Salaam guys ✌🏻
So as many of you know, my native language is English but I also speak fluent Portuguese. Well, today I thought I'd share with you some of my language learning tips as well as why I find learning languages to be beneficial.
Lately I've been studying Spanish and practicing it with some new friends I've made online. It has proven fairly easy for me, especially in terms of understanding it, because it is fairly similar to Portuguese. It has also proven fairly easy because of some key things I'm doing that I learned to do the first time around when I learned Portuguese.
I became fluent in the Portuguese language in one year, alhamdulillah. But it wasn't easy! I had to work very hard. Some of the things I did I still do.
For one thing, when learning a language I immerse myself in it. The first time around I read books and articles in Portuguese, I watched YouTube videos, TV shows, movies, and so forth in Portuguese, I listened to Portuguese language music, I spent my days speaking Portuguese with everyone I could find who spoke it. I also basically gave up my hobbies to look up and study religiously every verb conjugation chart I could find. To this day I usually write in my diary in Portuguese. I set my iPhone and iPad settings to Portuguese. This has proven immensely helpful. I also used language learning apps like Duolingo and got my start with Rosetta Stone.
Now as I'm learning Spanish I spend at minimum half an hour a day formally studying Spanish with language apps on my phone. Duolingo, busuu, and memrise are my current favorites. I also found language partners via the app tandem. Language partners, I have found, are essential! A language partner is someone who's learning your language and whose language you're learning. You practice conversing with one another in each other's languages and in the process usually end up becoming great friends! I have found that it is best to have more than one language partner so as to get used to different regional accents.
So far I'm conversational in Spanish and understand pretty much everything people say or write. I can also translate things from Spanish to English or Portuguese with relative ease. My huge difficulty lies in properly speaking and pronouncing the language. But I feel confident that I will be able to improve this over time, inshallah.
So tell me, dear readers, what languages do you speak? If you're multilingual, how did you learn more than your native language? Drop me a line here or on my Facebook page. Thanks everyone!