So, you’ve mastered the ‘dark arts’ of language acquisition: the grammar that kept you up all night. Now you know when to add that extra ‘e’ in French, and you know the difference between ‘estar’ and ‘ser’ in Spanish… Now what? Do you feel like you know the basics, and now you want to take your language skills to the next level? Here are some of our pro hacks, little habits that native speakers already do that could accelerate your learning process exponentially, that will make you sound more like your native-speaking counterparts- try to do at least one of these a day!
- Go food shopping– Find a store that specializes in products from your target language’s country. This is especially helpful if you are trying to get a better grasp on the alphabet and orthography of your target language. Even better, buy your groceries, then try to follow a recipe in your target language. Sometimes, you can even find great cooking demonstrations by natives on YouTube!
- Eat at an ‘authentic restaurant’– Living in a large metropolis, it is very easy to find authentic restaurants for any type of culture. Look up Yelp reviews or ask around on social media to find a true, authentic restaurant. Once you decide on what to eat, try to order in your target language, and see how shocked the (hopefully native) servers will be! Bon appetit!
- Read up! Make Google and your phone work for you! Download apps, subscribe to news articles, join Facebook pages, read blogs, ‘like’ Instagram posts, retweet…all in your target language! If you’re ready for a challenge, change your phone’s language settings. Also, check out any foreign language bookstores near you- you never know what might interest you, in your target language. I would never read a ‘classic’ book in English for fun, but I especially enjoy reading classic French and Italian works (studies have shown that people might even have different personalities, depending on the language they are speaking/thinking in!)
- Listen to the language, 24/7- From listening to podcasts, to music, to tv shows, the possibilities are endless. What is important is to keep your target language in the background as much as possible. What is amazing is you won’t know how much you’ve absorbed until you start talking to a native speaker and they ask you what that word you correctly used means!
- Make native friends– It’s nice having native speakers as friends, but sometimes there won’t be a Hebrew or a Russian speaker already in your ‘circle.’ Luckily, there is Lexody to make those connections- many of our users have already made lifelong connections with native speakers. What’s better than a friendship with linguistic benefits?
Good luck, Bonne chance, in bocca al lupo!