It is not difficult but not too easy to learn a language other than your mother language and national language. People learn foreign languages as it can improve employment prospects by providing international job opportunities.
There are MNCs doing business worldwide and these companies are hiring talent globally. So, some individuals have professional commitments and they have to move to a country in which they cannot communicate with locals without learning the local language.
There is a myriad of opportunities available to multilinguist. Apart from this, there are individuals who learn foreign languages as it eliminates the communication gap between them and people who belong to different cultures. A language can serve as a gateway to some other culture.
Ability to speak more than one language also increases your brain power as when you switch between two languages, the part of the brain that filters information and responsible for problem-solving abilities, that part becomes more efficient.
However, when it comes to learning a foreign language, and the pronunciation, the leaner have to understand that in some very rare cases, he might find it difficult to speak exactly like a native speaker.
The reason is your ability to pronounce a letter or word depends on the movement of your tongue, lips and sometimes jaws. If you look at the jaw of a person of African descent, it has a slightly curved surface on the rear edge.
However, jaws of Europeans have flatter edges. However, learning the exact pronunciation is not impossible. If there is an experienced and knowledgeable language trainer on your side and you are also putting sincere efforts to learn that language, you can speak like a native.
Essential Tips for Learning and Improving Pronunciation
When it comes to learning a language or anything new, the first question surfaced in the mind of the learner is – Where do I start? It greatly depends on the way you are willing to learn. If you are a visual learner then read vocabulary, and while listening to the audio, read it again.
If you are an aural learner, listen to the audio while you read the first list of vocabulary, then listen to the audio again, and then read and recognize words without listening to the audio. Whichever learning method you choose, use both the audio and the book. This will improve both your spoken and written skills.
Here Are the Essential Tips
#1 Learn the 100 most used words
Google and note down the 100 most common words. Read the list several times a day and try to make sentences using these words only. You will also have to learn a little grammar for making a sentence which is good for you.
#2 Download a Dictionary
If you are carrying a Smartphone in your pocket then download the dictionary app. When you are in the middle of a conversation you can look for some word in a few seconds. You are using a new word in conversation and this new word will be easy to recall in the future.
That’s the best way to learn any language. Though it is going to be an awkward conversation and you are likely to struggle, but you will not only learn a lot but it will also motivate you. Moreover, you will be using words you are learning and you will also learn from the other person.
#4 Practice in Your Head
Use the dictionary app and practice when you have no one to talk to. Think in the new language you are learning. We always have some thoughts running through our heads and all these thoughts are in our native language. Challenge yourself and create these thoughts in the new language. Create an imaginary character and start a conversation. Visualize some situation, for example, you addressing a group of students in the language you are learning.
#5 Move from 100 most used To 1000 Most Used Words
You need 100 most used words for 50% of spoken communication. The most used 1000 words are enough for 80% of the spoken conversation. The most common 3000 words are used in 99% of spoken communication. Take time and don’t try to improve your vocabulary quickly.
#6 Opt For One-On-One Tutoring
Through one-on-one tutoring is a little expensive you get the undivided attention of the trainer. Whether it is an online training or classroom training, one-on-one training ensures quick and better learning.
#7 Find a Buddy
Date someone who can speak the language you are learning. If you don’t know someone then find an online native buddy. There are various websites and apps you can use to start a conversation with native speakers.
#8 Use Media as a Language Learning Tool
Though it is not the replacement of training and practice, still watching TV shows and movies with subtitles and reading magazines and newspapers is also very helpful. However, focus more on the conversation.
#9 Learn To Listen and Identify and Assemble Sounds
Sitting back and carefully listening is as important as speaking and writing especially when you want to improve your pronunciation. Watch YouTube videos, news shows, debates, movies, dramas and TV shows with subtitles. Shorter videos are pretty helpful in learning pronunciation but don’t expect much vocabulary exposure in shorter videos.
How do you pronounce a word in your native language? You simply identify the sounds of vowels and consonants and then assemble these sounds. So, first of all, learn to identify the sounds of the alphabets. If you look up into the dictionary, you will find the sound of every alphabet. And, Google is always there for you.
#10 Train Your Mouth
We depend on the movements of tongue and lips to speak. People from different geographical regions have different jaw structures. The tongue moves in all direction for producing sounds. So, you have to experiment a lot with different positions to find the correct position for producing a sound. So, you have to train your mouth.
Learning a language is a personal process. You have to show interest in learning and put your best efforts. There are many language institutes offering online foreign language courses.
No doubt you will be taught almost everything about the language. However, you are not going to learn without extra and sincere efforts. And, you are going to make stupid mistakes while trying. Be prepared!
Best of luck!