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how do you learn a new language?

Hey ! I'm French and I'm learning English for a long time now… I would like to be fluent. I'm also learning German at school and I'd like to have a better level.

What do you do to learn a language? What is the best way to learn a language? Give me some ideas that worked for you :)



April 19, 2020



Firstly, of course, Duolingo is a great way to learn a new language! This article shows the best way to use Duolingo: https://blog.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo/

Listening to podcasts also helps.

You can listen to your favourite French songs in English or German.

You can read articles in German and English.

As you go about your day, say what you are doing in English or German. For example: "I am going to take a shower. I am getting my towel. My towel is white".

You can talk to native English or German speakers.

You can watch a movie in German or English, with French subtitles. I heard this really helps some people. However, I also heard that some people will watch a movie in German, for example, with German subtitles. They can then get used to how German sounds, and what sounds correspond to what letters/words. They can pause the TV to really take in what characters are saying, and look up any words that appear in the subtitles that they don't know.

Hope these help :)


thank you for your reply ! I love watching series or movies in English with the English subtitles, I think it helps me a lot ! I learned many sentences and expressions thanks to that. There are less movies in German but when I find one, I watch it with the French subtitles ; I don't have enough vocabulary in German …

But thanks that really helped me ;)


Your written English is very good!


A good teacher or class. On my own with books and CDs (over years) I thought I had done really well. Then I sat a CEFR exam. Although I passed A2 as far as grammar went, my vocab was not up to it and I failed the oral comprehension.

A good teacher or tutor will push you into areas you have not considered or are not interested in - but are vital for language learning. Listen and speak.

On my own, I do flashcards for vocab, practice listening and speaking, and read a little. And I still do grammar exercises because I do forget. And I wait for a chance to do some classes again.


thank you very much !


I really like listening to songs in my native language, then translating the lyrics into the language I'm learning. It makes me laugh and helps me remember commonly used vocabulary!


thanks I will do that !

[deactivated user]

    Just keep on going. You'll start to notice patterns forming in the language - and of course those frustrating exceptions to the rule!
    You seem to have a good handle on English already, plus you're learning German too. So you probably already possess many language learning skills!
    Always write everything down. That seems to be the general consensus from those who take language learning seriously.
    I would definitely agree it enhances learning.
    All the Best!


    thanks for yout help! I'll try to write down more !


    Your English is really good! I have one small correction- "j'apprends l'anglais depuis longtemps maintenant" (I believe that's what the first long sentence would be in French, correct me if I'm wrong) would actually be "I have been learning English for a long time now" because the learning has been happening in the past, and since is usually used with a specific time, not something general like "a long time."

    I don't have much advice to add, SilverWisp and IslandGirl.2019 have already given you some great tips. The best thing to help your language skills is to practice them- talking to yourself, or friends who speak your target language, can be a great way to improve. Viel Glück und happy learning with your German and your English!


    thank you, I will correct it ! Danke for your advice haha :)


    I am new but what i do is after I master a skill i practice it


    cool ! thanks for your advice :)


    Hi, some good ideas: Try to turn the language of your electronic devices to the one desired. Watch some movies in the foreign language, at first with your mother tongue subtitles and later with more experience with foreign language subtitles. Start to think in the language you're learning, talk to yourself. Research the web for any topic you like in the language desired. Read a book. Contact people who know or are learning that language, and interact.


    thanks for all of your advice!


    practice every day


    The best thing I've found that works for me is finding something I LOVE, that I can't get at or properly fangirl about without learning the language.


    How do these people get so many streaks!!!!!


    I quiet like to read cook books a topic I am very invested in. I also like to read fairy tales. I would say start with something easy or something you have already read in your mother tongue have a dictionary though to look up words you don't understand. If you want to better your german and want to do it by listening to music I would suggest looking up a style music that you like and maybe starting with easier song if possible I guess nena is one of the more famous artist with songs like 99 Luftballons which kids sing in 'Kindergarten'. Or maybe you would like to start with something like 'Mein kleiner grüner Kaktus' by Comedian Harmonists(I believe) which is one of the favorite songs of german school kids to sing during music lessons, you might enjoy the wise guys they have some funny songs and are also quiet popular I think (but you should probably find your own songs to listen to something you are invested in). Also if you like funny movies I would suggest (T)Raumschiff Surprise – Periode 1 if you can find it with subtitles. If not you could still listen to the songs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW-B5f7UKqs (might be very weird) lol. I like to watch comedians in the language I am learning too. Here is a german one I enjoy sometimes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcl0dYRphpU I also like to travel to the country if possible to talk to people if I am very invested. I would suggest if your school got the option for an exchange with a german school for a week and you can afford it to take the chance, I know it's weird to talk in the other language at the beginning, you might feel a bit anxious, but try to talk as much german as you can with your host family. Good luck on your journey of learning languages.


    thanks I will listen to all of that !


    Subscribe to youtubers that speak those languages!


    do you know any good/funny YouTuber that speaks English or German ?


    You are very good at speaking English Pas mal!


    merci beaucoup !!


    You could try watching movies with no subtitles and try to make your head understand what they are saying. After the movie (or half the movie) you can review how good you are doing so far, you'll be amazed at how good you are! and that gives you motivation to keep it up :)
    It has worked for me!

    You can also practice your grammar by texting native speaker friends, and asked them to correct you whenever you make a mistake. It can also be fun!

    and last but not least, one of my favorite ways to learn to master my English is listening to Podcasts every day! my favorite? LET'S MASTER ENGLISH. Find it under that name in Spotify or Apple podcasts, and they have online classes too!! + Coach Shane is awesome!!!

    I hope it helps :)


    thank you I will listen to coach Shane then :)


    Find youtubers you like and listen with the subtitles, this will help with a lot of slang!


    do you know any good YouTuber ?


    Not really YouTubers, but I love this podcast called The Adventure Zone, where three brothers and their dad use role-playing games to tell collaborative stories together. It’s in English, and if you like fantasy it’s a lot of fun. I used to listen while decorating cookies, and sometimes I would ruin the cookie because I was laughing so hard.

    Come to think of it, if anyone can recommend hilarious German folks, I would like to hear about them too, for my own personal edification.


    thank you, I'll listen to that podcast !


    To be honest, English is very easy compared to other languages so it won't be very hard for you to become fluent because it doesn't have genders for each noun etc.

    Try getting a really good grammar book for intermediates or beginners, learn new words everyday and most importantly , read. Reading is going to improve your English a lotttt.

    Also, for speaking you can learn a few idioms and watch YouTube videos .


    yeah English is sooo easy compared to German or French !!


    Frankly, I learn english simply by reading Harry Potter and consequently watching the movies over and over again. That turned into watching almost all movies in English (those that were made in English) and talking to myself in English all day long. The best way is to life the language you want to learn as much as possible.


    What I do is when I learn a new word or topic, make sure you completely understand it when you move on. Write things down as well, that always helps me. Try to make connections as well, specifically English and French there are a lot of cognates! Keep up the learning your English looks good!


    thank you ! I will try to do that :)


    When I first started learning french in High School the alphabet was the first thing we learned, then days of the week, months of the year, numbers from one to ten ( to begin with) and then beginner phrases like "Hello", "How are you", etc, etc, etc. This is a great way to begin as it helped me a lot doing it this way. When I started learning from a woman from Paris she was amazed how much I already knew and was amazed at my accent. :) I studied with her for 6 years. I still keep in touch with her every Christmas . :) I listen to songs in french and try and translate some of the words to learn more vocab. ;) Merci pour la publication et Bonne Chance avec l'anglais mon ami.


    merci beaucoup haha !!


    Just one thing to add... When googling, do it in the language you're trying to learn.


    ok thanks I'll do that ;)

    [deactivated user]

      See Locked and Learning: How to Make Progress on a Foreign Language From Home this is an article from the Economist magazine April 18, 2020 Edition that you can read free online with access to rbdigital or zinio provided by your local library.

      Most libraries offer this service online to their patrons. Sometimes you don't even need a library card, they'll issue an eCard online for access to the their online resources. The content can be read with any device: computer, tablet, cellphone.

      For many languages

      For those studying French


      thanks, I will check that :)


      Make friends in the language you want to learn and they coudld help you


      this post is helpful :)


      thank you:) hope it helps

      Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.