This one might be for the braver of us. I get that it might seem intimidating to change the language on your phone, but it’s definitely effective! If you’re part of the iPhone cult like I am, all you have to do is go into your settings, click on “General”, then “Language & Region”, then “iPhone Language”. Everything in your phone will change to language you’re trying to learn! Let’s face it, you have your phone’s interface memorized like the back of your hand because, well, our phones practically are the backs of our hands! So although it seems a little terrifying to change your phone’s language, it’s not like you’ll be completely lost. Instead, you’ll be introduced to a new language in a fairly comfortable, and interactive way! Disclaimer: be careful if you rely on your phone for GPS navigation, because the voice giving you directions will also be speaking in the new language. Trust me, I learned the hard way…
2. Dive in with Duo Lingo
I’ve only just started using this app, but it was recommended to me by multiple people, so I had to give it a try! Duo Lingo has 24 different language courses to choose from, and you can do as many as you want! Backpacking across Europe and want to learn French, Italian, German, and Polish? Go for it! Using Duo Lingo is kind of like playing a game, and the best part is that it’s completely FREE. You can set your own goals for how many minutes you want to practice each day (I chose five minutes…call me anti-committal). And don’t worry, the app will keep you on track by sending you notifications to remind you to practice, so you won’t conveniently “forget” to.
3. Talk to yourself!
Come on, we all do it anyway! The biggest habit that helped me learn Italian, although I’m still not fluent yet, was talking to myself in the language. I tried to convert my thoughts and conversations in my head to Italian, and it really ended up improving how I spoke. A lot of people who are learning a new language get caught up in the technicalities. Talking to yourself in the language you’re trying to learn takes away the pressure of having to be perfect. No one’s judging your pronunciation or your grammar, and consequently, you’ll be able to get yourself comfortable with speaking the language and getting your ideas across. If you notice that you say certain words or phrases a lot, and you don’t know how to say them in the language you’re learning, look them up! Wordreference.com is great for quick look ups, and there are plenty of voice translator apps to help you out as well, so no matter what, just get talking!
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