Do You Use These 3 Simple Language Learning Tips When Being In The Country!


Just a couple of tips that I think are helpful to learn languages while you are living in the country (like me in Greece). I assume most people should know them but I get surprised by how many times they don’t. Here we go.

1. Translate everything you see!

Whenever you see any signs on streets or shops, translate them. Any simple instructions: translate! Advertisements? Do translate! It is very often overlooked by a lot of people but simply being in a foreign country and translating all the information around you, you do expand your knowledge and given enough time, this can help you enough to learn the language even if you don’t put effort into it.

2. Always look up words and grammar you did not know during conversations.

Whenever you speak and you find out that you could not express something because you lacked the word or the grammar needed, make a mental note and look it up after the conversation. Even if you have gotten your way around it, do look up the word. It will be relevant to you so you will be more likely to remember it and the fact that you did need it in practice makes it all the more likely that you will need it again so it’s probably a good word to learn. Also it’s a non-painful way to learn grammar.

3. Practice mental conversations with yourself

Whenever you feel like it, and you are thinking to yourself, try to translate it to your target language. Try to imagine how the conversation would go in that language and what would you say. A lot of times you will also find words that you do not know and for that you can refer to tip #2. You don’t have to have other people around to practice!

These tips, of course, can be generalized for situations even when you are learning out of the country. They are just things I consider helpful. What do you think?

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  1. William

    I often use tip N°3 to stay in shape with my Chinese back home!

  2. ·

    It helps a lot to have a phone or a notepad handy to take notes of unknown words and concepts.

  3. ·

    Very good. Something else you can do is thinking in your target language as you go about your daily routine and looking up anything you find you don't know, it's a great way to shore up weaknesses that you didn't know were there. e.g. you don't get to make your ham, cheese, and mustard sandwich until you know how to say all the necessary words such as “ham”, “bread”, “cheese”, “mustard”, “potato chips”, “soda”, “plate”, “knife”, “refrigerator”, etc. You can't take a shower until you know the words for “shower curtain”, “bathroom”, “soap”, “shampoo”, “conditioner”, “towel”, etc. See what I mean? It might be quite an inconvenience at first and significantly slow you down, but if you'll stick with it you'll learn a LOT of the language VERY quickly.


  4. ·

    #2  and #3 are good and useful advice on language learning, they can help a lot while you are trying to become fluent in any foreign language, the only obtstacle that can appear here is our laziness, but it is only when you start doing it, the longer you practice it, the more automatic it becomes :-)

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