Learning vocabulary is boring, takes time and often enough ends in frustration because you have forgotten all the words a few days later.
Today I would like to show you some easy ways how to pick up new words in your everyday life. Remember – vocabulary is key to improve your language skills and bring your communication to the next level.
1. Change the language on your smartphone
You’re learning German? Great – why don’t you change your smartphone interface to German for a change? On average, we check our smartphones up to 76 times per day. We usually use the same apps, open up our messengers, go to settings etc. All these things are done automatically. By changing your language-settings you can pick up new words super easily. If your – for example – read the word ‘senden’ (send) 76 times a day, you will remember this word in no time!
2. Use the language function on Netflix
Currently I am madly in love with Modern Family. After having watched every episode in English, I have started to watch some French episodes as well – a great way to pick up new words, some authentic phrases – you furthermore train your listening skills – winwinwin I’d say.
By the way: American movies are usually easier to understand because the French tend to speak a little faster. The dubbing actors thus have to slow down a bit to keep up with the lip movements of their American counterparts. This way, dubbed movies and shows are a bit easier to understand in comparison to the more authentic but superfast original French productions!
YouTube offers a wide range of audiobooks in different languages. Just take a look and chose one of your favourite books in German for example (check the title on amazon or Wikipedia). Audiobooks are usually read by professional speakers who usually have an impeccable pronunciation. Make sure to pick a book that you already know – that way you don’t have to focus on an unknown plot. This gives you enough space and brain capacity to listen to the pronunciation and new words for you to add to your own word pool.
4. The ‚1 word per day‘-method
No idea if others use this method too or if I’m the freak who came up with it, but anyways… it helps a lot. I pick one specific word per day and try to use it as often as possible (in my head if people are around – I am weird, but others don’t have to know that immediately…). I build sentences, memory hooks, say it a couple of times etc. This way, this one word is easier stored in my long-term memory. If you only used this method, you would learn 365 new words per year – still quite a good amount, right? Also, this method is a great pastime during those awfully long waiting times in the supermarket queue (you always pick the wrong one…).
5. Doing exercises on the loo
Smartphone apps or traditional paper‘n’pen style – doesn’t matter! We all spend a lot of time on the toilet (230 days in one’s entire life). You can use this time perfectly well by doing some grammar exercises or to work on your vocabulary. Go to your local bookstore (or amazon if that is closer-by). You will find a wide selection of exercise-pads and -books. I had a 1-exercise-a-day pad once. Short exercise for everyday, cheap and quite fun to use. Try it out!
Do you have more strategies how to make learning vocabulary easier? Let me know!