Denise’s Favorite Language Learning Hacks


Language Hack   #1

Ever wonder if there was a way to speed up language learning? Well, there are some tips to do just that. The first tip I’ll give is to learn the most common words of the target language. These 100 words are said to make up about 50% of all written material. Think how much you will be able to understand by just knowing these 100 words!




1     the
2     be
3     to
4     of
5     and
6     a
7     in
8     that
9     have
10    I
11    it
12    for
13    not
14    on
15    with
16    he
17    as
18    you
19    do
20    at
21    this
22    but
23    his
24    by
25    from
26    they
27    we
28    say
29    her
30    she
31    or
32    an
33    will
34    my
35    one
36    all
37    would
38    there
39    their
40    what
41    so
42    up
43    out
44    if
45    about
46    who
47    get
48    which
49    go
50    me
51    when
52    make
53    can
54    like
55    time
56    no
57    just
58    him
59    know
60    take
61    people
62    into
63    year
64    your
65    good
66    some
67    could
68    them
69    see
70    other
71    than
72    then
73    now
74    look
75    only
76    come
77    its
78    over
79    think
80    also
81    back
82    after
83    use
84    two
85    how
86    our
87    work
88    first
89    well
90    way
91    even
92    new
93    want
94    because
95    any
96    these
97    give
98    day
99    most
100   us

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (12th edition)



Language Hack #2

Ever wanted to increase your foreign language vocabulary quickly? Try learning cognates. The similarities of spelling and meaning between cognates, makes them easier to remember.


For example:

English                                       Spanish

Animal Animal
Bar Bar
Capital Capital
Decision Decision
Electoral Electoral
Familiar Familiar
Gala Gala
Hospital Hospital



Language Hack #3

Use mnemonic devices

Mnemonics help you remember things. By creating a mnemonic device you are creating a device that will trigger your memory. The best mnemonic devices are the ones that are silly.

  • In Spanish, ROPA isn’t ROPE and SOPA isn’t SOAP, and the butter’s “meant to kill ya.”

Explanation: ROPA and SOPA are often confused when learning Spanish. Butter in Spanish is MANTEQUILLA, which has a similar sound as the phrase “meant to kill ya.”

  • Ropa means Clothes
  • Sopa means Soup


Language Hack #4

Learn what you find interesting

If you into soccer, read about it in your target language or watch it on tv in your target language. If you enjoy gardening, read about that in your target language. Reading or watching tv something that is interesting is more like to stick in your memory. So go ahead and read about comics. The important thing is you’re learning new vocabulary and phrases in your target language.


Language Hack #5

Language Immersion

Just because you can’t go to a foreign country to immerse yourself in your target language doesn’t mean you can’t immerse at home. Watch tv in your target language or listen to music in your target language, set your computer, cook a recipe, or join a meet up group where you can practice speaking your target language. Just do whatever you can in your target language.



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