How to Become Fluent in a Language

It takes persistence and lots of practice, but you can master a new language. Try these tips to get started.

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Parlez-vous français? ¿Hablas español? Parli italiano? Well, you'll be able to speak a little bit of each after watching these Howcast videos. Language lessons include how to say "go to hell" in Spanish and other languages; how to speak basic Chinese phrases; how to say "I love you" in different languages; how to speak common Italian phrases; how to say "hello" and "goodbye" in German; and more.

You Will Need

  • Group language class
  • Cultural immersion
  • Mimicry skills
  • Memorized question
  • Translation dictionary
  • Foreign-language movies, TV, music, newspapers, and magazines

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Take a group class

    Take a group language class rather than hiring a private tutor. You'll learn from others' mistakes and have friends to practice with. Read, write, translate, and speak the language daily.

  2. Step 2

    Immerse yourself

    Immerse yourself in the culture. Travel to the country that speaks the language you wish to learn and start soaking up the sounds -- the best way to become fluent. Consider working or volunteering abroad and living with a host family.

  3. If you can't travel abroad, find a section of a city that speaks your target language, hang out there, and engage in conversation with native speakers.

  4. Step 3

    Imitate

    Imitate the expressions and sounds of the locals. Watch how they move their mouths and try to copy them exactly whether you know what they're saying or not. Eventually, these phrases will come out naturally when you need them.

  5. Resisting the urge to translate everything or memorizing specific phrases is key for obtaining fluency fast.

  6. Step 4

    Ask questions and write down phrases

    Memorize the phrases "What is this called?" and "How do you say that?" Ask the locals on a daily basis to find out about things you're interested in but don't know how to say. Write down phrases you didn't fully understand and look them up in a dictionary later.

  7. Step 5

    Watch movies and TV

    Watch foreign-language movies and television without subtitles, listen to music, and read foreign newspapers or magazines to help the language effortlessly seep into you mind.

  8. Step 6

    Learn from mistakes

    Learn from your mistakes. Make a note of them and take the time to work on them to improve.

  9. Step 7

    Keep in touch

    Keep in touch with people you meet abroad. E-mailing or writing on their Facebook wall is a great way to keep up your new language skills.

  10. A study by the British Foreign Office found that the most difficult language to learn is Basque, spoken in parts of Spain and France, followed closely by Hungarian.

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