The Single Quickest Way To Learn A Language

The other day, a friend asked me this question:

What are the THREE top strategies you use to learn languages quickly? What should I focus on to accelerate my learning?

In response, I made it easy for him. I gave him ONE single strategy to focus on.

What is this golden strategy to speak a new language more quickly?

It is to SPEAK the language.

The best way to learn to speak the language is to, well, speak the language.

It seems simplistic, but it is a powerful truth. Think about it: How do native speakers become native speakers of the language? By growing up speaking the language.

How can you put this advice into practice?

First, get the basics down. Become familiar with key phrases, sentence structures, and characteristics. This should only take a few hours of online research and reading (though it can differ based on the complexity of the language. Spanish will not be the same as Hebrew).

Then,

Have a conversation with a native speaker, at least once every two days. You can do this in person (in a local Meetup, a language community, or your local grocery store where the cashier happens to be a native speaker of the language you are learning) or via online exchange programs (search for ‘language exchange’ in your phone’s app store).

Read the news in the language out loud, ideally on a topic you’re already very familiar with (e.g., the results of the soccer World Cup). Set a daily reminder to spend 10-15 minutes doing this.

Listen to podcasts in the language and repeat what you hear. Search for the language name in your podcast app and subscribe to “News in [language]”. Don’t worry if you don’t understand most of it in the first few weeks.

Want to speak a language? Practice speaking the language. Make this a priority and you will be amazed at your progress.

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