Blag Your Way Towards Speaking Like a Native
Living and working abroad without speaking the native language? Don’t panic! Keep calm and read on for tips on how to rapidly improve your foreign language skills in a pinch.
Do you dream of moving to a foreign country? Is your employer dropping hints that they might need you to relocate? Or are you already living and working abroad? Wherever you are along this spectrum, living abroad is an exciting prospect that will undoubtedly change the essence of your entire lifestyle–from food that you eat, to your social life–and perhaps most importantly, the language that you speak.
If you don’t already speak a foreign language, don’t worry! Learning a language while working in a foreign environment is not an impossible dream. See how you can obtain a satisfactory knowledge of your chosen language fast and effectively.
Focus On a Topic
Even before you’ve learned a great deal of essential phrases and idioms, grammar rules and basic phonetics, you can still go ahead and pay attention to the type of language you’ll be using on the job. Focusing on a topic that interests you about the area in which you’re working can quickly prepare you for survival at your workplace.
As Tim Ferris says in his blog: “If you select the wrong material, it does not matter how you study or if you study – practical fluency is impossible without the proper tools (material).” So, choosing the right material for you to build your language skills upon is of primary importance.
For example, if you work in the marketing sphere, focus on advertising-related words, phrases and synonyms. Draw up a list of frequently used expressions and learn them quickly.
Learning the basics of these types of conversations will help you dramatically in your attempt to learn the language, and you’ll be somewhat prepared to understand and participate in business meetings and work conversations.
Listening Practice Makes Perfect
Although there’s no simple way to master a foreign language, pronunciation and intonation practice should help you to start sounding like a native speaker much faster. But how do you do this?
Most teachers will tell you that the best way to learn a language is to speak it as early as possible. However, acquiring a language in a natural manner has a lot to do with the imitation of grammar, vocabulary and intonation. In this sense, improving your listening skills is crucial.
Speech shadowing (listening to a foreign speaker then immediately repeating what they say) can help you untie your tongue through imitation and repetition. Shadowing boosts your listening comprehension and helps you to develop an ear for the sound of the language you’re studying.
Getting the knack of the pronunciation will certainly enhance your confidence and will help you start speaking sooner and more easily.
Phrases, Idioms and Slang: Key to Your ‘Native Speech’
Set phrases and idioms are sure to help you sound like a native. By constantly reading, watching and listening to foreign media, you can pick up dozens of new expressions every day. But what kind of media is the best for language learning?
If you like the classics, you might be able to benefit from this kind of literature, especially if your career depends on it. However, languages don’t evolve in isolation–they’re the result of a lot of cultural influence and modern phenomena.
If you want to avoid using awkward-sounding, outdated words and phrases that nobody uses anymore, you better turn to more contemporary sources of inspiration, like newspapers, radio, films, TV and conversations that you hear on the street.
Keep up with the news and the current events of the country as well as on an international level. Get to know the local celebrities and how you pronounce their names. Learn how they pronounce English-speaking celebrity’s names. Go to the cinema and watch films in the native language without subtitles.
These are all very efficient ways of getting used to the sound of the language. Besides, listening to the radio, watching television and reading newspapers will help you familiarize yourself with local references and culture.
Jokes have also proven effective in the study of foreign languages. Puns, words with double meanings, homonyms and homophones are all studied and remembered better through funny or memorable punchlines.
Using idioms and everyday slang will help to improve your speech significantly and allow you to interact better with the native speakers. It will also give you some interesting topics to discuss with your colleagues and friends.
Ready to Study a New Language?
Despite the widespread use of English all over the world, we are far from the monolingual society that many visionaries have yearned for. Small and large countries, although exposed to a massive use of English, take great pride in their official languages, celebrating and treasuring their linguistic identity.
You’ll earn a lot of respect once you’ve mastered the new language, and the locals will admire you for your effort.
So, are you ready to start learning a new language? Contact Us and say what language you’d like to study and we’ll help you get on the right path to speaking like a native.