Tips on Learning a Foreign Language Quickly
The most important requirement to learn a foreign language is to have a keen interest in it. If you learn it halfheartedly, it will take you more time to learn the language. Be efficient, rather than diligent.
When you start learning a foreign language, always read aloud. It will help you increase your vocabulary. Studies have shown that reading aloud helps in better retention of memory than reading only to yourself. An added advantage of reading aloud is it helps in pronunciation.
Build Your Vocabulary
Every language has a group of core words. These core words include prepositions, verbs, adjectives, some regularly used nouns, and question words. These words need to be mastered at the earliest. These basic words will help you understand other words better and faster.
You will have to make a few word lists, which will have to be memorized and revised regularly over a period of time. You may want to make use of flash cards, although it might seem like a low-tech method, as these have always proven to be helpful. Like flash cards, you may want to use post-it notes on your workstation. For maximum retention, you must review the word list daily, for a couple of weeks. Later, you may need to review the word list once a week for the next four to five weeks.
Learning the grammar of a foreign language can be dry and boring. Sometimes, it can act as a deterrent in your learning process. You will have to start off with a brief overview of articles, both definite and indefinite articles, singulars and plurals, verbs and their conjugations, pronouns, and a few commonly used adjectives. Most importantly, you will need to study the grammatical construction of sentences. Many languages don't follow the rudimentary 'article-adjective-noun-adverb-verb-adjective-noun' sequence seen in sentences in the English language. Sentences in some, like Sanskrit, mean the same thing regardless of the order of the words in a sentence.
You will be able to find phrase books for most foreign languages. You can carry these small pocket-books with you everywhere. You can read them when you are waiting or traveling in a bus or train, waiting for your turn at the billing station at the supermarket, etc.
You can watch TV shows in the language you want to learn. They will help you a great deal with the vocabulary and expression employed in the language. In the same way, if you are into music, listening to music in that language can also be of great help. Try educational tapes as often as you can. Listening to language tapes is a great way of improving your pronunciation. These tapes also often come with a handy booklet.
If you are in a real hurry, you can join a language course. You can also learn languages online. There are also a number of programs that can help you in this case.
I can give you a very personal tip on learning a foreign language quickly. It is to start thinking in the language. Very often it is seen that people try to learn a foreign language, but always think in their native language and then try to translate it into the foreign language. This is the biggest hindrance when one starts learning a foreign language. Just start talking in the language, and don't be afraid of making mistakes.