Learning a new language

By Vanessa Makava

Hallo, Bonjour, Hello, Sawubona, Mhoro

Growing up, I was only comfortable with knowing two languages that is Shona and English. I never saw the need of learning another language. As the years went by I developed the desire to travel the world, experience different cultures and look at it from a different perspective. This resulted in my interest to learn other languages. Through languages I feel connected to the a brand new culture, history, food and the community. I recently started learning German. It was difficult at first, seeing these big complicated words but as time went on they looked easier to read and l gradually started to get a hang of things.

In this article, l will be sharing five tips that helped me in learning and understanding a new Language.

1.Say it

Whilst learning a new language we often stubble across strange foreign words and It is easy to mumble them or not say the word at all. What l have learnt over the years is that you Just have to say it out loud. It may sound strange but you will eventually get the hang of it. Luckily, there are so many applications that can help out with pronunciations which makes it easier. Like Google Translate and Duolingo just to mention a few. These will have you speaking like a pro in a few months.

2. Practice

The key to mastering another language is to practice. Practice always makes perfect. You can read books. Usually, it’s best to start to with children’s books and as time goes on you can read novels. In addition to this, you can watch TV Shows/Movies in the particular language which improves your hearing skills. You can find people who know the language or are learning the language and interact with them. Learning a new language makes you feel like a toddler learning to speak for the first time. The more you incorporate the language in your daily life the easier it becomes to master it.

3.Embrace the culture

“Language is the road map of a culture.  It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” ‒Rita Mae Brown

Language is linked to culture. Learning a new language introduces you to the culture. You unlock a door to learning more about the people, their native foods, their history and their way of life. This makes it easy for you to interact with the locals as you understand their social-cultural development. This also helps to fine tune your character, as you will now know more interesting facts and will in turn become a more fascinating person.

4.Ask

Curiosity makes you knowledgeable. You develop a deeper understanding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can find native speakers from different communities through the embassy or online chats. Interacting and asking them questions about their language will open a different perspective for you.

5.Keep Learning

Learning a new language and embracing the culture moulds you into a global competent individual which can boost your career. Having to memorize a new language sharpens your cognitive skills and enhances your long-term memory. Keep learning the language and widen your vocabulary. Don’t neglect it because you can easily forget it. It’s not a process that happens overnight. Give yourself time and keep learning.

“To speak another Language is to have another soul”-Charlemagne

All pictures were provided by Pexels

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