What’s the best way to learn another language? The answer must be move to a country that speaks it. (Otherwise this trip was a very bad idea.) Then you just soak up the sounds through osmosis while sipping Mai Tais or Mojitos or Belline. (I’m claiming that as the plural of Bellini.)
Except our brains are lazy. They are very good at resisting any new skills that aren’t absolutely necessary. And it’s certainly possible to get by in most foreign countries using English and hand gestures.
So if I’m going to become fluent in three months I’m going to need a plan and discipline. (Though I really wish I could learn by drinking those Belline. I hate discipline.) But it’s not going to be classes or Rosetta Stone software or even a top-secret computer program to beam the language directly into my brain, code-named The Intersect. (Very tempting, though. Especially if I get to work with Sarah Walker.)
No, I’m going to hack my way into the language. And if you want to play along at home, you can do this too.
- Find someone to speak with
- Prepare a conversation before it happens
- Refer to the Lonely Planet phrasebook
- Consult Google Translate
- Get over your pride