The most important aspect of a language is, undoubtedly, vocabulary. If you master your vocabulary proficiency, you can make yourself understood a little better when you are in another country in case you need to order a meal, ask for directions or introduce yourself. So I want to want to continue with the tips to increase your vocabulary, but this time in another language!

¿Hablas español? Encuentra la versión original de la publicación en 14 trucos para aprender otros idiomas.

1. Change the language of everthing all around you

Change the language of all the devices you own. Your phone, your computer, your TV. Change the language of your social networks, your email, your web browser, everything. At first you will probably think it's all a hassle, but since you're using these services often, in reality you won't have big problems to manipulate them in another language. I bet you can use Facebook and YouTube in any language!

You can also change the language of your videogames in your cellphone, tablet, computer or consoles. For gamers, this has always been a great way to learn other languages. While having fun, they also learn a lot!

2. If you can, watch your favorite movies, series and TV programs in the language you want to learn

When you buy your original DVDs, often these include audio and subtitles in different languages. For example, if you want to learn Spanish, put the audio in Spanish and the subtitles in english. If you already have a more advanced level, put both the audio and subtitles in Spanish.

Try to focus in the audio, not in the text. At first you will have problems to understand and enjoy your movies, but if you try, you will learn very fast. I promise.

Over time, if you persevere, you will not need to read the subtitles. The interesting thing about this method is that it costs very little effort and its a lot less boring than sitting in front of a book, or even using an app.

3. Watch news and documentaries in the language you are learning

News and documentaries use common words and its speakers often speak very slowly, with good accent (sometimes a bit exaggerated, which is good for you) and a slightly slower pace. This is perfect for you because you need to learn to distinguish the pronunciation and sound of words in other languages.

4. Read a little bit of everything

Follow the recommendations I offered with the tips to increase your vocabulary.

Additionally, look for articles and topics of interest. Read Wikipedia articles about things you love or about things you are an expert at. If you frequently search the web about a specific topic, such as your favorite sport news or something like that, find related pages that are in the language you want to learn. At first they can be simple things like the biography of your favorite singer or an article about the last movie you watched.

One of the most boring things to learn other languages is to make you speak, write, listen and read about things that are not at all flashy and attractive for you. That is why this method is highly effective: because you learn about things that you like and enjoy.

5. Learn words by category

Do not try to learn words at random. Try to organize and connect them together, this will help you memorize faster and better.

Think about the words you learn as part of a group. For example, look around your living room and think about the typical objects of a room that you can name. Try to remember the words associated with a specific context and make a list of related words.

- If you are interested in a particular area of ​​study, you might want to also focus on the specific vocabulary of that area. Learn related to your career or study words as words for architects, philosophers, engineers, writers, cooks, mechanics, etc.

- Another way to group words are synonyms and antonyms. So look for lists of words that mean the same and the opposite in the language you want to learn.

I'll give you an example in english so you can understand it: if you know the word "weep", surely you also know that "mourn", "cry", "wail", "shed tears" and "bewail" also mean approximately the same. Once you learn this, you can look at the antonyms of the word, such as "revealed", "rejoice", "exult", "make merry", etc.  

This gives you a frame of reference when you should further remember a word. If you do not remember a specific word, maybe you remember an antonym or synonym of that same word.

The brain works much better when you can make connections between terms. In your mind, it is much easier to group things and remember them as part of a set or an interrelated network that simply learn things out of context or without relation to other things. In other words, do not learn isolated words.

Note that the best dictionaries not only show you the definition of a word, but their synonyms and antonyms. In addition, there are specialized dictionaries. For example, the Collins English Thesaurus.

In the next publication I will give you 5 more recommendations. So, stay tuned!

Remember that you're allowed to fall, but you must get back up!

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