Now I’m trying to do the same with Hungarian, with an important difference though. This time I’m using every chance to speak at least for a for words or sentences whenever possible. My background in grammar is almost non existent and I struggle with word order, cases and everything you can struggle with in a new language – BUT I don’t care if its not correct, as long people understand or at least guess what I wanted to say.
This way I have no fear of talking and making mistakes. Bit by bit people are correcting me and I hope to soon get from saying a few words to being able to keep up a conversation for a few minutes :)
And as for the grammar and rules, there is more then enough time for it :)
I believe the biggest mistake one can make is to wait for too long to start speaking.
So to sum it up, SPEAK, SPEAK, SPEAK! :)
Hey everyone, I'm back on Italki after ages and since I've just responded to a kind question about how do I approach learning a new language and after seeing this post I though it would be perfect to share it here as well :)
I've been learning different languages in primary and high school and I guess I noticed that school system of learning the language doesn’t work for me. I believe that too much focus on grammar, that I consider unnecessary for a beginner, and worrying about mistakes makes you only more afraid of speaking. I’ve learned German and Russian in this way and I can barely introduce myself. I’ve learned German for 4 years and Russian for 5, so obviously very ineffective way of learning ;)
And English I’ve only learned properly once I started traveling and stopped worrying about every tiny grammatical mistake.
When I decided to learn a new language, Spanish, I decided to try a totally different approach. I singed up for classes in the language school (group of 6) and besides I’ve been listening to a lot of music, listened to beginner podcasts watched tons of movies and series (with Spanish subtitles) and even though at first I didn’t get a word, it helped me a lot later on because I would learn phrases from real conversations and later on I’d learn it at the class and understand the grammar behind it.
Not the other way around like they always taught us at school :) (At the moment my spoken Spanish is probably at B2 level and writing at B1)
..................continues in the second comment, couldn't fit in one :)
I had the opportunity to study foreign languages at the University of Ghent, in Belgium. As I felt that being in school was not enough to practice my foreign languages in "the real world", I applied to be a part of an exchange program, also known as Erasmus. Thanks to this program, I was able to go, study and live in Spain: my Spanish improved a lot!
Another advantage of living in Belgium is that our capital is also the capital of the European Union: I worked three years in Brussels and I had to change from Dutch to French and English all the time. This real life experience also helped a lot!
Finally, I decided to quit my job and start traveling in South-America: it was one of the scariest decisions in my life but I'd recommend it to all of you! I speak Spanish, English and Dutch all the time and I feel really confident.
At home, I try to keep up with my foreign languages by reading in French and Spanish and by watching Netflix in English.
My attitude is a combination of studying gradually grammar and dealing with "real" language by watching youtube videos, communicating with native-speakers, reading articles. I also like to watch movies or TV-show. In the beginning, I translate firstly subtitles and learn new words and expressions and then try to figure out how they sound in the film. It helps me to expand my vocabulary and train my listening skills.