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How to learn languages?

The importance of planning

Before you start learning a language write down why you would like to ACQUIRE the language. Divide your aim into smaller steps and set a deadline for these mile stones. Ask your teacher whether it is realistic to reach these mile stones with your abilities and skills.

Word cards

Create small cards with expressions in Hungarian on one side and in the target language on the other. Later you can do the same with sentences and every time you have five minutes just take them out of your pocket and revise them.

 

Learning words at an early stage

Swotting words is not the same as acquiring them! Remember how you acquired your mother tongue when you were two years old. First you said words full of mistakes. It is the same for everyone, sooner or later these mistakes fade away and you get in the swing of it.
Later you pointed at things when pronouncing words. „Pete apple” from this your mother already knew that you wanted to eat apples. Did it bother you that your sentence wasn’t correct? No. Did you learn the language? Yes. Later you uttered more complex sentences and in the end you mastered the language. You should follow the same when learning other languages. Try to practice words in whole sentences. For example at the early stage of learning a language you may utter sentences like “ Az én mother szereti a ham and eggs. But be careful not to insert Hungarian affixes. This way you learn about word order. Later you are able to utter full sentences “My mom likes ham and eggs”. From now on you are able to construct short sentences and later compound ones. so bring it on!!!! ;-)

 

Mistakes

Don’t be afraid of them, learn from them! You can’t avoid them, they belong to language learning. :-((

 

Writing closing lines

Should you have problems with spelling, writing closing lines can help.

 

Reading out loud

As odd as it may sound, reading out loud can make acquiring a language more varied, especially if you have spoken material to listen to and repeat.

 

Films

First try watching films dubbed but with target language subtitles. Later, when you are brave enough, you can watch them in the original language.

 

Song lyrics

It’s an entertaining and easy way to learn everyday expressions.  www.youtube.com  helps you to find your favourite singers, songs often with the lyrics. If you can’t find the lyrics here, www.azlyrics.com may help you. You can even do karaoke with your friends and improve your language knowledge this way.

 

Spend some time learning the language every day!

Twenty minutes a day doesn’t seem much time but still it can help reaching your goal easily.

 

Reading number plates

When stuck at traffic lights, use your time and spell and name the numbers of number plates of cars around you. /That’s how I learned the English alphabet./

 

Travelling

A really exciting way to try yourself. At the beginning it can be difficult to communicate in the foreign language but it’s worth trying because you can learn a lot in such situations. Situations contrived in real life clamp best in our memories. It’s not a problem if you make a mistake, you can correct it. Nobody was born knowing everything.

 

Regularity

Learning a language is like doing a sport, with enough persistence you will achieve your target. Even though we want to believe in methods promising learning a language in 14 days there are no wonder substances. It requires regularity and persistence.

 

Etymology

The etymology of words is often quite interesting and we can memorise interesting things more easily. Let’s take pineapple as an example. This compound noun consists of pine and apple. But why did they call it that? Sailors in the Middle Ages were usually undereducated and had a limited vocabulary. They knew apple as a fruit and the leaf of pineapple is similar to that of pine so they called it pineapple. Other etymologically interesting words are grapefruit, palm tree, hamburger, biro, coach, sandwich, French fries, etc.

 

Dictionary

A good dictionary can become your best friend so pick it carefully. You will need a target language-Hungarian, a Hungarian-target language and a monolingual dictionary. The latter one helps you with collocations, synonyms and idioms. With the help of a monolingual dictionary you can avoid memorising confusing expressions in a false way.

 

Chat, chat, chat

This way you can learn slang and abbreviations and you can also learn about the culture of the target language or even make new friends. Useful international web pages for this purpose: www.facebook.com,www.mypeople.com, www.myspace.com, etc.

 

Revise!

You can revise your notes anywhere, anytime: at the bus stop, on the train, etc.

 

Graded readers

You can read funny stories or classics in graded readers of Bookworms, Greenbooks and LaSpiga, which are printed in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

 

Here are some of the “If..”s you need to combat

If I had the time – As the old saying goes: Everyone has time for things he wants to have it for.
If I had the money – Learning a language is not an expense but an investment. You may even get a better-paid job because of your language knowledge.
If I was younger – The most active period of our lives is between 40-60, so it’s never too late!
If I had the energy – The energy you put in learning returns!
If I had a talent for languages – Learning a language consists of four skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening comprehension. Nobody is evenly good at all skills. You may be better at reading than at listening comprehension so you have a talent for languages but it rather comes to the front when you read.
If I didn’t have to work – Please, contact us as soon as you have found the solution for that! ;-)

 




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