Learning a foreign language can be as challenging as losing weight, which is why it helps to engage in productive habits that enhance the process. Of the 1.2 billion people around the world currently learning a new language, a fraction of them are working toward offering translation services. That means they must be serious about language accuracy if they expect to add translation to their businesses. Here are five habits to help you successfully learn a new language.
1. Develop a Regular Schedule
Committing to a regular schedule is the best way to absorb a vast topic in a short time. Analysis of millions of students using the Duolingo app shows that individuals are more likely to learn a language successfully by practicing a few minutes every day than trying to pick it up once per week or whenever it’s convenient. The more studying becomes a regular habit rather than an occasional activity, the better odds you’ll have at speaking the language fluently in a matter of months instead of years.
2. Learn and Relearn Before Sleep
Various studies have shown that it’s possible to accelerate the learning curve by breaking up studying into two sessions with sleep in between: one to learn in the evening and the next to relearn the next morning. This strategy leads to better knowledge retention. Relearning serves as a form of repetition, which is the key to memorization. The more effort you put into learning and relearning, the deeper the cognitive processes will be.
3. Avoid Study Marathons
It’s possible to study too much in one session, which can lead to forgetting a lot of what you’ve learned despite sincere effort. If you want to work toward a successful career in translation services, it’s best to spread sessions out over time. Binge studying, especially to catch up after falling behind schedule, often leads to people just giving up. Studying at a consistent pace works better in the long run because it’s an easier way to remember things.
4. Disconnect from Distractions
One of the most common disruptions to learning is focusing on too many things at once, such as trying to watch TV and practice at the same time. While certain music may be helpful since many people are able to focus with background music playing, it’s difficult to learn a new language and watch irrelevant content at the same time. If the content involves translation services it may be helpful. But, chances are regular television programming will shatter your concentration. It also helps to turn off your phone while you study to prevent other interruptions. In other words, make language a priority over other activities during a learning session.
5. Review and Refresh
If you only read material once, you may not remember much of it. One of the most important habits to learning anything is to consistently review material. The more you review basic concepts and details, the more familiar they become. Some people might consider such repetition a waste of time, but the truth is, review helps cement concepts in the mind. Kids don’t usually learn and understand the alphabet in one session, just as adult aren’t necessarily going to remember all the scenes of a movie after they walk out of a theater. But, after seeing the same movie several times, it’s possible to recite several lines in chronological order.
Learning a new language allows you to market translation services. In order to be fluent and proficient in understanding a language, you must build knowledge at a steady pace. It’s important to focus on study materials, but you must also balance it with the rest of your schedule. Unless you really need to learn the entire language quickly, it’s best to separate learning and relearning sessions with plenty of sleep. Ultimately, you must review the material as much as possible so that the language becomes familiar and second nature.
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Beth Worthy is the Director of Operations for GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. GMR Transcription has worked with over 8,000 clients spanning myriad industries and prides itself on its customer service and quick turnaround time. Their services include audio transcription, video transcription, and digital transcription, as well as Spanish and Mandarin translation. Google +