How to learn Vietnamese fast | Or any Language

The Best ways to learn a language.

Learning a new language

Learning a new language necessitates the acquisition of new vocabulary. There is a lot of vocabulary in every language, but you do not need to know or learn every word.

Many people blame their poor memory for their inability to learn new words, so they give up before ever getting started. Quite often it is because they try to learn too much.

To speak a language you do not need to know all of its vocabulary or phrases

Make use of the Pareto principle and know that putting in 20% of your effort to learn new vocabulary can result in 80 percent comprehension in a language.

For example, only 300 words make up 65 percent of all written material in English. We use those words frequently, and every other language does as well.

How do I learn a language fast?

The brain seems to work at different speeds with different languages. Changing from one language to another is like shifting gears in a car.

This is difficult at a beginner’s level because you will need an explanation of the words or phrases in the new language you can’t understand,

But these tips and hacks will help you learn faster.

My Tips and hacks to learn faster.

Set Goals. Setting goals for what you want to achieve is the first step in learning a new language quickly.

How do you know what you want to achieve and judge if you’ve achieved it if you don’t set goals?

Most of us are intimidated by the prospect of learning a new language. There are a lot of words to learn and a lot of ways to study. Setting goals helps you focus your attention so you can quit sweating the small stuff and get down to work.

Don’t get distracted by anything that is different from your native language. Turn off your phone or switch it to the language you are trying to learn.

Change the language of your computer to the language you are trying to learn. Fully immerse yourself in the language you wish to learn.

Create an environment without distractions of other languages. For example; Don’t listen to English songs if you are trying to learn Vietnamese. And visa versa.

Use Flashcards. To help with learning, flashcards of the most common words can be downloaded or purchased. Good flashcard methods use a repetition mechanism and are available in a variety of phone apps these days.

You hear words at deliberately spaced intervals, just before you forget them, rather than going through the same list of vocabulary the same way every time.

Don’t overextend your learning. Losing direction and motivation after feeling motivated and full of energy and ambition is normal. And the issue is due to poor planning or unrealistic goals.

So, instead of planning for those times when we will be full of energy why not plan for those times when we will be exhausted? If you feel drained, take it easy and still learn.

Wear a headset and listen to music in the language you’re learning. Watch children’s cartoons, read comic books. Even if when you don’t feel inspired you can still learn passively.

The number one skill of learning any language is the listening skill. Babies do not speak their native language as soon as they are born, they listen and then form words. You can do the same.

Use Social Media. Begin an online conversation with a native speaker, someone who has spent their entire life speaking that language. You only need to learn a few things for your first chat.

But if you utilize it right away, you’ll see what’s missing and can fill in the gaps. You can’t study alone until you’re “ready” for any kind of social connection.

Speak out loud. Do not be shy. Make use of everything you know, focus on communication more than perfection. Sure, you could wait until you’re ready to say “Excuse me, Sir, could you point me in the direction of the closest bar”.

But “bar where ?” will convey the same information. So even though it’s not perfect you will get the same message across.

And maybe you will be helped in your phrases at the same time. It will be evident that you’re a learner, you’ll be forgiven for being straightforward.

Moreover, you will be congratulated for trying to learn the native language of the country you are visiting or living in.

Jump in the deep end. Talk to your native buddy about their weekend activities, and tell them about yours. Then talk about something that’s on your mind and try to communicate your thoughts.

It’s critical to take an active role and ensure that you’re having a diverse range of talks. Make a list of topics you’d like to talk about and bring them up (hobbies, favorite music, vacation plans, etc.) to keep the discussion moving.

Learn the culture. It takes more than just reading words on a page to comprehend a language. It’s also good to understand the culture and history which will help understand the use of the language.

Understanding the history, current events, religious beliefs, and common customs of a country or culture can help you grasp a lot of what people say and do.

People can understand a second language better when they comprehend the culture and background behind the language they are trying to learn.

Test yourself. Try to regularly test yourself in little ways. If you’re learning from a textbook, take practice tests or complete the exercises at the end of each chapter.

You can also play online games or take online tests. Online practice tests can be found in almost any language

Get a Teacher. It is easy to plan to succeed yet fail. If you have a course or teacher that you have paid for you will be more driven to learn. You will not want to waste the money you have spent and will commit to a more rigorous style of learning.

UDEMY provides some great resources with native teachers if you are not in the country you wish to learn the language of.

Use a phone app. There are a lot out there, Duolingo, Mondly, and a host of others. I have used and tested a lot of them and my favorite for ease of use and resources is Mondly. But find what is right for you and stick to the program.

Conclusion.

Language acquisition is a very personal experience, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, one important aspect of learning is to laugh a lot and have fun, as well as to express thanks when people aid you.

While you can accomplish a lot in a few months, you must practice, study, and use your new language as much as possible. When you achieve fluency in a language, though, it tends to stick with you for the rest of your life.

Who am I?

My name is Stephen and I am an EFL teacher in Vietnam. I have taught English as a Foreign Language for over fifteen years and have my own school.

I also place native English teachers in schools around Vietnam. Teaching is something I love, along with traveling and discovering new cultures. Street food is a passion of mine and I try to partake as often as possible.

You can check out my house in Vietnam by clicking on the YouTube button below.

Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

6 thoughts on “How to learn Vietnamese fast | Or any Language”

  1. Great tips on learning a new language Steve! I have been studying Portugese for the last few years, so I can talk to my family in law – and I did a lot of the things so suggest here. But Vietnamese is way more difficult than Portugese to master in my opinion, because of the differences in tone trhat make a difference in meaning. I struggled with that, while traveling in Vietnam and trying to pick up at least a few phrases … Any specific tips on that topic?

    Nice house by the way, great to have your own private class rooms!

    Reply
    • You are so correct, Vietnamese is a tonal language. And there are quite a few words spelled the same way and only the tone separates the meaning. Hats off on learning Portuguese though. 

      If you are in Vietnam for a while you will pick up the basic phrases, but if you really want to impress the local a course like Mondly is a great way to go.

      Reply
  2. Your experience as a teacher of English to non-English speaking students gives you a wealth of knowledge about learning a foreign language such as Vietnamese.  People learn differently, as you well know, and so different approaches to learning the language is valuable and you identify several options on your website.  I do not know about television in Vietnam, but I have friends who have learned English (in part) by watching US TV.

    Reply
    • Thanks dave, yes there are more than one way and more than one tool to help learn languages. And whichever helps the person best is ok with me. In my opinion full immersion in the language, you wish to learn is the best way.

      Stephen

      Reply
  3. Learning a new language can be a challenge for most people that do not have an ear for languages. I have been learning Italian and have used many of the methods and tips that you recommend here, and I have found that switching my computer to Italian, means I get notifications in Italian, rather than English. 

    A tip that an Italian gave me when it comes to learning new words and vocabulary, is to aim to add 10 words per day to your repertoire. So pace yourself and don’t give up because you cannot remember 50 words in a day. But I do think Vietnamese, or any of the Oriental languages, are way harder to learn than Italian. 

    Reply
    • As a teacher of English to students in Vietnam I wholeheartedly agree. Little steps make big progress. And be persistent. Thanks for the great comments.

      Stephen 

      Reply

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