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Learning a New Language Essay

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Updated: May 11th, 2021


Moving out to a new geographical area can be very exciting because it provides one with an opportunity to experience new cultures, but on the other hand, it can be difficult to cope with the new environment, especially when the language of that region is not familiar to you. This paper explains the possible challenges and the steps to follow while learning the new language.

Reasons for learning a new language

When one relocates to a new region, either for business or other reasons, it is important to learn the language of the local people because they are the ones who can be consulted when one needs to know something like directions. Besides, if you have moved into the new location for business purposes, it would be better if you spoke to the local people in their language because that way you will understand each other. This is because there are very few people who understand international languages like English and French. Hence even if you speak the international language in your office, you need to learn how to speak the local language because you need to learn how to converse in the local language because it will ease communication. Again before one learns a new language, he/she needs to identify if there are other languages in that location and identify the one that is commonly spoken (Yule, 2010).

Problems of language barrier

Moreover, it will be easier for the locals to accept you when you speak in their language. McNeil (2004) explains that some communities tend to be hostile towards people who don’t speak their language. Hence if you are establishing a business in a new location, some people may not buy your goods and services because you cannot communicate effectively. For instance, it might be difficult for an individual from Japan to converse with people from another country, such as South Africa. Because of differences in cultures, it is difficult to understand the correct words used in conversation; a person might have some idea about the language, but putting words together can be difficult.

Benefits of understanding a foreign language

Learning the new language is not only healthy for your business but also for your safety because you need to know what people are reacting to situations, and unless you understand the local language, you won’t be updated on the local events. For instance, my friend Joel was in Rwanda before the genocide took place, and prior to the killings, he was given a hint by one of the local people and later on flew out of the country. If he did not interact with the locals, he would have been caught up in the mayhem because no one would have bothered to brief him.

Methods of learning the new language

In this regard, when you first set your feet in the new location, you need to identify people among that community who can help you to learn their language. In addition to that, you need to mingle with the local people and listen to their conversations and see what you can grasp. Bower (2006) explains that the time taken to understand the new language depends on your eagerness and commitment. You need to repeat the common phrases when you are alone and ask for their meanings later on. Repeat as many times as possible and ensure your spellings are correct. The spellings can be confirmed by consulting the native speakers of the new language. Consulting anyone who comes across can be misleading because some of them are not pure speakers. This is also another challenge when trying to grasp important points.

Listening to conversations

When learning a new language, it is important to choose whether you want to know how to write or speak in that particular language, but most people prefer to learn how to speak in the new language. The first thing about learning a new language is to get the pronunciations right. You need to listen to the local people carefully while they are conversing in order to get the exact pronunciation. You can then repeat the pronunciations when you are alone as many times as possible. This is because, initially, it may not be easy for your pronunciation to resemble those of local people, but it improves when you do it frequently. You can repeat the pronunciations in the presence of a local speaker who can help you to identify where you are making a mistake.


Pronunciation is vital because if you don’t preannounce words correctly, you may not communicate effectively since a given word may have several meanings that are differentiated by the pronunciation. Pronunciation is a great challenge as well because different words might sound similar but with different meanings. The first thing to learn in every language is greetings and names of places. Don’t learn many words in a day because you will be overwhelmed; instead, learn a few words in a day because it would be useless to learn many words that you can’t even remember. You can watch television programs that are in your new language or even listen to radio stations that speak in your new language. You can as well make arrangements with a local speaker to coach you on pronunciations, be it Spanish or any other language, and in fact, this is the best method because you can ask him to speak one word at a time and he/she can adjust the speed when you feel it’s necessary (Bower, 2008).


According to Kalat (2008,) when pronouncing words, you may not have the local accent if you are an adult, but children are easily adapted to a new language faster than adults because they know how to impersonate sounds better. Age is another barrier to learning a new language. So don’t be surprised when your children learn a new language faster than you. Take caution not to miss the tone and mark the words that have high and low tones because these are the basic elements of pronunciation. Identify words that are most difficult to mention and mark them as vocabularies. Once you have selected the vocabularies, find those words whose pronunciation resembles your mother language. This is because it is common to have words from another language that sounds like ours.


People who don’t reside in one location for a long time have to learn a new language regularly, and this could bring confusion when learning a new language because they can mix words from a previous language. To prevent this confusion from hindering the learning process, it is good to always know which language is spoken in which location. In addition to that, ensure that what you learn remains in your mind by revising what you learned in the day in the evening. It is advisable to learn how words are used because if you know their meanings but you don’t know how they are used in sentences, it does not make sense at all (Yule, 2010).


You need to develop a reading of literature that is composed in the new language because that way, you will learn to construct sentences and speak fluently. Additionally, it is recommended that you learn the words that you are most likely to use in your field because if there is no need to learn words that are irrelevant to your field. For instance, if you are a hairdresser, you don’t need to know the words that are used by nurses. Yule (2010) argues that when constructing sentences, you need to place the words in their correct sequence for the sentence to make sense. This is the key to perfecting your grammar in the new language. You need to know how the nouns, verbs, and adjectives sound when they are in singular and plural. Besides, you need to learn the tenses such as the present, future and etcetera.

In this light, learning a new language requires passion in the language and the ability to interact with the people speaking the language. Challenges to learning a new language include culture, identity, and. The elements which constitute fluent speaking are pronunciation, tenses, and gestures. This is because if you are talking about the present while your sentences are in the future tense, there may be confusion. Therefore, understanding cultural activities and frequent words used in a language are vital in avoiding language difficulties.

Reference List

Bower, D., 2006.You can learn Spanish or any Language No matter Your Age or Disposition., New York: Lulu Press.

Kalat, W.J., 2008. Biological Psychology. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

McNeil, A., 2004. How to learn a foreign language: A question and Answer Guide. Washington: Language Experts, LLC.

Yule, G., 2010. The Study of Language. 4th Ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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1. IvyPanda. "Learning a New Language." May 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-new-language/.


IvyPanda. "Learning a New Language." May 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-new-language/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Learning a New Language." May 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/learning-a-new-language/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Learning a New Language'. 11 May.

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