Kato Lomb, despite holding a chemistry degree, was one of the first simultaneous interpreters in the world and could fluently translate into eight languages, and in general knew and worked with 16. It is amazing that in her time there were no audio CDs with the voices of native speakers, Skype tutors, or language schools… So how did she manage to learn so many languages?
In her best-selling book “How I learn languages”, she revealed ten simple rules for language learning:
1. It is necessary to practice a foreign language every day. It is like the gym: if you want to have impressive muscles, train them regularly! Dedicate at least 10-15 minutes a day to reading or repeating new words and phrases.
2. If your desire to learn the language weakens too quickly, create your own lesson algorithm. For example, do some learning and then listen to some music or take a little break for a walk.
3. Context is everything! Never learn single words, but only words in the context. For example, if you memorize the expression «strong wind», the one of the words in your memory will automatically recall the second one.
4. Try writing some ready phrases in the textbooks and use them in dialogues as often as you can.
5. Mentally translate everything that your eye catches – advertising, excerpts of songs, dialogues, the names of newspaper articles. It is so easy and useful!
6. Learn by heart. But you can only learn phrases that are correct for sure or checked by a teacher.
7. Keep in your memory ready phrases and idioms in the first person.
8. A foreign language cannot be studied in isolation, such as quietly doing some exercises in a notebook and listening to the teacher. Watch movies, read books and newspapers in the language you learn and of course communicate with native speakers on the internet.
9. Do not be afraid of mistakes, be afraid of uncorrected mistakes! Never leave anything unchecked.
10. Be sure that no matter what, you will learn the language!
And finally, when the 86-year-old Kato Lomb met her 54-year old friend, she said: “Steve, you’re so young! You have so many years ahead to learn more languages!”
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