The process of learning a brand-new language is never easy. It can be overwhelming to decide where to start and understanding which methods work best for you—some people learn better via audio apps while others prefer sitting in a traditional classroom. Your memory is like a muscle, you need to exercise it on a regular basis to stay strong. The more you work it, the more powerful it then becomes. If you are following the right strategies and you’re putting in a consistent level of hard work, your brain will begin to memorize foreign language efficiently for the long term.
To help you on your way to learning and remembering a new language, the experts at Absolute Translations have revealed the best techniques available to help your brain absorb a whole new diction.
1—Use favorite platforms
When you’re doing something you love, nothing feels like a chore. A good way to pick up phrases and sentences of a foreign language is by slotting them into your everyday life. Memorize lyrics to original songs in a foreign language or translated songs that you already know—this will allow your brain to make the connection between common words. You can also watch TV shows you’re familiar with (e.g. Friends) dubbed in a foreign language or watch the original series with subtitles—this way you can make a note of common words at your own pace.
2—Develop mnemonic memory tricks
Mnemonics are creative shortcuts; you can memorize large chunks of information by linking them to our memories. These can be acronyms, short rhymes or mental images that help you remember words. You can also create a memory palace to integrate vocabulary. The technique is based on the use of an imaginary layout, a subject travels through each location in which they all hold a new word to learn in conjunction to their actions.
3—Start with 100 common words
Not all vocabulary is commonly used, you don’t want to find yourself learning about clothing and kitchen utensils but forgetting to learn about what part of the town you live in. Start with 100 of the most commonly used words and make numerous sentences over and over again until you get the hang of it. Learn enough grammar to be able to hold conversations with people. Focus on high-frequency words to quickly improve your ability to communicate.
Flashcards are efficient and allow you to learn in a flexible setting. Using flashcards, even only when you have a few moments to spare, can add up to big language gains over time. You can go traditional and buy index cards, write down the vocabulary words you want to memorize, and color code them. If you prefer going digital, there are many online programs which allow you to create your own flashcards plus access ones other people have created. It is possible to find useful words to study without creating the cards yourself.
Your brain is more likely to recall words if they are linked to familiar faces or items. If you’re creating a flashcard for ‘brother’, the chances of you remembering the word increases if you use a picture of your own brother. Try customizing your flashcards with fun images, places you like and food you love. This unique technique is effective in learning the 100 common words.
6—Repeat and apply
When you’re learning a list of words, recalling them aimlessly isn’t going to help forever. Your brain is more likely to remember things once they’ve been applied to real-life conversations. Applying what you’ve learned by speaking to friend or colleague is crucial as it continues the learning. A good way is to practice writing the same word in at least 10 different sentences as soon as you’ve mastered it. Repeating it in context will help you make sense of what you learned moments ago.
7—Interactive and fun
It is important to make the learning experience fun. Don’t just read the words from your cards, hear how to pronounce them and say them out loud yourself. The more you take the words for what they are, the easier they will become to remember.
Starting from one founding translator working across four languages in 2000, Absolute Translations has grown into a globally respected company providing expert translation in over 200 tongues. The company was the first ISO 17100:2015 certificate holder in the UK, guaranteeing high quality translation services. In 2014, the company was one of 25 to take part in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses venture. For more information, please visit www.absolutetranslations.com.