1. Focus on listening and get a feel for the language
The first most important thing is to get a feel for the language - focusing on its sounds, intonations, how they form words and phrases and flow together. Watch your favourite movie in the language, chuck on some subtitles and really pay attention to how native speakers talk. The point is not to understand, but to listen! Hone in on the pronunciation and alphabet afterwards. Sometimes I mimick the natives without knowing what is being said but in this way I practice and improve my pronunciation very quickly!
Not understanding what you’re reading or hearing can actually be a blessing in disguise because it isolates the pronunciation practice!
2. Learn the most useful phrases first
If you’re not sure where to start, this is it. Language is for speaking so it only makes sense to learn the very first phrases you will use in a conversation, first.
- How are you?
- My name is….
- I’m good
- Thank you
- You’re welcome
- Please Where is….
- Nice to meet you
- I don’t understand
3. Immerse yourself! Listen, read, write, repeat
This is the numer one thing I spend most of my time on every day, right from day one. It’s a passive form of learning but aids more than you might think when the time to speak comes around. Think a little bit about how children learn - they spend around 6 months to 1 year simply LISTENIGN before a single word comes out of their mouths.
4. SPEAK FROM DAY ONE
It sounds silly but every morning I make it a part of my routine to literally walk around my house and talk to myself in the language I’m learning. It
S a great form of revising your knowledge and doesn’t matter if you don’t know all of the vocabulary for what you want to say. Mix what you do know into your regular sentences and use a dictionary (I use linguee or reverso.net) to look up the words you don’t know and note them down afterwards. Learn them, practice them and build up your vocab from there!