Learning a foreign language can be quite daunting. For people who have only known their mother language and no other, the task of learning a new language can be quite intimidating. But it is not an impossible task as attested by the millions of people all over the world who know two or more languages.
Asian languages present a slightly more challenging goal because most Asian languages have certain characteristics that you won’t find in Western languages. But it is not impossible. Just ask people who have been able to learn Thai in Bangkok.
Here are some tips you should remember that will help you, whether you’re trying to learn a new Asian language at home or trying to learn Thai in Bangkok:
- One of the biggest differences of Asian languages when comparing it with languages from the West is tone. Most Asian languages incorporate tone into the language. This means a certain word will change its meaning depending on the tone that is used. The Thai language has five tones, Mandarin has four tones, while Vietnamese has six tones – five major tones and one mid level “non tone”.
- If you’re a native English speaker don’t assume that English grammar is going to be the same with other languages. Different languages will have different grammar construction and agreement rules.
- You need to expose yourself to the language as much as possible. Asian languages will sound extremely strange to first time second language learners because they probably won’t hear any recognizable word (unlike, say, French or Spanish). Familiarize yourself with the language as much as possible by going online and looking for videos or audio files of people speaking the language.
- An effective way of immersing yourself with an Asian language is by visiting the said country. Learn Thai in Bangkok, or Vietnamese in Vietnam. This is the best way to truly teach someone a new language.
Hopefully, these tips will help you learn a new Asian language faster.