively smaller amounts of water while saying trinken — but it’s most important to pay attention to the way native speakers talk, and then imitate them.

3) Speak, speak and… you guessed it, speak!:

Get speaking and get familiar with the music of the language. Have you ever noticed how people who speak more than one language seem to have more than one voice? Sometimes they even seem to have a whole different personality. Don’t be afraid of playing with the sounds and intonations of your new language. Imitate the music of Italian, the conspicuous consonants of German, and the gentle lisps of Spanish or Danish

4) Face your fears:

Take a deep breath, remember that empathy exists and […] afford you the time necessary to collect your thoughts and deliver your response. Recognize also that learning a language is a humbling experience. Learn to laugh at yourself now and again, and you’ll learn even more quickly.

5) Apply your skills from other fields:

Are you good at math? Programming? Cooking? Craft work? Now’s the time to identify your strengths and apply them to the world of languages. Personalize your learning techniques. For example, if you’re good at math, you may want to focus on grammar. […] More in favor of learning by doing? Write out your shopping list in your learning language, head to the supermarket, and follow your foreign language recipe. Verbalize the steps as you execute them.

6) Read and understand, and concentrate!

If you read a Spanish novel in bed, you’ll probably find it especially taxing in the morning and detrimental to staying awake in the evening. When starting out, it’s important to set aside some quiet time — free of distractions and at a time of day when you’re alert — to read. Select a topic which interests you, or an author you like, and read.

7) Don’t fret!

There’s no need to impose pressure upon yourself, nor rush toward unreachable goals. Accept from the beginning that you’re in it for the long haul, and organize your learning so that it can become as integrated into your daily routine […]Be sure to recognize and reward your progress, and you’ll soon see what you thought was impossible becoming possible.

Source: Babbel Magazine

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