Master a New Language

first you need to ask yourself, why do you want to learn a new language?
     for school?
     for work?
     for travel?
     just for fun?
     putting off your New Year's Resolution?

your answer may determine how you decide to go about your studies

I have a bachelor's degree in French. I am currently learning Swedish so I can appropriately ease into the Swedish culture when I move this August. So I am not a stranger to learning a second (or third) language.
Here a few tips that I have used throughout my 10 years of learning a new language:

  • flashcards
yep those old fashioned paper study trick are proven for quick and solid learning. Short on paper or just plain green? Try Quizlet! It's a free website, phone app duo where you can make as many flashcards as your little heart desires. In addition to making your own flashcards, you can search for pre-made flashcard sets. 
  • apps 
there are two awesome apps that I use on a daily basis: Duolingo & Memrise. Both are free with options to upgrade for a fee. Of course neither are perfect nor will make sound like a native speaker but they are good sources
  • check out your local library 
libraries can also be awesome resources, either local or at your university. They can hold a treasure trove of foreign language goodies! Books! Newspapers! Movies! 
  • online resources
in addition to your local physical library, you can access Youtube -- which is kinda like a video library at your fingertips. Do a quick search for "Swedish children's television shows" or "French news". You can google for newspapers around the world to stay up to date on world news in a new language (with google translate by your side of course). My final online resource is PODCASTS. I have ranted and raved about my love for podcasts in the past and I will continue to do so. You can find "5 minute a day Spanish", "Coffee Break German" or even news radio. I find that even if you do not understand every single thing that is being said (and you won't at first) it is great to get a grasp of how the language is spoken and flows.
  • label things around your home
i did this a lot in high school. Take some painters tape, a language dictionary and go to town. Every time you use said item, make a point of saying the word out loud in your new language. (It will really get under your parents or roommates' skin) *from the other room* "livrrree" 
  • study or travel abroad
alright, I know this may not be an option for everyone, but if you have the ability I highly recommend spending some time in a country that speaks the language you are trying to master. I have spent a lot of time in France both in high school and recently in college, both times I have returned with a very confident grasp of my French. Plus you'll have tons of memories and stories to tell...

Are you trying to learn a new language?
What do you find helps?
your little mouse


  1. Studying abroad is super helpful! I studied abroad in three different countries and it vastly improved those three languages. The only downside is when you come back and you find yourself not using them. I haven't tried labelling things around the house so maybe that'll help!

    1. You are so right, but it's always fun while you're abroad :) Thanks for reading <3


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