It seemed like it would never arrive but 2017 is nearly here and we can finally kiss 2016 goodbye! For those of you who are thinking about your New Year’s resolution, we’d like to make a suggestion: learn a new language!
Learning a new language can benefit you in ways you probably weren’t aware of. Apart from enabling you to communicate with more people from different cultures, learning a new language can also improve cognitive function, increase your ability to multitask, improve your memory, and even perhaps decrease you chances of getting Alzheimer’s and Dementia. All sounds pretty good, right? Except that for some, learning a language can seem like a daunting task. Well here are a few ideas to make the experience more enjoyable and improve your chances of mastering a foreign language:
- Immerse yourself! You’ve heard it before, but it honestly makes all the difference. Go someplace where the language you want to learn is spoken. Stay as long as you can and make an effort to avoid speaking any other language. Dare to make mistakes and speak to strangers.
- If picking up and moving to a foreign country is implausible, then bring the country to you. Read as much as you can in your target language: find newspapers to work your way through each morning and radio stations to turn on while you’re doing housework. Find some series that you might like and watch them with subtitles (brownie points for whoever watches them with subtitles in the same language as the original!)
- Take advantage of technology. There are loads of new apps that can help you learn a new language. One of our favorites is called Duolingo. It’s perfect for the commute to work and has a wide variety of languages available, including some minority languages that are more difficult to find didactic material for.
We wish you the best of luck with your New Year’s resolution and a very happy 2017!
Be sure to visit our YouTube Channel for more talk about language and translation!