An Easy Trick for Learning a Second Language

woman wearing teal dress sitting on chair talking to man

Find someone in particular to mimic

One trick I have for learning a foreign language is to mimic someone you know able to speak that language fluently. They don’t have to be a native speaker, but they do have to be able to communicate well in a way that you would like to be able to as well.

It helps if you can get a lot of input from this person. It’s even possible to record them, and to practice shadowing by repeating what they say. This can be simultaneous or thereabouts, or it can be done at the sentence level or similar. It helps to focus on their tone of voice, is their pitch rising or falling, and where, as well as their word choice and things like word stress (especially for English speakers, although nuclear stress is the important one in this case).

This can help you sound more like a native speaker (which for English speakers shouldn’t be your first aim, aim for communicative ability first), and it can make you sound more fluent more easily as well.

Give it a go and tell me how you get on.



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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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