Acquiring Languages by ‘Chunking’

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You may find that it is easier to pick up a new language by constantly listening to or being immersed fully into the culture. Another way is to learn the language by ‘chunking’ the vocabulary into commonly used phrases and idioms.


Select your most commonly used idioms and phrases in your native language and write these down.


Translate these idioms and phrases colloquially. By this I mean don’t just go to a dictionary and translate it word for word as idiomatic phrases rarely translate easily with a dictionary. ask a native speaker or find a slang dictionary in that language.


Memorize the translated phrase and use it as often as you can. If you have regular contact with native speakers of your target language try it out on them. Your friends will in turn teach you new phrases as well.


don’t worry about correct grammar and usage just yet. Simply allow yourself to acquire as many words and phrases through exposure as you can get from the contact with native speakers.


Sing songs in the target language. There is no better way to acquire new vocabulary than song. Learn a song in your target language and write out the words so that you can visualize them as you sing.


Once you have acquired about two hundred words you will be able to hold a rudimentary conversation in the target language. Go forth now and be bilingual.


Show eagerness for the target language and native speakers will be glad to assist you.

Keep a notebook and pen handy.

As always don’t disrespect the target language or its native speakers.


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