How to Learn a Language the Lazy Way

Not your average ‘learn French in 90 days’ article.

Port Royal, South Carolina illustration from Grand voyages (1596) by Theodor de Bry (1528–1598). Original from The New York Public Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Put your brain on stand-by mode

How about you watch Netflix for a bit? Turn off everything related to your native language and what a show completely in your target language, with subtitles in your target language too. Give up on understanding things 100% all the time. Lower your standards, try to see if 40% understanding is enough for you to get the big picture.

Active learning is reinforcement

Maybe you’ve been hearing your Japanese friends say ichiou all the time and you’re curious about what it means. Maybe you’re curious about why that cute person freaked out when you said something you thought would be completely normal. Maybe you just really want to read Nikolai Gogol in the original Russian, and you’re curious what the name Akaky Akakievich really means because it sounds kinda like it might be a joke.

Newly-wed with a baby. Writing about Culture, Language, and Travel. Occasionally I publish pieces of advice to myself about writing or put my degree to work

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