When you’re a kid, you pick up on the language effortlessly. Everyone around you speaks, you listen, and through trial and error, you learn. Yet, when we grow up, learning a new language becomes sterile. We add books, grammar, homework, and classrooms into the mix.
That’s why there are two ways to pick up a new language. The first one is the traditional way. Stay in the classroom and study. Then there’s the better option, which is more fun and informal. And what’s even more surprising is that it involves a virtual private network (VPN). Here’s how.
How Do You Learn a New Language Fast?
Some people can speak English or Spanish just by watching movies and series or enjoying video games. That’s because they were exposed and immersed in what the characters were saying.
Imagine if you had no phone, no internet, and randomly woke up in Germany. Everyone around you would speak German, and all the words you’d see would be in German. If no one knew English, you’d have to scrape by and talk with bits and pieces of sentences until someone corrects you. Then, you’d improve and eventually learn the language.
Formal learning is good up to an extent. But our brains are hardwired differently. If you don’t use it, you lose it. So if you go to a classroom and learn a language for two years and pause for a few months, all that vocabulary and grammar training goes down the drain. The skill relies on how much you’re exposed to the foreign language. So, if you don’t want your words to be at the tip of your tongue, you must stay in touch with speaking and listening.
How Do VPNs Help?
VPNs primarily work as digital safeguards. They change your IP address and encrypt your data. Plus, NordVPN’s features add extra threat protection that blocks ads, malicious websites, trackers, and scan files during the download process. When you change your IP address, you get to pick any country in the world and pretend to browse the internet from there. That’s where the language benefits come in.
Instead of traveling to another country to be immersed in a language, you can do it in the comfort of your own home. With a VPN, you can listen to local radio, read books, download movies, unblock streaming channels, and bypass geo-restrictions. Even the ads you see online would be in your target language.
Another cool thing you can do with a VPN is get cheap flight tickets and accommodation to visit a country and completely immerse yourself in the language. That’s because a VPN allows you to hop through servers in different countries until you find the one with the cheapest travel bookings.
What’s more, when abroad, you can connect to your home country servers to keep up with the news or local content.
Movies and streaming
When watching something to learn a new language, you should stick to dubs and something you’ve seen a few times in your mother tongue. Let’s say you’ve watched Friends a dozen times and know some of the episodes by heart. Turn on the French dub, and since you know the plot, it will be easier to focus on what the characters are saying.
If that’s too hard initially, search for some kid’s shows. Even though this sounds silly, the voices are crisp, and you’ll get to know the basics. The characters will talk slowly and use more articulated terms. Thus, you’ll cement the verbs, nouns, and the most common idioms.
As you progress, move on to streaming channels and enforce what you are learning. Watching shows and movies isn’t that interactive, but it beats writing a word ten times in your notebook or completing grammar exercises over and over again.
Binge-watching shows will enrich your vocabulary, but your grammar will be lacking. To keep both skills on par with each other, get some books and start reading.
Again, start by reading books you already know and love. That way, you’ll unconsciously get the vibe of structuring sentences and word order. There are bilingual versions of the most popular books, and you can stick to comics or children’s editions until you level up.