There are many apps available to help you learn a new language. Apps like Duolingo and Babbel are specially designed to help you learn major world languages like French, Spanish, or Chinese. However, learning a new vernacular may be a bit of a problem.
Many local languages don’t come with textbooks or instruction manuals on grammatical rules. Apps try to teach vernacular languages such as Esperanto, frequently spoken in Europe, East Asia, and South America. Others also teach Navajo, which is a native American language. Online learning platforms also don’t teach vernacular languages.
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Learning any new language can be difficult for adults. This is because the brain struggles to form a new cognitive framework. It’s also a struggle to find the time to learn a new language completely. Our overanalytical brains also make it harder to learn a new language. It becomes even more complicated when that language doesn’t have dictionaries or textbooks. It’s also challenging to learn because you want to apply what you know about your first language to the mother tongue that you’re learning. But say you are Kikuyu, and you hope to learn Luganda. What can you do to make it easier to learn a vernacular language?
1. Outline your goals
Why are you learning this vernacular? Do you need to know for academic or professional reasons? Are you going to be living there and want to make things easier? Figuring this out helps you come up with a plan. If you are researching for academic reasons, you may need to contact linguistics professionals to give you more information. If you’re moving and want to make it easier to blend in, speaking with civilians teaches you. Listen to how point-of-sale workers talk. That quickly helps you learn greetings and currency norms.
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2. Create joy
This is a lot easier for structured languages like French or Spanish. French cooking classes or Spanish dance classes can make it easier to learn. However, for local languages, it’s better to immerse yourself in cultural events. You can also listen to music in the vernacular and find translations. This also makes it easier to learn expressions and idioms.
Motivation makes it easier to learn a new language successfully. Make a habit of working or studying in places where people speak the language, such as a café. Learning will always be messy. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself. Working people may correct you but take that as an opportunity to improve your language.
Try to pick the local names of objects you use frequently, like cell phones or cars. Keep expanding your vocabulary. Test yourself each day or week on what you have learned.
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4. Use local media
Many stations have vernacular TV and radio platforms. Use English subtitles if they’re available. If a translation isn’t possible, try listening with a local friend who can provide context until you learn how to unpack the vocabulary. This can also be used for people who want to brush up on their mother tongue. You can also buy books published in English and the vernacular. Read them in tandem to understand better how to construct sentences, structures, and grammatical rules. You can start with children’s books and work up to novels.
With these easy steps, you may not be fluent within a few weeks, but eventually, you’ll be able to carry out extensive conversations just as well as the locals. There is no set time frame for learning a language. But it’s best not to interrupt your immersion while learning the vernacular. When you take too long a break before returning, you may forget what you have already learned.
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