Learning new language can be challenging but the challenge itself is also the point which I want to improve and challenge myself doing new thing.
Followings are my personal approaches when I learn new language, in this case, I choose Japanese as I like Japanese food, music, films and culture. Note that when you learn new language, you do not learn only how to pronounce it (or the what), you learn (the how and why) to think like a native when you speak the language. I use these approaches to any languages I am learning (Japanese, Chinese, French) but I am open to new ideas or your experiences if you have a better way. Let’s explore:
Step One: Choose language which you really, really like or are very interested in.
Focus on the reason why you choose to learn this language. Think of long term which includes traveling to the country one day. Remember my favourite quote, “Learn to enjoy the journey, not just the destination.” It is very important to enjoy the process. If you cannot find enough reasons to keep you motivated or enjoy the process, you will get bored, discouraged and give up easily. Learning language in fact can be time consuming and even worse, it is freaking difficult because you are going to invest your time and effort and open yourself to new world that is differently from yours, not just learn to perfect your accent or speak any sentences perfectly. For me, my motivations are to understand lyrics of Japanese music, watch Japanese films without subtitle and translation, travel to Japan and so on.
Step Two: Learn the basics.
Either you take a course in person in the classroom or learn by yourself in your bedroom, learn the basics like alphabets, and grammar rule (e.g. part of speech, tenses, and sentence structure). Wait, what? Grammar!? Rules!? Yeah, these sound boring. Learning the basics is kind of boring process, but it will help you to be an independent and quick learner to explore the language deeper and easier on your own. To me, improving vocabulary is the next steps after the basic rules. People learn to improve the vocabulary differently. Some are visual learners which means they learn best when it is in what they can picture. Some are audio learners. They learn best by listening and some learn best by action. I am more like an audio learner. I learn best by listening and singing. So my approach is listening to music and singing its lyrics. I will share how to make your own lyrics with translation and embed translated lyrics into .mp3 file later. Now go to the step three.
Step Three: Practice, practice, practice.
I chose listening to music and singing its lyrics because I love music. But there are more. Music lyrics are the combination of short sentences and phrases, so it is easy to analyze sentence structures, to follow along and to memorize vocabulary through music lyrics. Plus, singing along is kind of fun and you do it from time to time. So technically, you practice it countless time without realizing that you are in practice mode. Practice, practice, practice. Do.re.mi.fa.so.ha.ha.ha.:D
That is it for today. Until next time. Subscribe to my email list (on the top or bottom) as I am on the process of moving to another country so I cannot keep my posting regularly. You can support me on Patreon.com/SethySao or buying things (Apple Audiobook, Amazon Book, WordPress) from affiliated links on this website.
Let’s do something to be better than yesterday. Remember, never compare yourself to others because we are simply unique and incomparable. You are you, I am I and they are they.
Followings are my favourite songs. Enjoy!
Song: 蛍 (hotaru: Firefly)
Artist: 藤田麻衣子 (Fujita Maiko)
Song title: 川の流れのように (kawa no nagare no yō ni)
Translation: Like The Flow of The River
Artist: Teresa Teng
Song title: サチコ (Sachiko)