How To Teach Yourself A Language

Now is the time. What are you waiting for? Other people have done it. And they are no better than you. If you keep making excuses you’ll never get started. You want to learn a language to help you find work, or for your next trip abroad, don’t you?

Then enough of the excuses. There’s an answer for every excuse. And we have the perfect answer and a number of suggestions to get you on your way.

You want to study a language but language schools are too expensive? Teach yourself.
The timetable doesn’t fit into your schedule? Teach yourself.
You don’t like studying from books and you don’t understand grammar? Teach yourself.

Teaching yourself a language

Matt, our Game Developer, found that his classes at university went too slowly and that what he was learning wasn’t useful. So what did he do? He left university and taught himself programming!

But Matt is not the only person who has taught himself a new skill. Jimi Hendrix, one of the best guitarists in the world, taught himself to play the guitar. Walt Disney also taught himself to draw.

The art of teaching yourself

Anyone can teach themselves something new. In fact, you’ve already done this many times; you’re doing this now. Why did you read or watch the news this week? Why did you look up information about your favourite group or the latest film? Why are you reading this article?

Because you are interested in something. Something that is important to you right now. Something that you want to know right away.

And you can use the same strategy to learn a language.

How?

Ask yourself, “How do you say this in…?”

You don’t just study a language; you live it. You should always keep this in mind. Make the most of opportunities to learn new words or expressions. How? By asking, “How do you say this in …?” Are you in a restaurant and asking for the bill? Find out how to do this in another language. Is there an expression that you use a lot? Find out how you would say it in another language. Do this with everything.

Combine learning a language with one of your hobbies

If you love drawing, photography, animals, or fitness, for example, try to find out information about it in the language that you want to learn. That way, you’ll learn something new and be learning a language at the same time.

Listen to foreign music and watch foreign films

It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand much of what is being said. That’s how it is to begin with. Look up the meaning of the lyrics of songs you like online; turn on the subtitles in your own language. Most of all, be patient. You’ll soon see that many expressions and words are repeated.

You can also watch your favourite films or television shows in another language. As you’ll already have a good idea of what’s happening, you can focus more on the language and less on following the story.

Play video games in another language

When you’re playing a good video game, you forget the rest of the world. You’re immersed in an adventure. You have a challenge, a mission to complete. You know you have to complete it if you want to win. And you’re focusing all your energy on achieving your goal.

So if you’re playing a game in another language, your brain will try to absorb all the information that it can. And when you don’t understand something, you’ll have to work it out to move forward.

These are just a few examples that you can start with today. You don’t need more hours in the day. You don’t need to change your lifestyle. No more excuses. Start today. Start now! And don’t forget to ask, “How would you say that in Spanish?”

Jonay Suárez — Head of Marketing at Wibbu.