By Metro Editorial Service
Do you desire to be a polyglot? Polyglots are people who can speak and understand multiple languages and such people are a pretty rare commodity in an increasingly global world. The foreign language information site iLanguages.org says 40% of the world’s population only knows one language.
Understanding and speaking more than one language can set people apart, particularly in the professional sector. The Eton Institute, which offers language and communication instruction, says learning a foreign language offers many benefits. Among them are: a boost in brainpower, memory improvement, proficiency in multitasking and even improvement in the usage and understanding of one’s first language. It also never hurts to list being bilingual on a résumé, as being able to communicate in various languages is an asset in many different fields. With such incentives, is it any wonder so many people aspire to add a second language to their repertoires?
Learning a new language may seem complicated, but aspiring polyglots can employ various strategies to learn a new language in a relatively short period of time.
• Make it fun. The more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to stick with it. That notion applies to learning a foreign language. Take up the task with a friend. Find an entertaining outlet for your knowledge, such as being able to watch foreign films or listen to opera. Find an activity you enjoy and incorporate language into it.
• Use flashcards. Many learners utilize flashcards to improve their memories. This approach can help when learning a language. Write the word on a card and the translation on the other side. Digital versions of the same concept are available on various language-learning apps.
• Pay attention to grammar. Grammar and word usage vary for different languages. Having a cursory understanding of tense and how to conjugate verbs can give language learners a leg up. However, the rules are more important when writing a language. As you get started, listening skills are key.
• Mimic and repeat. Listen to the language of choice as much as possible and mimic what you hear. This not only helps to develop your vocabulary, but it also can be a great exercise for your mouth and can help you fine-tune any accents you may have.
• Immerse yourself in the culture. One way to learn a language is to dive right in without a safety net. Once travel is clear, visit a country where they speak the language you’re studying and try to converse with the locals.
Learning a new language is possible and speaking multiple languages can be great for your career.