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Music for Language Learning: Best Practices

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

All cultures have a form of music that they call their own. Music is one of the early types of learning tools to learn a language. Parents use music to teach their young children simple words. Scientists have proven that music helps in focusing attention, improving memory, and acquiring a language. Music is a good foundation builder as well because it can help in physical development and coordination.

Why music helps in language learning

The imitation of the musical structure and rhythm of a language helps a person learn a language, which is one reason why children learn a new language faster. They play with other children and listen to songs, allowing them to adopt a new language easily. The repetition of song lyrics, such as those from nursery rhymes helps children retain words and expressions. Children may not know the meaning of the words from another language, but they will remember them. Mimicking the pronunciation of the words helps them practice making the sounds. The sounds will later lead to understanding their actual meaning.

You might not notice it, but have you wondered at times why you still remember the nursery rhymes that you learned as a child? You can effectively retain expressions and words through music; that’s why. It’s also the reason why you can memorize the lyrics of a song you like because the pattern is repetitive. Moreover, when you listen to music and follow the words, rhythm, beat and melody, you use both sides of your brain.

Ways to study a language through music

Each person studies and learns differently. When using music for language learning, the most effective way depends on your studying and learning habits. However, we want to give you different ways you can approach your language learning through music with these best practices.

1- Passive listening

Whether you have foreign language songs on your computer or you have a CD of foreign songs, one way to learn the language is through passive listening. Let the foreign music play in the background while you are doing something else. To achieve fluency in another language, you should be familiar with it. You need to train your brain to function in the new language 100 percent. The practice is one form of language immersion. As you listen and get more familiar and comfortable with the background music, you can pick up grammar patterns along with common words and phrases.

2- Memorization

Learn how to memorize and add more words to your dictionary. Memorizing the song lyrics is an excellent way to improve your memory. At the same time, the memorization exercise gives you confidence. Memorization gives you three benefits. It enhances your listening skills, boosts your reading skills, and improves your pronunciation of the words. Memorization will likewise help you do the next method.

3- Sing-along

This method is similar to the first one. But instead of listening passively, you take an active role in the exercise. Download lyrics of the foreign songs you like. Some download sites provide the original song lyrics as well as translations in English. Play the song and sing along. You can also find videos on YouTube that have lyrics in the source and target languages. Either way, you’ll learn grammar, spelling and pronunciation while enjoying the songs of your favorite foreign singers. Your listening and reading skills will likewise benefit from the exercise.

You can check your progress by finding the karaoke versions of the foreign songs you like. Again, YouTube is your friend. Trying to sing the song while reading the lyrics in the target language will test if your language learning is progressing.

4- Transcription

This method may sound weird to you initially. You listen to the song as it plays while you write down (or transcribe) the lyrics. At first, you are likely to catch only a few familiar words. Don’t be frustrated and continue what you’re doing. Let the music play as you write everything you hear. Play the song again and write the words that you missed in the first pass. In time, your hearing will improve, as you understand the words better. Your brain’s processing time will be shorter and faster. Further, it will enhance your spelling. Listening to the music and transcribing the lyrics will give your word list a boost.

These are just a few of the effective ways to learn a foreign language using music. Be patient and enjoy foreign music as you learn your target language. If you wish to start with something simpler, listen to children’s songs in your target language. The repetition of the song lyrics is more constant, which allows your brain to assimilate foreign words faster. If you need help in transcribing songs and music sheets, our language translation services team can help.

Learning a language through music means language learning more fun. Likewise, you learn to focus your attention and improve your memory. It’s an effective method when you self-study.

Author Bio: Sean Patrick Hopwood is the polyglot CEO of Day Translations, Inc., an interpreting services provider that serves clients in a wide range of industries including eSports, finance, and government.

Learn a language in the fastest, easiest and most fun way with Innovative Language Learning!

9 Languages Students Aspire to Learn Abroad

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

When embarking on a new adventure into a foreign country, elements such as exotic cultures, new people, and spontaneous adventures are practically guaranteed. However, oftentimes there is still an aspect which doesn’t always allow you to experience all of this in full: the local language.

A recent survey carried out by educations.com found that learning a new language is a major contributing factor for students who plan to spend a semester or even a whole year studying abroad. In fact, of the 32,000 students that took part in the survey, 31% declared that a second language was a top priority for them when choosing a destination to study abroad in. Of that 31% of students, almost a fifth are specifically going abroad to take a language course.

Rather than avoiding a country for fear of not knowing the local language, many students are plunging headfirst into the challenge of learning a new language. Given the many benefits of knowing more than one language, their eagerness to learn a new one is unsurprising!

Benefits of Bilingualism

Numerous studies have shown that being bilingual comes with numerous benefits that will make all that time spent studying worth it. One of the most common advantages that bilinguals benefit from is the ability to communicate in more than one language that will instantly give them a competitive advantage over those who don’t, especially in academic and professional spheres.

So, what exactly are the benefits of being able to speak more than one language?

Job Opportunities

Although it’s commonly believed that the only way to learn a new skill is from a very young age, studies have proven that in fact, there really is no such thing as ‘being too old’ when it comes to picking up new languages. What this research has proven is that adults are actually more than capable of learning a new language at a faster and more accurate rate compared to children, meaning that picking up an entirely new language during adulthood is entirely attainable. With that being said, this should encourage anyone who has ever been interested in learning a new language to give it a go, and at the same time, have something extra to add onto the CV which will undoubtedly give you a cutting edge, and make your pathway towards finding employment much simpler. Being able to speak more than one language will also open up many more opportunities in different sectors, such as tourism and travel, journalism and publishing, international relations, sales, and management to mention a few.

Brain Enhancement

It should come as no surprise that learning a new language gives you the ability to rewire your brain and improve vital parts of your psyche. As a matter of fact, psychological studies on the area have shown that being bilingual can physically improve your brain activity, mainly by enhancing those brain-parts that are responsible for multitasking, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Furthermore, another benefit which should also be pointed out is the fact that this will also help you train your neurons by keeping your brain actively working, which is not only vital for overall mental development, but also in the delay of premature dementia.

Learning the very basics of a language before going abroad to study is very beneficial, as it will provide you with fundamentals which will allow you to understand and pick up the language much faster, as opposed to those people who will start from zero. Online language courses - whether offered through video lessons or podcasts - are an easy and accessible way to improve your language skills before and during your trip.

Below are the top languages students said they want to learn abroad - which one will you choose?

1. English


Source: Learn English with EnglishClass101.com

Deemed the most commonly studied foreign language in the world, about 23% of students who prioritized learning a foreign language chose to study in a country where English is the primary language. While it’s surpassed by both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in terms of native speakers, it still boasts the highest number of total speakers in the world.

2. Español (Spanish)


Source: Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101.com

Spanish is the second most widely spoken native language in the world and is also the official language in 20 different countries worldwide. While it’s mostly spoken in the Americas and Europe, its status as a global language means that it’s also spoken internationally and is actually learned and spoken by many people as a second language.

3. Italiano (Italian)


Source: Learn Italian with ItalianPod101.com

Italy is a country that requires no formal introduction; it is a country full of historic beauty and significance, and currently home to the most UNESCO world heritage sites in the world. It’s worldwide popularity amongst tourists and students is evident, which officially makes Italian the 4th most studied language in the world come as no surprise.

4. Français (French)


Source: Learn French with FrenchPod101.com

From mouth-watering bread and cheeses to the majestic Louvre, to the alluring vineyards scattered all over the country, France is the ideal place to be for anyone who loves fashion, culture, and exquisite food. When it comes to the local language, French is an extremely popular one to learn as it’s the only language besides English to be taught in every country in the world, meaning that you have a very high chance of encountering a French-speaking person when on your travels.

5. Svenska (Swedish)


Source: Learn Swedish with SwedishPod101.com

If you’re a fan of cold climates, minimalist design, and tasty coffee-treats, then Sweden is the place for you. Even though Swedish might not be the first language people may choose to study in school, it is the most widely spoken language in all of Scandinavia. Furthermore, Sweden is also known for being one of the most forward-thinking and welcoming countries in the world, which as a result, makes it one of the most highly desirable places to live, study, and work in.

6. Deutsch (German)


Source: Learn German with GermanPod101.com

When considering learning German, many people are oftentimes easily discouraged by the fact that it has one of the most extensive vocabulary as well as the strictest and most complicated grammar rules, when compared to other European languages. Despite this however, adding German to your verbal repertoire comes with numerous advantages that will make the effort of learning it very much worthwhile; it is officially the most widely spoken native language in the European Union and is an official language in seven countries worldwide.

7. Nederlands (Dutch)


Source: Learn Dutch with DutchPod101.com

Another language which you might be interested in pursuing is Dutch. Cited as one of the easiest languages to learn, picking up this language should be a relatively fast process, as many Dutch words are spelled in the same way as their English counterparts.

8. 官話 (Mandarin Chinese)


Source: Learn Chinese with ChineseClass101.com

As the language with the highest number of native speakers in the world, Mandarin Chinese is considered to be a very advantageous (and popular) language to learn, which will give you the upper hand when it comes to business, travel, and culture. While learning how to write in Chinese can be rather challenging, its verbal structure is fairly simple.

9. Polski (Polish)


Source: Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com

Polish is not only the most-spoken Slavic language after Russian, but it’s considered to be the most widely spoken language after English in both England and Wales. Therefore, if you’re interested in learning a Slavic language, Polish is the most approachable due to the Latin nature of its script.

Psychology-Based Tips to Increase Motivation to Learn Foreign Languages

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

The more foreign languages people know, the more culturally enriched they’ll be. Not to mention different business opportunities that arise when someone is bilingual, trilingual, etc. However, learning a foreign language isn’t an easy task. Both adults and children can struggle with mastering a foreign language.

One of the main factors that hold people down is motivation. Without motivation, every effort to learn a new language will be in vain. Motivation is something that needs to be worked on and psychology has covered this topic numerous times. With the following psychology-based tips, anyone can improve their motivation for learning a foreign language.

How learning a foreign language can benefit the brain

One of the ways to motivate yourself is to understand the overall benefits of learning a new language.

Commonly, we are more eager to engage in a specific action if we know the purpose.

There must be some reasons that encouraged you to consider learning a foreign language. Besides those reasons, you should also understand how it can positively affect your brain.

Bilinguals have shown to have a much better memory than monolinguals. Memorizing new vocabulary, grammatical rules, and usage of a new language improves your memory capacity.

Another helpful trait of learning a foreign language is being better at inhibiting distractions and multitasking.

Types of motivation

No one can argue that motivation is a necessity for accomplishing any goal. The thing is that motivation comes in different forms.

Depending on what motivates you, there are two types of motivation:

  1. Intrinsic (internal) – Comes from a personal interest. For example, making a card to give it to your loved one.
  2. Extrinsic (external) – Comes from the desire to achieve something. For example, studying to get a good grade.

In order to increase your chances and boost your level of motivation, you should find reasons that will bring out both types of motivation.

Increase intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation needs to come from within. It means that you need to be driven by a personal wish to learn a new language.

For some, intrinsic motivation comes from the desire to speak the language of their loved ones. Others want to learn a foreign language because they are fascinated by that culture.

It is proven that intrinsic motivation has more power comparing to extrinsic motivation. If you devote yourself to a cause because you are genuinely interested, the process will be much easier.

Even if your current motivation is strictly extrinsic, there is a way to change that.

Think deeply about what will make you happy once you learn that language. Imagine all the places where you can go and speak freely with native speakers.

Do some research about countries and cultures where that language is used. Learning new facts and interesting customs can help you with your intrinsic motivation.

Increase extrinsic motivation

While experts mostly emphasize intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation can be equally important.

Extrinsic motivation is easier to pinpoint. Your external motivation can already be established if you need to learn a foreign language because of a new job. Just keep reminding yourself of the rewards that will come once that job is yours.

Another extrinsic motivation can be to have more job opportunities in the future. Or to start a new career.

There are so many external factors that can motivate you to learn a new language.

Set goals

According to the American Psychological Association, people who set goals that are both specific and challenging, are 90% more likely to achieve what they’ve set their mind to.

Setting goals is directly linked with self-confidence, motivation, and autonomy. Therefore, establishing clear goals in the process will help you stay motivated.

Start by finding different sources with inspirational language learning goals.

The important part is to write down your goals. Don’t allow yourself to forget about your plans. Put it all down on paper and keep it is a reminder.

Whenever your motivation starts to fade away, just pull out your list of specific goals and remind yourself of why you need to do this.

Reward yourself

People respond to rewards as positively as children. We may think that we have surpassed the time when candy made us sit still, but that is not the case.

Bob Nelson, a motivation expert, and the best-selling author claims that “you get what you reward.”

Apply this technique to your learning habits.

Motivate yourself to stay consistent in learning by giving yourself small rewards. Nobody knows best what will keep you motivated but you.

For example, you can make a pact with yourself if you don’t skip any class for a month you’ll have a spa day.

Be proud of your little wins

Negative thinking and self-depreciation lower the motivation level. Many teachers and parents think that criticism and dissatisfaction will make the children more motivated. This approach is wrong.

Positive thinking and celebrating little wins will encourage you to keep moving forward. Once you experience that rewarding feeling of being proud of yourself, you’ll keep coming back for more.

It is important that you recognize small accomplishments and not just the final goal. If you wait until you completely master the language to feel proud, you might lose your fire along the way.

Acknowledge when you manage to learn the whole list of new vocabulary. Be proud when you excel in the next test. Give yourself a tap on the back when you pronounce every word correctly. Moments such as these will give you that dose of motivation you need.

If you make learning a foreign language a pleasant experience you will be more motivated to go through it.

Some final thoughts

Motivation is one of the most prominent predictors of success. If you know how to motivate yourself and maintain that motivation during the language learning process, you’ll have a great chance of achieving your goal.

Instead of relying on some speculations, trust these psychology-based tips. Practicing these methods and staying consistent will help you add another language to your resume.

Assisting College Students with Foreign Language Learning Difficulties

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Assisting College Students with Foreign Language Learning Difficulties

 

Students who have certain learning difficulties often struggle mightily to be successful. Add a foreign language, and that can be a formula for disaster. In some cases, a student may have no diagnosed learning difficulties, but may face significant struggles when learning a new language.

 

However, that doesn’t mean these students are doomed to fail. Whether it’s an ESL student attending an English speaking university, or simply a student attempting to meet a foreign language, graduation requirement, there are programs that can help.

 

1. Encourage Students with Emerging Difficulties to Get an Assessment

Sometimes, if a student has never faced a particular challenge, they may have a learning issue that has gone undiscovered. Any student who suddenly finds themselves struggling with learning a language should seek help and information.

 

For one thing, it is now believed that Foreign Language Learning Disability is real thing. In addition to this, a student may have found ways to compensate for another learning issue in the past. However, now that they are challenged to learn a new language, those methods may not work effectively.

 

Fortunately, there is help available. In order to comply with ADA regulations, colleges must provide assistance to students with learning difficulties. This includes conducting assessments for potential learning disabilities and providing students with accommodations.

 

Test

2. Students with Diagnosed Disabilities Should Review Their Accommodations and Use Them

Whether a student is newly diagnosed or has dealt with a language learning disability for some time, they are entitled to certain accommodations. Any student with a learning difficulty who is struggling to learn a new language, either as part of a class or to attend classes as a non-native speaker should know which accommodations they are entitled to.

 

Sadly, many students forego their accommodations, often for the following reasons:  

  • They aren’t aware they are entitled to them at the college level
  • They are unsure who to speak with about accommodations
  • They feel embarrassed to ask for the accommodations they are entitled to have.
  • They are new to the country and don’t understand their rights.

It’s important that students with foreign language difficulties have people to both educate and advocate for them.

 

3. Help Students Identify and Access the Help They Need

The good news is that there are many sources of help for students who struggle to learn a foreign language. First, the student must identify exactly what they are trying to accomplish, and what their specific struggles are. For example, one student may be struggling with a composition class because they aren’t used to writing in English. Another student may be graduation soon, but is having difficulty writing an entry level resume. A third student may be struggling to write up his personal statement for graduate school admission.

 

Once a student knows where they need help, it becomes easier to suggest resources for them. Sylvia Giltner from ResumesCentre says, “It’s common for students and others who aren’t native speakers to struggle with practical writing tasks. Fortunately, there is help for students to learn languages, and to cover any gaps in the meantime.”

 

Time Management

4. Tackle Other Roadblocks to Success Such as Time Management and Organization

When a student struggles with something academically, it is important to ensure that they stay on top of everything else. After all, adding on another difficulty or struggle just makes things worse. This is why it’s imperative that students work hard to drop any academic bad habits, and simply learn to stay on top of things.

 

The last thing a struggling student needs is to make things worse for themselves by falling behind. This is why it’s so important for students to identify other things that could stop them from being successful. These might include:  

  • Procrastination
  • Assignment Avoidance
  • Skipping Class
  • Disorganization
  • Pulling Too Many All-Nighters

Bad habits can distract from what the student really needs to work on, foreign language mastery. The good news is that there is a lot of help available for students who need to get focused. There are note taking apps that help students keep their work organized. There are also time management tools such as the Pomodoro system. There are even tools that can block certain websites so that students don’t get phased by distractions. Students can apply a few of these ‘fixes’ so that they can focus on their real goals.

 

Christopher Mercer, a founder of Citatior, notes: “I believe Pomodoro technique is the best way to stay focused and productive during language learning. It helped me not only learn Spanish and Chinese effectively but also coding languages.”

5. Explore All Language Learning Options

There is no single, best way to learn to speak a foreign language. This is a good thing, because in many instances, it isn’t that the student cannot learn a new language. Instead, the problem is that a particular teaching method just doesn’t work for them. To succeed, students should be encouraged to explore all of the options available to them.

 

For example, student who struggles to keep up in a large, lecture class may do well in a small classroom where students engage in conversation using the new language they are learning. Still another student may do best with an immersive experience. They might benefit from visiting neighborhoods, restaurants, and cultural centers or viewing TV shows and movies in a foreign language.

 

Many language apps and online language courses also offer multi-sensory learning experiences. Instead of simply listening to lectures, students also spend time viewing videos, listening to the language, and providing both typed and spoken feedback.

6. Wrapping Things Up

Student’s struggle with foreign languages for a variety of reasons. Some may have an organic learning disability. This may be directly related to learning a foreign language or not. These are students who need assistance ranging from getting an assessment to ensuring they have access to the accommodations they are qualified to receive. In addition, there are also students who simply need to find different pathways to language mastery. Fortunately, there is no shortage of tools and apps available to them.

 

Learning a new language is something that everyone can accomplish. For some students, getting this done is just a bit more challenging. These are the students who just need a little help.


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 for Native English Speakers

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Best Languages to Learn for Native English Speakers

Wondering what are the best languages to learn as an English speaker?

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, 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, 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.

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 content strategist, writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide.

Can you guess these languages?

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Top 10 Anime to Help You Learn Japanese

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Japanese anime is very popular around the world. So popular that many people decide to learn Japanese because of their love for their favorite anime shows.

Top 10 Anime to Help You Learn Japanese

But one problem with learning Japanese through anime is the kind of Japanese you’ll absorb this way. The characters in anime live in their own universe, where everyone tends to use slang, casual language, informal pronouns and even made-up words. It’s very easy to spot people who learned Japanese exclusively through anime – you’ll see 20-year-old boys talking like 10-year-old kawaii girls, or 20-year-old girls talking like yakuza, for example! Needless to say, native Japanese speakers may not take them seriously!

Despite this, it can actually be useful to incorporate anime into your language learning routine.

Anime has a lot to offer to Japanese students on every level:

1. It helps you practice your listening skills. Listening skill are of course closely related to pronunciation.

2. It gives you more than just a glimpse into Japanese culture and modern day pop-culture.
Cultural references are absolutely vital to learning any new language, and anime is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. People will throw anime references into their casual, polite and even business conversations.

3. Just as importantly, catching up on your favorite shows is a great and fun way to take a break from your ordinary language learning routine.

Anime is a great learning tool because it’s fun and there is a lot of it. In fact, there’s anime for everyone: romance, action, adventure, horror, comedy, sports, historical – basically in any genre you can think of.

As long as you don’t lose sight of your ultimate Japanese language goal – to speak fluently and properly in any situation – anime definitely has a place in your language learning routine.

We’ve listed some fun anime series you can get into and improve your Japanese. We tried to pick easy to understand shows that use everyday language. Hopefully these will give you some good jumping off points. But remember: this is just a partial list, and there really is an anime for everyone. If you don’t like the series we listed below, you can easily find a different one!

What Lessons Would Suit for Me Before Traveling to Another Country?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

What lessons would suite for me before traveling to another country?

Hello Listener,

Are you already planning to go on a trip to another country? Don’t let the language barrier ruin your vacation. Find languages lessons that would suit for you!

What type of traveler are you?

  • A. I study important phrases in the target language. >> Click here!
  • B. I just take an app or a book containing travel phrases. >> Click here!
  • C. I prepare nothing, just enjoy my experience. >> Click here!
  • D. My answer is not here. >>Click here!

To Traveling The World,
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