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How Dating in a Foreign Language Can Help You Learn the Language

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

How Dating in a Foreign Language Can Help You Learn the Language 

Being able to speak freely with native speakers is an awesome ability in itself, but add to the fantasy an attractive native speaker who happens to also be your significant other and it’s a whole different ball game.

Most people don’t realize that dating in a foreign language can actually help you improve your language skills dramatically. In this post we look at some of the biggest benefits of dating in a foreign language, as well as some of the drawbacks.

Enjoy!

Dating Foreign Language 

1. Benefits of dating in a foreign language

1- It’s motivational

One of the greatest struggles for anyone learning a second language is motivation. Nine times out of ten learners start out their language learning journey with loads of enthusiasm; only to see it gradually wane over time. Try as they may it’s difficult to maintain the spark they once shared with their new language.

So why not borrow energy from a different spark? When you date someone in your target language all the adventure and excitement of a new relationship carries directly over into your learning. Suddenly you have a very rewarding reason to improve your skills and keep practicing.

As your partner gets involved you will also have the advantage of a constant source of emotional support and encouragement. You can even set up a series of cute incentives with them so that every time you use the language correctly or see marked improve you get a peck on the cheek, or maybe even a special night out!

2- It makes language learning practical

Studying vocabulary and grammar is a vital part of language learning whether you use a podcast, textbook, app, or find yourself in a classroom. However, as great as studying is, a language really only starts to come alive once you start using it in everyday life.

There’s a huge difference between a scripted conversation in a lesson plan and a real life conversation with a native speaker. Dating in your target language affords you a near perfect opportunity to flex your language muscles. You will be able to talk with a native speaker and do it often. Furthermore it will be in a way that feels natural. You’ll learn words in the context, which is hugely important. Even though if the words you learn are in the context of your dating life, you’ll see this practice and experience in the language carry over into all your language skills.

3- It’s fun

One of the greatest benefits of dating in a foreign language is that it allows you practice without having it feel like practice. Often times you’ll find yourself so wrapped up in the other person that you forget you’re using a foreign language. This takes a lot of the pressure off, and helps you focus on communication over trying to speak absolutely perfectly.

While dating can help your language learning, language learning can also add some spice to your romantic life. You’re a lot less likely to have boring or predictable dates if just communicating with the other person is an event in itself. This of course will vary based on your level in your significant other’s native language. If your level is low in your partner’s language and theirs is low in your’s, then unless there’s great chemistry between the two of you, it’s going to be harder to make a connection.

Striking a connection with your date may also depend on your target language. If you’re a native English speaker, a list of Spanish dating phrases is likely to be easier to learn than a list of Japanese ones.

 Miscommunicate

2. The risks of dating in a foreign language

1- It’s easy to miscommunicate

When it comes to relationships, human beings have an innate inclination toward misunderstanding. One glaring down side of dating in your target language is that you or your partner’s lack of ability in each other’s respective native tongue can lead to miscommunications that would otherwise be avoidable.

Depending on the language if you’re speaking in a simple mistranslation or mispronounced word can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. I learned this the hard way when I accidentally told a Ukrainian girl I loved her while trying to complement her new haircut in Russian (that’s a story for a different day!).

As long as you and your date afford each other some extra patience and the benefit of a doubt, then you should be able to overcome this pitfall.

2- Your language skills could suffer if it doesn’t work out

If all your language practice is wrapped in one person, and your relationship with that person doesn’t work out, then your language learning could take a huge hit after a break up. There’s even the added possibility that a forlorn heart might wince at the idea of using the language that your learned with your ex.

 Dating Foreign Language

3. Some ideas for dating in a foreign language

1- Make a “getting to know you” game

This can make for a fun and entertaining dating experience, no matter your age group. Make a simple list of questions with three different categories in your target language, For beginners this could include categories like “Do you like…?” (ex. Hockey, chocolate, riding a train, etc) “What is your favorite?”, or perhaps “What makes a good/…?” (ex. President, friend, vocation).

Get a die and assign each category a pair of numbers between one and six). Each person takes turn rolling the dice and answering the appropriate question. With the right person this activity can turn into a fun yet productive way of getting to know one another.

2- For more advanced learners

If your language skills are more advance you can substitute the basic questions listed above for more difficult ones. You try translating some funny would you rather questions or maybe use questions such as “When is the last time you…did such and such” (laughed so hard you cried, did something that scared you, etc.).

4. Final thoughts

Dating, with or without learning a language, is risky. The more serious a relationship is the greater potential for reward and for loss. Still for the most part, dating in a foreign language has a lot more benefits to offer than it does drawbacks. If you get the opportunity to go out with a native speaker in your target language you ought to jump at the chance (insomuch as you feel comfortable with the other person of course!).

5 Best Languages to Learn in 2018 for Native English Speakers

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

5 Best Languages to Learn in 2018 for Native English Speakers

Wondering what are the best languages to learn in 2018?

We’ve got you covered.

In fact, learning a new language is more than just a plus to your curriculum vitae (CV).

According to a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, bilingualism helps learners build great multi-tasking skills by switching between different structures in a short amount of time when using more than one language.

Also, statistics have shown that students who speak several languages tend to score better on standardized tests than their unilingual peers.

The benefits mentioned above are just a drop in the ocean of what multilingualism can bring you. There are countless mental, health, and even financial perks that come with learning a second language.

Based on the level of difficulty and the political, economic and cultural significance of each language in today’s world, I have put together a list of the five best languages to learn in 2018, along with some great beginner’s resources.

Spanish

The well-known language company Duolingo recently shared an article on which countries study which languages. The article also contained data obtained from its 120 million users.

Below is a map that portrays the most popular language studied on Duolingo in each country. duolingo data

As you can see, Spanish is the second most-learned language in the world after English.

In fact, Duolingo’s analysis states that Spanish “is studied by 17% of all Duolingo users,” making it the second most-learned language in their app.

Now you might be thinking, “What makes Spanish so popular?”

Well, the answer is simple: with a population of around 440 million people, Spanish is the second most natively spoken language in the world. It is also the official language of 20 countries on the American and European continents.

The best part? For most English speakers, Spanish vocabulary is not rocket science. Both languages belong to the Indo-European language family, which led to the cross-fertilization of words and idioms between Spanish and English.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an easy, in-demand language to learn in 2018, Spanish is probably the best option for you.

German

Considering the fact that it is the official language of some of the most developed countries in the world, learning German can open up great opportunities for you.

Recently, German became the third working language of the European Union.

Following Brexit, many indicators show that English will have less importance in the European Union—which will leave more room for German to take over in Europe.

Also, the recent refugee crisis has drawn a lot of attention to Austria and Germany, making German a useful language for everyone interested in following new, related political events in Europe.

Moreover, learning German will allow you to access a huge database of intellectual and scientific content, improve your career, and discover the German culture and people.

Because German is also an Indo-European language, many of its vocabulary words match their English equivalents. Therefore, you will most likely be able to strike up intermediate conversations in German after a few months of learning it.

Japanese

Because Japan has the third largest economy in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of almost five trillion U.S. dollars, it is one of the most popular and arguably important countries in the world.

With a Japanese-speaking population of more than 127 million people, many prefer Japanese to other languages.

In fact, the number of Japanese learners has dramatically increased in the last few decades, as Japan is drastically developing.

In addition to economic growth, Japan is also a culturally rich country. Learning the language will allow you to watch new animes and movies, learn more about martial arts, keep up with technological developments, and find new travel gems in Japan.

Mandarin Chinese

With a Mandarin-speaking population of over 900 million people, China’s official language is set to be one of the most (if not the most) important languages in the world in the next few years.

China’s excellence in important fields including agriculture, academics, travel and business helps globalize its often misunderstood culture and language.

In 2010, the state press agency Xinhua estimates that 750,000 Chinese-as-second-language learners from all around the world have taken the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test. Only four years later, CNTV reported that over five million people took the same test throughout the year.

Considering these statistics, we can securely say that the demand for Mandarin speakers in the world is at its peak - and, as the data confirms, it’s not going down anytime soon.

According to the United States Foreign Service Institute, Chinese is one of the most time-consuming and difficult languages to learn for English native speakers. Bottom line? If you’re ready to invest hundreds of hours to learn one of the best languages, your time and effort will definitely pay off in any way you want it to.

Arabic

Due to the recent political instability in Arabic-speaking countries, and the huge growth Persian Gulf countries such as UAE and Qatar have recently had, Arabic is doubtlessly one of the best languages to learn in 2018.

Political and international organizations are continuously seeking new Arabic language experts and translators to build a bridge between the organizations and the Arab world.

An abundance of successful businesses are also breaking into the Arab market. In fact, many businesses are willing to hire Arabic speakers who are capable of helping them reach business goals and connect with target countries.

Also, if you’re a business owner, an intermediary in Arabic will help to expand your knowledge of the Arab market and expand your entrepreneurial opportunities.

Besides the business and political aspects, Arabic can also help you learn more about many culturally and naturally rich countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Morocco and Iraq.

Just like Chinese, Arabic is a difficult language that might require more time compared to some other popular languages.

To speed up the learning process, I recommend learning a dialect first—which should not be hard—then progressively switch to Modern Standard Arabic by learning the formal language that is used in writing and official documents.

Now that you’ve decided which language(s) to learn, what’s more important than taking action?

Not sure where to start?

Innovative Language is the go-to website for audio and visual language content. There you’ll have access to thousands of customized lessons made by real teachers in more than 34 languages, including the listed languages above.

Based on your language level, Innovative Language experts will correct your assignments, assist you with all the aspects of language fluency, and answer any questions you have.

Sign up now for free and start learning a new language today!

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.

Our Upcoming Free App: Daily Dose of Language

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Our Upcoming Free App: Daily Dose of Language

Hello Listener,

You wake up. There’s a new free mini-lesson waiting for you. It’ll only take you 1 minute to review. There’ll be a new one tomorrow. And the day after. What kind of sorcery is this!?

It’s about our brand new Daily Dose of Language app. It’s completely FREE.

The Daily Dose of Language is a calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your language skills over time. You get a new, different lesson every day. From culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and much more.

The goal? So you can easily learn every day, fast – with 1-minute mini lessons.

Available in 12 languages now and more coming soon!

Preview the NEW Daily Dose of Language Calendar!
Click here to get a sneak peak of the Daily Dose of Language Calendar!

To Your Fluency,

Team InnovativeLanguage.com 

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in 31 Languages. Is Yours Here?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

New Year’s Resolution

Hello Listener,

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2016? Learn more languages? Save money? Read more books? Can you tell us in the language you’re learning?

We asked our listeners on Facebook what their resolutions were and here are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions based on the responses. 52% of our listeners chose saving money. Is yours on the list?

This phrase list will take you 3 minutes and you’ll be able to say what your New Year’s Resolution is. If yours isn’t on there, leave us a comment!

Learn The Top 10 Resolutions in 31 languages:

Here are some handy ways you can master the phrases with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each phrase and read along
  • Review all phrases in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the phrases in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the phrases to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment in Japanese for practice – we read them all!

Speak and master your target language with 100s of audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Just start, we’ll do the teaching and you’ll start speaking minutes into your first lesson.

Happy New Year!

Team InnovativeLanguage.com

Second Language Learning Methods - Direct Method (Berlitz)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The Direct Method of learning a language involves a non-communicative way that uses target/L2 language, which is a step by step and limited process that considers the correct translation to be of the most importance.

The method was developed by Maximilian Berlitz, who migrated from Germany to the United States in 1872. His initial intention was to teach different languages using the traditional grammar approach. However, hiring a French assistant changed his perspective entirely.

The Berlitz Story

Berlitz hired an instructor to teach to his students, but when he hired the assistant, he found out that the Frenchman did not speak any English. However, when Beriltz had to go on sick leave, he left the Frenchman, Nicholas Joly, in charge of his classroom and asked him to do his best teaching language to the students.

Surprisingly, Berlitz came back to the classroom expecting a disaster and found out that his students were actively interacting with Joly and had progressed even further than they would have done learning the material using a nontraditional method.

The teacher communicated with the student through miming and gesturing. Grammar is not the essential goal because students were later able to discover grammatical rules on their own.

It was at this point that Berlitz realized that the innovative technique used by Joly was more successful and stimulating. The process used the target language of native speakers.

There are different levels of learning Berlitz’s direct method, which includes certain initial assessments to see where the student fits in:

  1. The Functional level: limits communication in its simplest form both orally and by listening.
  2. Intermediate level: conversing in English and understanding familiar topics of discussion.
  3. Advanced Intermediate level: competent communication and comfort with speaking the English Language in a professional and personal setting.
  4. Advanced level: speak English proficiently
  5. Native Speaker: Speak English naturally or at a professional level

The underlying principle of using the target language will enable the student to use inductive or deductive reasoning for identifying grammatical rules without having to provide an explanation of the rules that are used. The Berlitz method combines both the direct and the audio-lingual approach combining listening and speaking and later reading and writing.

Conclusion

The academic and intellectual world may see this method as being quite unusual and nontraditional. However, the direct method is considered by many to be more adaptive and popular with students who wanted to learn a foreign language without having to be too concerned about grammatical translation.