A journey of a thousand ri begins with the first step.
Lao Tzu

It often happens that the student, especially an adult, learning a new language may seem impossible, or at least very difficult and long task. When we begin to discover a new language and faced with volumes of obscure rules, it’s easy to lose confidence and quit. What can help in this situation? How to learn English, German, French — Yes, whatever the language — and not feel so helpless in the first weeks of school? This and devoted our article.

Personal interest

This may seem self-evident, but often the students have a strong incentive to learn. Ask yourself why You personally learn the language? Because it will help to build a more successful career. Because You had the opportunity to move to a place You’ve been dreaming of my whole life. Because it is the native language of Your girlfriend. Just for fun. Even such a simple motivation can give strength to overcome the first, most difficult steps.

You should be personally interested in the good knowledge of the language. It must be very important, and even better — are essential. You fly to Taiwan to head up there a branch of your company? Well. Travel to the US to study and can’t communicate in English and a couple of words? Great. According to many polyglots, that’s full immersion allows you to achieve the best results. Studying the language abroad, You’ll have to use it in the classroom and in everyday life. Any simple action can turn into a real challenge. Yes, at first it will seem like You dropped behind enemy lines armed with a toothpick, you may experience feeling of loneliness because You can’t communicate with people. But this feeling will soon pass, because in just a few weeks or even days of full immersion will allow you to see in practice their…


All these everyday difficulties that at first seemed insurmountable, will soon become as natural as in the home country. Trips to the store or the Laundry will soon become a mere trifle, because in such situations, the speaker is required to use the same simple phrase. As a result, live chat will soon become a source of tremendous pleasure and will become an encouragement to further study.

You are just learning

How often do people open a multi-volume reference grammar and imagine that its study is some kind of cruel punishment. Just listen to how terrible the Czech language: there are seven declensions (nominative, genitive, dative, etc.), there are unpronounceable words and sentences without vowels (as you patter «Prdkrtskrzdrn, zprvzhlthrstzrn» — «the Mole pushed his way through the grass, swallowing the first handful of grains»), a dash above the letters, confusing word order, three kinds… the horror!

The best solution for the first time would be just to close my eyes to all these difficulties. It is much easier to learn the fundamentals of the language, and only then be accepted for its subtlety. If You are a perfectionist, then after six months, perhaps, will be able to pronounce all the phrases you have learned without a single error. But all these six months You were inactive and could not miss a unique opportunity to communicate with the media. But, in the end, language and that’s what they teach — not for impeccable grammar, volumes of rules and vocabulary. It is a means of communication between people! In the worst case, You’ll just say something wrong. Relax and have communicating the pleasure.

It’s easy!

Instead of samoistseleniya, as in the example of the Czech, try to find the language, something that could help You. If You study one of European languages, rejoice, because You already know a huge part of the dictionary: flip through any book in Spanish, probably You run into many familiar words: elalfabeto, lafamilia, and many others. Sometimes even on a completely unknown language, you can guess the translation of whole sentences. If You decided to take one of the Slavic languages, You won’t have to learn the articles. German is a phonetic language, and when you see the spelling of German words, then, as a rule, will be able to pronounce it, and when you do, typically, can write.

Every language, even hieroglyphic, contains some hints that can greatly simplify its study. And the more languages you know the easier it will be to teach subsequent. You see, it is not so difficult as it seemed in the beginning!


It was said above that the best results are possible only with the method of full immersion. But what if for some reason You can’t go to study abroad?

In General, even despite this You have almost unlimited resources for learning a foreign language. The Internet age has provided us with millions of pages of classical works, music, movies, radio and podcasts from all over the world. Find what You interesting. Look for words and phrases that You need and want to know. Don’t wait until someone will introduce You to the language or will tell you what to do. Discover the language themselves, as does a growing child. In many forums you can communicate with foreigners. Talk and write, when You want it. Constantly practice your skills.


Knowledge of language is traditionally divided into reading, writing, speech and hearing. Typically, the students most of the time is spent on training of oral speech. You can write and read fairly complex texts, but movies and songs often get the student an avalanche of information «in real time». It causes great frustration and leads to self-doubt. Yes, You will not understand much of what I heard. But it should be. Seizes the main ideas, key words and sounds. No need to think about every sentence heard. All what You will achieve this is skip to the next. To start watching movies with subtitles. Record interesting phrases. If You are an absolute beginner, try to catch key words and rely on pictures. Keep talking and listening, and soon even that barrier will fall.

Without victims!

Makes no sense to treat learning how to race at the time. The languages are virtually living beings, sometimes willingly allow themselves to be tamed, and sometimes resist it «all four». But how hard that might be, remember that you are moving forward. Do not extinguish their enthusiasm and strength, comparing yourself to others or wondering why it takes so much time. If You’re tired, take a break. Give yourself time not only to study but also to rest. As you move forward, You will feel more and more comfortable in the new language environment. Soon You will discover that uninvited guest turned into a member of a new family. Just go on your way and have fun with it!