About 3 years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country of Brazil to do volunteer work with children in a tiny little town of Sao Paulo. I travelled there alone and stayed for 2 months without a single clue on how to speak the local language.
While I was there, I had the pleasure of staying with a host of Brazilian girls and I must admit it was pretty bizarre at first since I spoke zero Portuguese and most of them spoke minimal English. So this meant that I had to suck it in and learn the language as fast as I could in order to communicate with the locals! This was something I wish I did earlier before the trip, but you know what they say when you jump in the deep, you learn to swim! And that’s what I did.
Below are the following on how I learned the language in 2 weeks and hopefully, this can help kick start a new language for you too!
– Immerse yourself with a native speaker (if there isn’t one near you, try listening to a podcast, watch a TV show or listen to band in that language)
– Take notes as soon as you learn a new word, phrase or sentence, repeat it a few times to familiarize yourself with the language. ( I usually did this in my iPhone notes for quick access)
– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes– this is the best way to learn from a native who corrects you
– Use language apps. My personal favourites are Duolingo and FluentU where the game-like nature of the app makes the language even more fun to learn when you gain points after each lesson.
– Listen to podcasts, T.V shows or music of the language you are learning. Not only are they entertaining (with subtitles) but will also help you connect the fluency and pronunciation of the each word.
– Practice, practice, practice! There is no excuse for not doing so because this can be as short as 5 minutes to 3 hours long, try to find a suitable time in your daily schedule to practice!
– Commit yourselfto speaking and practising the language whenever you get the chance and don’t give up. Just remember, practice makes perfect!
Are there other tips you think I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
Photography by Ross Vickers
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