Okay, so you've learned the alphabet and you've started reading in your new language. That's exciting, and fun, but you still have now idea what the heck you're saying. Guess what: it doesn't matter!
Remember that knowing what you're saying doesn't matter; you've only just begun. The goal is to be fluent in one year, not in one day. Though it may not sound like much, you've got time. A whole year. What's important is that you're already speaking in a new language!
So it's time to find everything you can in your new language and read it. Think of those phrases that you've heard before, or those foreign words that creep into English, and learn to say them correctly.
Start with the words that are all around you
For me, there are endless Italian words with which to practice, and you've probably guessed that most of them relate to food: pizza, pasta, ravioli, liguini, spaghetti, stromboli, focaccia. But if I think a little harder, I can think of many more words — or names — like buon giorno, grazie, Pinocchio, pistachio, Vivaldi, Boticelli, Machiavelli, virtuoso, cello, tempo, paparazzi, bambino... you get the idea. Right from the start, I'm-a waving-a my hands-a, and-a talking-a like-a an Italian!
Here in the USA, if you're learning French, it's even easier to find words for practice, as you'll find every product in your bathroom or shower also has French instructions, as well as the washing instruction on your clothes! But don't forget you already know a lot of French words: bonjour, merci, bon appétit, merlot, déjà vu, masseuse, cliché, bon voyage, reconnaisance, ménage à trois, résumé, buffet, saboteur... Much of English comes from French, and once you get to thinking about it, you already know a lot of French!
Also, the English language is a direct product of German roots, so you also know a lot of German already, too: stein, gesundheit, bratwurst, pretzel, zeitgeist, pilsener, glockenspiel, auf wiedersehen, sauerkraut, schnitzel, blitz, sauerkraut, kindergarten, wunderkind, strudel, and of course, Schnapps!
You already speak foreign languages
Granted, this might be less applicable for those learning Swahili, or Arabic, but for most of us this is a great exercise to do while you're learning. Just remember (as I said last time) that you know these words, but you might not have been pronouncing them properly. It's time to get used to saying "brat-verst" (bratwurst), "mehr-lo" (merlot), "pee-sta-kee-oh" (pistachio).
The real point here is that you can already speak Italian! And French. And German. And Spanish. ad infinitum. You can already speak all of these langauges! Get that thought stuck in your head. You don't need to learn how to speak, you just need to learn the words. And that is exactly what I want to help you do!
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