Kato Lomb, despite holding a chemistry degree, was one of the first simultaneous interpreters in the world. She could fluently translate into eight languages, and in general, knew and worked with 16 different languages. Who wouldn’t want to get a few language learning tips from such a person!

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 language learning tips:

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 fades away too quickly, create your own learning routine. 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”, one of the words in your memory will automatically recall the second one.

4. Try writing down 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 titles 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 foreign 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 persistent and believe in yourself. Convince yourself that no matter what, you will learn the language!

Try these language learning tips if you are willing to master a foreign language. It’s never too late to learn! Remember that when 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!”

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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the power of misfits

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