If you are looking to embrace the spirit of Valentine’s Day this year, consider learning a Romance language. Perhaps you feel that you are unable to learn a new language because the rote way it was taught in school left you feeling stressed and frustrated. Learning a second language can be exciting. Here are five easy tips to get started on your journey:
1. Listen to music in the language. I find that learning the lyrics to songs is an excellent way to learn a new language. Make sure to sing along for faster learning.
2. Tech savvy? Many excellent, computer-based learning programs, such as Rosetta Stone, are available at no charge from the library. You can converse with native speakers through their tutorials for extra practice.
3. Mingle with locals. As New Yorkers, we are so lucky to be living near a truly polyglot city. I enjoy taking museum tours in French or Spanish offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can strike up a conversation with a native speaker while your tour guide takes you through the exhibits. Go to a restaurant that has native speakers on staff and order your meal in your Romance language.
4. Download podcasts on your tablet or iPhone, such as the Coffee Break series. For a nominal extra fee, it is worth purchasing the notes that go with the podcasts. The great thing about the podcasts is that you can take advantage of those “hidden moments” we all have during the day, while waiting in line at the supermarket or on the train to the city. Use those precious moments to listen to an episode of the podcast.
5. Read for 10 minutes a day. Every single day. The key is to read what interests you, and never force yourself to “study.” If you love fashion, pick up a magazine from the library and read an article or an interview. As a beginner, you can even read children’s books. Make sure not to look up every word, only the words that you see over and over again.
Most of all, have fun with your Romance language. Keep in mind that roughly 60 percent of English is Latin-based, so there is a broad basis of commonality between English and Romance languages. You will recognize many words right from the start.
Speaking a Romance language is pure pleasure. This Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of a second language.
For more information about Lurie Language go to www.lurielanguage
.com or call 516-472-0703.