How to Speak Different Languages
Just learning one foreign language can be hard enough for the average English speaking person so you would think that learn multiple languages would be extremely challenging. Well in fact it can be quite the opposite, meaning that once you have learnt one language, it is easier to learn additional languages. The reason why, is because once you have learned to speak a second language, your brain has already adopted to the skill of automatically recognizing and translating words and sounds of a foreign language, this skill only needs to be learnt once and then can be applied to multiple languages. When you learn to speak a language for the first time, it can be difficult to distinguish where words start and end. This is because your are unfamiliar with not only the vocab but the flow of the language as it will be different from you mother tongue.
Learning to speak different languages
Most of us have studied a foreign language as a mandatory subject at school for around 5 years, but how many of us have become fluent from that? Almost nobody. I suppose if you put more effort into your homework your vocab would be a little better but still very far from fluent.
The reason why? Because you will have studied the language for an academic purpose and not for a practical use. The only way to speak different languages and became fluent is to immerse yourself in the spoken language environment the following ways:
- Mix with friends that speak the languages you want to learn. They may actually want to speak English with you however your be eventually be introduced to other friends / family of that Nationality that do not speak English. Being in the community will help you speak the language faster than you studying grammar.
- Date somebody. It doesn't meet to date somebody just to learn the language however if you have an interest in a certain culture it doesn't hurt to date somebody from that country. This is a very good opportunity to practice speaking the new language. Even if your partner's English is better than your seconds language, don't let it put you off and keep going.
- Stay with a host family abroad, host families in Europe may be happy to take people in and you should be able to find many good sources online. Host families are never usually too fluent in English so this will be a great opportunity to learn to speak the local language by engaging in everyday conversation.
- Teach English abroad. Even though you will be teaching your own language, it is a very good opportunity to mix with the locals and learn to speak the local language. The danger here though is getting into foreigner circles where you only use English with fellow English teachers because it's comfortable to do so. It is very important to break out of the circle.