25 Hacks Every Language Learner Should Know


Hey naturals, what's up Gabby here from gonaturalenglish.com

To help you to learn a language more fluently. Yes today

we're talking about hacks that every language learner every lazy language learner should

Know now, I'm not calling you lazy, and I'm not calling myself

Lazy, but who doesn't want to learn a language?

faster better more

Easily with more fluency in less time. I think that's everyone's dream. So that's what we're talking about today

I've discovered

25 hacks. Yes

25 hacks or tips or strategies that can help

Anyone to learn any language?

faster and better so if you're curious

Let's talk about them. So we're gonna jump right in

I just want to let you know that if you are learning English

You should totally check out the audio ebook from go natural English called the English fluency

formula you can click right up there to learn more about how to get it and you

Can read and listen to the first chapter for free to get started right away. So check that out right up there

Alright, so these 25 hacks are divided into

five different sections

I thought it would make sense to divide them up because there's a lot of them but we're gonna make sure that we go

quickly, and you understand each one they're divided up into

pronunciation vocabulary


strategy and

Motivation I think I switched them around

I think motivation is first and then strategy so I put pronunciation first because

Number one is you have to start with pronunciation

why because let's think about it if you have


pronunciation but great grammar

People are not going to understand what you're saying. Now. We're talking about conversation. We're not talking about doing well on your grammar test

We're talking about actually

Communicating with people which is my goal. And I think it's your goal as well

So if you want to speak fluently like native speakers do and communicate and express yourself then start with

pronunciation because if you have good pronunciation

But poor grammar people will still understand you and let me tell you a lot of native speakers have horrible grammar

And I'm not saying that you should not learn grammar. I'm saying grammar. It is important, but

Because we all have limited time and we have to start somewhere start with pronunciation

learn to

Make the words sounds

Like native speakers say them so that native speakers will understand you start with pronunciation

Number one now, of course to start with pronunciation. You have to also learn some vocabulary because we're not gonna just make random

sounds like if you're learning English, you're not just gonna make random sounds like


Those are difficult sounds in English, but that is not a word

We need words, so we'll talk about vocabulary when we get to number three

but number two is to really focus in on a

regional dialect or standard a standard

Dialects for example, if you're learning English, you might want to select the standard American dialect, which is what I speak

but focus on one accent that you can really copy and get good at

so learn that accent and focus on pronunciation and


Pronunciation is how we say the

specific individual sounds in a word and

Intonation has to do with whether our voice is rising or falling

And this is very key to sounding fluent as well

So number one and number two are about pronunciation so start with pronunciation and then really work to sound

more and more like a native speaker by focusing on individual sounds especially the ones that are difficult for you and

Intonation, this is something that's really advanced even for me

Like I'm learning Portuguese still and intonation is quite difficult. Sometimes I don't have the right intonation

So you have to listen to the new language as if it were

Music as if it were a song and really listen to when people's voices go up and down maybe when they're asking

questions or when they're surprised or

Asking for

Help or I guess that would be a question or making a statement maybe their voice goes down or in the middle of a sentence

like in English when we have the end of a phrase our voice goes down, so

intonation is super important to improving your

Fluency in the language and you can always learn more grammar as you go. You can fine-tune your advanced grammar

But again for me learning Portuguese, my advanced grammar is horrible

But people ask me all the time if I'm Brazilian because I've worked on my pronunciation a lot and it's not perfect

But it at least leaves some doubt as to whether I am Brazilian or not. I could be proud of that number three

let's talk about

vocabulary so vocabulary and pronunciation go together because we're gonna practice pronunciation of

Specific words right? So when you're learning vocabulary

Don't try to overwhelm yourself thinking that you have to memorize all the words in the dictionary even native speakers

Don't know all the words in a dictionary

I'm constantly learning new words in English and in other languages and I think that's the beauty of learning a language is there's always

Something more you can learn. But anyway, let's not think about

Learning about all the words for the rest of our lives. Let's think about starting with a very specific

group of words or list of words something contained for example

I love learning the words of songs that I like so I can

Select a specific song that I enjoy and I can enjoy

Learning the words so I can sing along to it you could do this, too

if you like music find a song in English that you really like and learn the words look them up online and

Memorize the and this is a great way to learn vocabulary and improve your pronunciation

By singing along with the song now if music is not your thing

or you think this isn't gonna be helpful for you for some reason then try starting with a

specific group of vocabulary words

so for example

Maybe if you really like sports you could learn about how to talk about the different

Like in soccer like the different positions or the difference

types of moves or

Different things that happen during a game and how to talk about them in the language that you're learning

I just did a video on soccer vocabulary for the World Cup

We can probably link to it right up there if you're curious, but stay

specific and take small bites out of

The vocabulary in your new language. Don't try to learn everything

Don't be a generalist start as a specialist and learn something specific that you're interested in

You could go by subjects like sports or you could choose words depending on a skill that you want to learn

For example, if you want to learn how to order coffee in your new language

then that's a very specific set of words and

questions that you need to know

number four learn

Similar words which are called cognates in your language and in language you're learning

There's probably some words that are similar. So for example car and

car row in

Spanish are quite similar and they both mean car

now, of course

There are things called false cognates like embarrassed and embarrass allah in spanish are not the same

Meaning we have embarrassed and pregnant

totally different meaning but focus on the words that do sound alike in your language and the new language and

Those are going to be much easier for you to remember because you already know the meaning in your own language

So use cognates to your advantage to learn a lot more vocabulary faster number five

You're not gonna like this one, but I'm gonna say it anyway

learn to think in your new language don't

Translate avoid translation because it makes your mind

do things that native speakers don't do like

When you're a native speaker, you understand what a word means through

context and the situation and that's what you need to do when you're learning a new language to

Native speakers don't stop and think about how to directly translate the word to another word in another language

This is not a kind of natural way to learn a language

So we need to go back to the way that we learn a language as children

maybe how we learned our first language and really understand the vocabulary based on its use

So we're gonna talk about copying and pasting

Vocabulary. This is more of a strategy

But this goes back to really looking at how native speakers and fluent speakers of the language are using the words

and so when I'm learning a language, I really try not to translate too much especially because you know, there's

expressions in your new language that may not really translate very easily in your

Native language like in Portuguese. There's this word saudade G, which is a very beautiful word one of my favorite words

But it's very hard to translate in English. It's just not complete to say that it means

Nostalgia, or sadness or missing something?

Those are all only partial definitions and they really don't

translate the entire meaning of the word and then of course when we talk about idioms or slang like you're a

Chicken well that has a whole nother meaning or idioms like you

Can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

That has a whole other meaning that is not direct and not literal, so maybe there's a different way to translate it in your language

But it's kind of difficult. So I highly recommend that you learn the

meaning of words phrases idioms slang

According to the situation and the way that native speakers use them

Number six repetition is still important and yes repetition takes time

but you can really speed up the learning process when you

Make an effort to consume a lot of the language every day. So read a lot in a language every day

listen to music and news and podcasts and

Conversations every day the more you consume in the language the more you're going to hear the same words that are high

Frequency words over and over of course

You can also use techniques that are kind of old school learning techniques like keeping

Flashcards or a vocabulary journal and you can review that

but I do think the best way especially if you're an intermediate to advanced learner of the new language is

To consume a lot of the language listen a lot and read a lot

you can expand your vocabulary and

remember a lot more words faster by using mnemonics a

Mnemonic device is when you create some connection in your mind

For example, I remembered the word in Japanese for the check or the bill

by using a mnemonic because there's one way to say it which is why so which kind of sounds like an eyesore an

Eyesore is something painful

no one wants to see the check or the bill when you go to a restaurant and it's time to pay so an

Eyesore makes me think of a wise soul and helps me remember that word

So you can create your own mnemonics based on what makes sense to you in your mind

The idea is to make a connection between the new vocabulary word. That sounds very different from anything

you know, it's not a cognate make a connection between that and

A word or concept or sound that you do know already. This is how your brain makes?

Connections and you will more easily remember a new word and you can expand your vocabulary a lot using mnemonics

Now, let's talk about motivation our third section

Don't try to learn the same way that teachers generally teach in a traditional classroom

You don't have to follow the order in a traditional textbook. The best way to learn is to follow your own

Curiosity, I mean it you have to become passionate

Obsessive in love with the language and in order to do this, you have to follow your interests

so if you're super interested in cars or fashion, or

Music or whatever it is that you really truly love

Follow your curiosity and your passion in the language

I learn a lot of Portuguese and Spanish through music because I love music and I love

learning the words to songs

I know a lot of words about food and ordering food

Especially in Japanese because I love Japanese food

But there's other things that are more difficult for me to talk about in other languages like politics, for example

Because I don't enjoy talking about politics so much

So this might leave you with some gaps in your vocabulary, but you can fill those in later

It's important to start with what you're passionate about because that will keep you motivated and the most

Dangerous thing as a language learner is to lose your motivation. So let's think of ways to keep it up

you can motivate yourself in a lot of ways, but following what you're naturally interested in is a

Free and effective way to keep your motivation going now. Let's talk about

fluency a

Great way to improve your fluency in any language

And your motivation actually is to connect with the native speaker of that language that you're learning

try not to only connect with that person because they

Speak the language. You're learning try to connect with them because you have some shared interest. So I mentioned that I really love music

So a lot of my Brazilian friends are also musicians

Or dancers or artists and we connect through our passion for the Arts

not only because I want to improve my portuguese and maybe they want to improve their english but also

Because we can become friends because we have shared interests

So connect with the native speaker

But keep in mind that it's gonna be way better for everyone if you connect in a real way through your true

interests number

Eleven is a little weird, but trust me here

Talk to yourself. It's so important to speak the language and I know not

Everyone has a friend who speaks the language that they're trying to learn

So in the meantime, you should talk to yourself

You should tell yourself what you're going to do today what you're going to eat for lunch

What are your hopes for today? What did you do yesterday?

Sing to yourself read a poem to yourself

You can talk to yourself in so many different ways. You can even talk to yourself about

Affirmations like I'm doing really great. I'm learning a little bit each day

And this is also a strategy that I use to stay motivated is to say some

Positive thoughts about your language learning like I am learning

Every day I'm becoming better every day

I'm improving little by little next number 12 create a self immersion in your home country

It is great

if you can go visit a country where they speak the language you're learning but

Not everyone can just go do that any time. So in the meantime

Here's a tip for you

If you're feeling sad that you can't go travel right now create a self immersion in

Your home country now, of course, you've probably heard before that

You can read in the language. You're learning you can listen to music in the language

You're learning watch TV shows but here's two things that are a little bit new and unique

Look on

Spotify for

Trending artists and songs in language that you're learning

I love doing that because it helps me keep current with pop culture


Look on YouTube for trending videos in a country where they speak the language you're learning

These are both great ways to stay current and actually understand what people are talking about when they talk about pop culture

There's so much online that we can learn that you're never gonna get in your textbook in your classroom

You're never gonna know what people are talking about today when your text book was written thirty years ago

Number thirteen is create

Using the language you are learning now. I know you're gonna make mistakes. I know

It's fine. Don't worry. You have to start creating. What do I mean by create?

Well, you can speak you can talk to yourself. You can create a conversation so to speak but what I'm saying even

More than have a conversation is create something like a poem

Create a song create a an article something

shorts, if you're more of a beginner or something longer write an email to someone in the language leave a comment in the

language create your own

dialogues, maybe you end up writing a

Screenplay or a piece for the theater, you know, it doesn't have to be a masterpiece

but we need to create in order to master the language and to have the words that we want and the way to

express ourselves that we want at our fingertips

We have to always

practice the

Creation of the language by speaking and writing and there's a lot of ways to do that like I mentioned writing a short poem

I even have an Instagram account

That's all in Portuguese because I am practicing my Portuguese and yes, I make a lot of mistakes

I know but the great thing is is that I can see my mistakes because I am creating in the language and

That means I can improve them so you can do the same thing create media in the language. You're learning

Okay, I mentioned copying and pasting

Vocabulary. So this is another tip for fluency when you listen to native speakers having a conversation in the language that you're learning

Notice phrases that you find interesting and copy those to use them or aah them in your own conversation

So for example, you know, I hear the way people respond to a simple question like hi. How are you? And

You know in Portuguese, for example, it might say bang. I'm fine. It's still bang. Oh, that's kind of boring though

Some people that speak in a more colorful way might say ah through the bellezza. It's beautiful

I don't know. We would never say that in English. So it sounds weird to even translate it to Oh everything's beautiful

I mean, maybe someone would say that but it's not common

So anyway, I copy that phrase and I use it in my own conversations ballets

So it sounds like maybe more natural than just saying it's still bang

Both are fine, of course, but what I'm saying is try copying what you hear and using it in your own

Conversations and you can feel how other people react when you say that does it work for you?

Maybe yes, maybe no, but keep trying new phrases that you hear native speakers using

15 learn to think in the language without

Translating now. I made an entire video about this which we can link to up there in the corner

You can click right up there to see how to think in English

But this is super important

So I wanted to mention it again because who do you talk to the most in your life?

You think it's your friends your family? Mmm. No, it's actually yourself in your head

So the best way to make an immersion for yourself in the language you're learning is to think in that language

And at first it's not gonna feel natural. You're gonna feel like your brain is melting or on fire

But you have to train yourself to think in the language little by little

Try to think about what you're going to say in in the next situation

And the next opportunity that you have to speak the language. Think about what you're going to do talk to yourself give yourself

Compliments. Oh, I'm looking good today in the language that you're learning

Okay, this is all to get yourself used to learning

Alright and think and speaking the language that you want to speak. Okay

Finally, let's talk strategy number 16. It's simple

we cannot stay in our comfort zones if we want to learn so every day try to create a

Challenge for yourself to learn at least one new word

my new word today in Portuguese was said there because I was talking about how to compromise and

The word in Portuguese is a false cognate compromiso is a little bit different

So anyway, I learned a new word today

I encourage you to

Try to learn a new word whether you're living in a country where people are speaking the language or not

You can always learn a new word every day because we have at our fingertips

So many resources we can read the news we can hop on skype with a tutor we can

Listen to new music. The possibilities are endless for learning new words

But make sure that you focus and you add that new word to your consciousness to your vocabulary

I think about how you might use it in a sentence in the future

Don't just hear it and then let it go write it down

Think about how you can use it in real life the next time you have a conversation

Number 17 for who can travel try visiting the country where they speak the language that you're learning, of course

This one is obvious, but it's true that when you're surrounded

By native speakers of the language you will improve as long as you don't spend all your time with people from your country

you're gonna improve because you're gonna observe and listen and

Hear how people express themselves in the language naturally on a daily basis

So it's almost impossible not to improve as I mentioned as long as you're not spending all your time with people from your country

18 learn to be culturally adept

what this means is

understanding how people communicate

according to the culture how people dress

You know communication can be visual how people use the language

You know how fast their speaking how long to pause between phrases orbit words? How long do you pause between

Speakers when you and a partner are speaking. What is appropriate or inappropriate?

To joke about or to talk about what topics are taboo and not taboo

These are all super important to ask yourself and to understand about the language you're learning

Because if you're totally inappropriate in the language

Or you look like totally different people will have a hard time believing that you're a native speaker

And of course, it's good to be diverse and look different and have different

Topics and different opinions, but what I'm saying is try to understand if there's any differences between your culture and the culture

Where they speak the language that you're learning, right? So for example, like in Brazil people

Seem to be very open about talking

About plastic surgery in the United States not so much in


People were very open about saying

you know about how much someone weighs like if they look a little bit heavier a little bit thinner this would

Probably not be appropriate in the u.s. These are just my experiences

Maybe your experience will be different according to what language you're learning and where you go number 19

This is huge. Don't be afraid to make mistakes

mistakes are not bad unless you repeat them over and over and over and never change them in fact mistakes are like


clues on how to improve so when you make a mistake

It means that you're trying it means that you're attempting you're experimenting with the language. And that is the first step

So when you notice your mistake the little clue to improve

That's where you can focus next in order to get to the next

Level in order to open that door to the next level of fluency

So make mistakes, but pay attention to them

So you can improve them 20 learn a language as an adult. Yes. There's this myth that children learn language

faster so children have some time is a

more open mind

They jump in and they start speaking the language without fear that's different that's having a low

effective filter which I'm gonna talk about in a minute, but

Children don't know about grammar

They don't know about life and they don't know how to guess

What people are going to be talking about in a situation as an adult, you know?

These things most educated adults know about grammar concepts. We know about how people

Generally communicate as humans and that's a huge advantage when you're learning another language. So learning a language as an adult is

Actually a hack for becoming fluent in a new language number twenty-one create SMART goals. What's a SMART goal?

It's specific measurable attainable

reasonable and timely now, I'm not gonna talk too much about SMART goals, but basically what you need to know is

Don't say something really general that you can't

measure the most important thing is to be able to measure it and that there's a deadline so take a

Small bite out of the language think about one

skill that you'd like to be able to do for example ordering a coffee or buying a

subway ticket or maybe having a conversation about

Politics which is not something that I want to do

but maybe you want to do that think about specifically what you want to do in the language and then create a

goal around that with a deadline SMART goals are

Amazing for your motivation and for looking at how far you've come. It's important to celebrate your

victories and how far you've come in learning and if you don't make any specific small goals

It's hard to know how much you've learned number 22

Don't wait for anyone not your teacher. Not your tutor. Not your friends to create some

Assignment for you to learn the language make your own practice activities make your own challenges

It could be anything that you find interesting like talk to a stranger today or write a poem

So make your own assignment. This is really important as an independent language learner and

Someone who wants to become fluent because you have to make your own way

You can't depend or wait on anyone else or it's gonna take a much longer time and the great thing about making your own

Challenges is that you can make something that's interesting to you

Practical for you number 23. I talked about your effective filter. This is a concept made by linguist

stephen krashen

This means basically that in order to become fluent in a language in order to learn you need to be relaxed

So if you're feeling stressed out if you're feeling fearful of speaking another language

then try to put yourself in a relaxing situation try to

Do whatever you need to do to relax do some exercise

Practice with people who are easygoing and positive and helpful


Don't put yourself in a really stressful environment if you can help it

So basically, that's all is to lower

Your stress is what this means when he says lower your affective filter and a lot of language classrooms are very stressful

places, so maybe give yourself a different kind of place to learn maybe on your own or maybe in

Go natural English course

Next number 24 pretend you are someone else if you are a very shy person

This is super useful. You can pretend that you are actually becoming a new person

Different from your original self through your new language you could pretend that you're someone that you admire movie star or an action

Movie hero or someone who wouldn't be afraid of speaking another language

That's the point really so pretend that you are

acting as

Someone else when you're using the language, especially when you're learning and you're trying new things and afraid that you might make a mistake

Finally number 25. This is super important

Be patient with yourself language learning is not really about the destination. It's about the journey

it's an

evolving process

and there really is no end unless you have a very

Specific goal like you want to take a test or you just want to be able to have a basic level of fluency?

It really never ends and that's a good thing

It's a beautiful thing because it's a journey it's an adventure and you should enjoy every moment

So be patient with yourself if you make mistakes and understand that your mistakes are

Actually helping you to advance if you feel one day like your brain is melting and you

Cannot study and you cannot advance

Take a deep breath and be patient with yourself and understand that this is part of the learning

Process and we all have difficult days when we're learning a language. So try doing something. That's just fun

Listen to music do a dance talk with someone who you really love

Try using a language to write them a love poem do something from your hearts. And before you know it you're gonna be

Fluent in the language that you want to learn

I hope you enjoyed this 25 hacks for lazy language learners. I know you're not lazy. I know you're dedicated. I know you're awesome

If you've watched this whole video you are not lazy at all

Thank you so much for watching if you enjoyed it

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