This is a question for anyone who has become reasonably fluent in another language (especially Russian or Japanese). I just wanted to ask...how did you do it? Are there any particular things that really helped you, as in activities or tips? The grammar exercises we do at university I just seem to forget. Speaking is still so scary- I freeze when I go to talk!
Anyway, thank you for reading. Any ideas or advice you have would be awesome! :)
Language learning requires two things: time and effort. The more you put in, the faster you'll progress.
Grammar lessons will help you understand the rules of a language but are really only a foundation for communication. At some point, doing more and more grammar exercises will not help you progress, although you'll feel like you're working.
To communicate, you need four skills: reading, listening, writing and speaking. The more you do each of the skills, the easier it will become.
I can advise you to read the book of Kato Lomb " How I learn languages "
where she shares her experience in learing Russian.
Good luck! :)
Make lots of friends who speak your target language. Watch lots of TV. Study hard. Live in the country. Listen to music from the country. Read books and news. Get up to date on what's happening in the country. Read about its history.
The speaking takes time, find language partners (don't worry about having to go through a lot of them, as lots of native speakers are not good teachers of their language) early on when learning a language it's really easy to freeze as you don't have the vocab / don't know how to use the vocab - this just comes with time.
Good luck ^_^
- 15 years of studying (6 of which being at the University in hell), taking additional courses as school student
- consumption of all of the media only in original language
- reading classic / popular science books
- work related stuff - translation, email etc