Learning another language is something most people dream about. Sometimes that dream looks like traveling to Paris and chatting with locals in a café, other times people want to develop their career, or maybe you just want to be able to order Sushi on a fun night out. Regardless of the reason you may have for this, it can feel like a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be that way, with the right strategy in place you can make progress every day.
Common mistakes people make when learning a language
First on this list is the most common mistake, not building out a successful strategy for getting it done. Many people don’t spend the time needed to research all the options out there for language learning. For example, many people jump straight into app-based learning tools. While these are very powerful and often well designed, they lack the most important aspect needed for picking up a language successfully, speaking to another human being. Language apps are a fantastic supplemental tool but are best used in tandem with real conversational practice. Try getting involved with a study group, using an online language exchange program, or hiring a tutor once a week.
Number two on this list is having unrealistic expectations. Simply put, how long did it take for you to master your native language? A couple of years of regular practice. Sure, we know you were a child at the time, but the truth is that it was the easiest you’ll ever have it for this particular task. Give yourself some time to make gradual progress; programs that promise that you can master a language in 30 days are not representing themselves honestly. Understand that your progress will feel fast at times and slower at others. Be patient, and it will come over time.
Lastly, and perhaps the most common reasons for failure, is a lack of persistence. Faced with what we believe is a lack of progress, due to the feeling on inconsistent results mentioned above, people will often stop trying. This is (by a wide margin) the largest barrier to learning a second language. What you need to focus on for a sustained effort is “why am I doing this?” It will be important to spend a few minutes before you commit to this journey thinking about what results this may have in your life. Think for a moment about why you want to learn a language and then keep that in mind throughout your time learning it.
Try this fun life hack!
Here’s where we offer you something a little out of the box. Try setting aside a specific time in your day to do a 30 min language practice. Since you’re on the Roborock blog, you probably have an idea about what we’re going to suggest, so bear with me for a moment. The whole family of Roborock robot vacuums was designed with a single goal in mind, to give you the priceless gift of time. We design robot cleaners to give our customers more time to do the things they love. So, with that in mind, why don’t you try committing the 30 min every day that your Roborock robot vacuum is cleaning your floors to learning that new language? It can be a great reminder to practice! Simply schedule your vacuum to run at a specific time each day then, when you hear it start, sit down with a cup of tea and pull out your flashcards, or open that app.
Some ways to spend that 30 minutes
First things first, spend ten minutes reviewing the most common words. Did you know that by studying a language’s 2,000 most common words, you’re learning 84% of the vocabulary? While uncommon words are interesting in any language, there’s no practical use to learning them until you’ve become fluent. Your time is best spent sticking to the common ones. Try printing out some flashcards, you’ll find them online for any language you want to learn.
As we mentioned before, the best thing you can do is invest in a weekly tutor. Great tutors can be found online, and chances are you will be able to schedule one for a time in your week that works for you. Just set up a video chat online with them, then schedule your Roborock robot vacuum to run at that time as well. Don’t worry it’s super quiet and won’t disturb you during your lesson.
Then, for the rest of your daily sessions, you’ll want to be dividing your time between any kind of app that you’ve chosen to use and lesson review from your tutor. Try breaking out your 30 min like this. One day a week for an online tutor. On your non-tutor days do 10 min on common word flash cards every day followed by another 20 mins of lesson review or app practice on alternating days.
Try adding some structure and persistence to your dream of learning a language, then just give it some time. You’ll be amazed at your progress and be ordering that Sushi in Japanese in no time.