1. Learn as if You’re (Really) Young 像孩子般学习
When I start to learn languages, I often approach it through the eyes of a child. Children’s books and learning materials start with the basics and break them down into small fragments—and when you’re pressed for time, that can be much easier than getting into a dense workbook.
When I first started learning Korean, I learned my numbers in 10 minutes with the Korean Numbers Song. Later, I used children’s books and music videos to help gauge when I was ready to move past an introductory level. When I got to Korea, I gained confidence by speaking to nieces and younger students—they understood my basic words, and I wasn’t so worried about messing up. These conversations gave me the foundation to learn “formal” Korean later.
我最先开始学韩语时，十分钟就学会了数字，这多亏了韩语数字歌的帮忙。接着，我用孩童的书籍和音乐视频为标准，来检测自己是否已度 过了初级阶段。当我到了韩国，和侄女们以及学生聊天让我充满信心——他们能听懂我的基础词汇，我也不需要担心说的乱七八糟。这些对话是我后来学习正式韩语 的基础。
2. Watch Movies 看电影
Before I left for India, I got to know the three Khans—Shurukh, Salman, and Aamir—three of the most popular Bollywood Stars of our time. I immersed myself in their movies and songs, which not only made my ear familiar with the inflection and sounds of Hindi language, but also helped me learn a few basic phrases.
Of course, my first words in Hindi, “Tere naam le ke” (my heart takes your name) didn’t really help me order food or get around Mumbai efficiently. But, because I understood how real Hindi is spoken, as I learned the language, I ended up speaking it fluidly instead of like a robot (as I might from one of those audio-lessons). I also got to bond with my host family about the movies I had seen and the music I liked.
当然，我学会的第一句印度语“Tere naam le ke”(我的心里刻了你的名字)，虽然在点菜以及孟买游玩时并没帮上什么大忙，但因为我了解真实生活中的印地语是如何说的，所以我的发音非常流畅，完全不 是音频教程中那种机器般的发音。那些以前看过的这些电影和喜欢的音乐，还让我和主人家庭关系更加密切。
In Thailand and Japan, I learned a lot of basic phrases by studying karaoke songs—and even performing them! While it was embarrassing at first, it did help me practice my language, and also prepare for business situations (where karaoke is a common networking event).
3. Go Shopping 购物
Instead of reading about the local market in your language text, why not just go there? Visit the Chinatown, Koreatown, or other ethnic neighborhood in your city at home, and talk with people to practice numbers, basic words and phrases, and polite formalities. I’ve found that vendors (especially in the U.S.) are always happy to chat with me, and even happier to help correct my language mistakes. It’s a great place to practice a lot of conversation in a short amount of time.
与其在你母语的语境下去当地超市购物，为什么不去城市里面的中国城，韩国城或其他异国区域呢?通过和这些人交谈来练习数字、基本的 对话以及词组和礼貌用语。我发现那些卖家(尤其在美国)通常都很乐于和我交谈，甚至愿意帮我改正我的语言错误。如果你想短时间内大量练习对话，这可是个好 去处。
4. Use Technology to Learn Like a Local 向当地人一样利用技术去学习
There’s no need to invest in expensive software when there are so many free resources and apps out there. With a few downloads and apps, you can get daily updates and lessons, speak with a native over Skype, or have Google hangouts with people who are also learning. You can also get one-on-one attention with teachers and tutors on some of these sites. In addition, the BBC has great language learning guides, which offer insight into culture and everyday life in other countries.
没必要花钱去买昂贵的软件，有很多免费的资源和app可以使用啊。下载一些app，你每天都可以更新课程，和当地人用skype聊 天，或者是和其他学习者用谷歌视频群聊进行交谈。在某些网站，你还能得到老师一对一的指导。另外，BBC有大量的学习指南，供你学习其他国家的文化以及日 常生活。
5. Speak as Much as You Can 尽可能多说
The only way language will stick is by speaking and listening often, so take any opportunity you can find to use another language. Talk to friends from other countries, try out an ethnic restaurant and speak to the owners in their language, or join meet-ups of like-minded language learners. Even when I’m at home, I try to speak new words and ask about how things are pronounced correctly in a different language. Remember to work on your accent and tones—one of the best compliments to receive is “your accent is really good!”
学好语言的方法就是多说多听，所以把握住任何机会去操练外语吧。和异国的朋友们聊天，试试去异国的饭店吃饭，用他们的语言和老 板交谈，或是参加语言学习者聚会。即使我在家时我也试着说新词，看看不同语言的发音到底有何不同。记得要改进你的口音和音调——的赞美莫过于“你的口 音太棒啦!”
Learning a language doesn’t have to be a resolution that gets tabled again—it can be something to embrace in a fun new way. So as you prepare to travel to a new country this year, don’t be afraid to dive into the language. You may not become fluent, but knowing a little bit will go a long way.