85 tips for language learners


You like a language, learn it. Don’t give up on learning it only because it’s not popular, “useful” or your friends don’t like it.
Sticky notes, sticky notes everywhere. If you can’t remember a grammar rule or a word/structure, use sticky notes.
Study daily, even if it’s for 5 min or less.
Learn the first 100-300 most common words, they are like everywhere.
Duolingo, Memrise and Forvo are the holy trinity for every language learner; everyone uses them at some point.
HiNative will save your ass when you have questions.
“Hakuna matata mais quelle phrase magnifique” Disney is your friend, sing disney songs to improve your pronuniation.
Also, watch disney movies. You know the story already so you can focus on the language.
Watch movies with subs in your target language.
Write daily a short text about whatever you want, even about your socks. In 1 month you’d have learned a lot of new vocab.
Talk, talk, talk. If you aren’t a soial person, talk to yourself, to your pet, to a wall; it doesn’t matter. Just force yourself to think in your target language.
If you are busy, Semper is a good app for learning vocab while doing your daily activities.
Use your target language for basic stuff like counting, groceries, complaining etc.
Change your settings on social media. Many people learned English through twitter, facebook, tumblr etc. This can work for other languages too.
Change the settings of your phone too. You use it 24/24, you know what every thing does there so you could learn the name of those setting in your target language.
If you lost motivation, take a break and remember why you started.
If you hit a plateau, that’s most probably because you don’t know enough vocab.
Understand that your progress will be slow after a while. Accept it and keep going.
Lang-8 is a great place if you want natives to correct your texts.
Langblr community is amazing, if you need any advice/explanation, ask a langblr.
Try out many resources but choose a handful that you’ll use daily.
If you don’t know a word in your native language, you don’t need it in your target language.
Accept the fact that you can’t translate every word one by one. There are special structures, word order, particles etc. your target language might not be as your native one.
If you’re bored, look around and name in your target language what you see.
Try to find a language/motivation partner. You will support and help eah other.
You’ll make mistakes, love that! That means you’re learning and you’ll have funny stories to tell in a couple of years.
If you don’t remember a word, make a mnemonic or write it with your other hand; you’ll focus more then.
Learn words in context; you’ll remember them easily after. Clozemaster and WordBrewery are 2 great sites for this.
When you want to read if you are a beginner, choose a book you know. If you are an advanced learner, choose a new book.
Find online a native to talk to. Tumblr is full of natives and langblrs will love to help. Another choice is to find a chat group.
For slang words check out the youtube comment section. Twitter is a good alternative though.
Don’t waste money on fancy programs. Some can be found for free and some aren’t so good as they claim they are.
When you learn a new word, try to make a couple of examples in your head.
Read articles. They use simple structures and actual expressions; also, they aren’t boring.
Youtube is your friend, don’t be afraid to use it. Watch movies in your target language so you can get used to how real people talk; most programs/apps speak slowly and they try to make themselves clear but that’s not real life.
You’ll have an accent; don’t worry, it will go away after a while.
Age doesn’t matter, everyone can learn a language; you can be 5 or 50, the only difference is how you learn.
Don’t just learn, revise as well.
As a beginner you will translate everything from your native language and that’s okay. People will correct you and you will learn.
If you like to read fanfiction, read it in your target language and use the ReadLang extension when you don’t know a word; it’s faster than google translate.
Beware of those vocab lists you see on tumblr. Not everything might be right.
Flewent is an extension that translates a certain % of what you read in your target language. It’s a fast way to learn new words while doing your homework or whatever.
Prepositions are a nightmare to everyone. To have a more pleasant life, try to find a list with verbs and what prepositions they require.
Children songs are catchy, use them to learn vocab faster.
Pay attention to false friends. They might look the same with a familiar word but they have another meaning.
Try not to learn 2 languages at the same time, especially if they are from the same family. (e.g. French and Spanish)
If you decide to study 2 languages at the same time, try to study in different places and use different colors for your notes.
You learn faster if you use your target language than if you learn Nth vocab lists.
Try to avoid making the same mistake until it becomes a habit.
Idioms can impress anyone but don’t start learning them too early or too late.
If you have to learn irregular verbs, try to find patterns and part them in groups.
Hard work beats talent but when it comes to learning a language, there’s no one who has talent. There are people who have a good memory or can figure out patterns but that can be improved so no need to worry if you progress slowly.
Don’t compare yourself to someone who studied a language for years. Everyone progresses in their own way.
Everyone has another method, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s not the end of the world. Just experiment and figure out what works for you. 
Classes are a waste of time, don’t think to pay for one.
Try to learn vocab that interests you. You’re a Harry Potter fan? Learn magic terms. You like cooking? Learn cooking terms. etc.
Flashcards are a nice way to learn vocab. Make some and study them before going to bed.
Learn chunks of vocab, not single words. (e.g. Buy a bottle of milk; Brush your teeth; Wash the red car.)

Learn cognates.

Use the diglot weave technique. Basically you 

insert foreign words into a sentence of a language you already know

Taking breaks is fine but try not to take a break of Nth months.
Decide what skill you want to improve first. You can never improve everything equally so try to focus on what you need/want the most.
Set a big goal (e.g be advanced in French) but remember to have small goals too. (e.g. read Harry Potter by the end of this season)
Watch people talking. Join a chat and “spy” others if you don’t feel like talking yet.
Associate word – image – sound. Don’t just learn plain words, if you learn the word for tree, think of a tree or search an image with one.
Learning a language takes time, don’t expect to know it perfectly after only 1 week.
Immersion is hella frustrating but it pays off in the end.
Don’t study when you are too tired. You have many chances to learn nothing then.
Find someone you admire so they can motivate you.
Use a bilingual dictionary not only for finding specific words but just for the sake of reading.
After you’ve read 1 page/chapter from a book, try to make a summary in your target language.
When you read books, try to see if you can find the audiobook as well. (Youtube might have it) In this way you know the correct way of saying certain words.
Try to make it fun. If it’s fun to have a schedule do that, if you enjoy more watching movies, do that. Don’t make your learning journey a burden.
Break study time into smaller chunks
Know your learning style.
Try to have a notebook/diary/agenda where you write down what you did daily to improve.
When you feel like giving up, think how many new stuff you have learned.
Your attitude plays an import role. Try to avoid thinking how “difficult” a language is, instead think how good you will feel after you learn it.
ReadLang and Linguarana have videos with subs in many languages, if you like learning with videos, give them a try.
Anki is an amazing app with flashcards for several languages so you don’t waste time making them and they have a daily limit of cards so you don’t burnout.
Physically writing down a word can help seal it in your memory. 
Say new words out loud and pay attention to your pronunciation.
 If your target language has another alphabet or a writing system, don’t be afraid to learn it. Take a couple of days and master it.
Always have an app or a dictionary/notebook with you. While you wait for a taxi you can study a bit.
If you don’t understand a grammar rule, search some articles about it, take 2-3 days to understand that concept.

Read more: daily-spanish.tumblr.com