Learning A Foreign Language

Hello hello hello!

Alissa and I are here with another collab post! We’ve both taken a language. Alissa has taken Spanish and Japanese and I have taken Japanese. Alissa gave us the most brilliant idea: to write a post about how to learn a foreign language and just tips to help you grasp another language.

Personally for me, Japanese has been smooth so far (I’ve been taking it for almost 2 years now) and I’m learning how to speak like a native speaker and learning how to write. I still struggle with grammar, but hey, you learn from your mistakes right? I speak Vietnamese at home fluently and I guess learning a language has been really simple for me. I want to learn to speak Chinese and Korean, but I need to grasp Japanese first…

Alissa here!! From what I learned from taking Spanish and Japanese, you learn differently for each language. Japanese came to me a lot easier in remembering hiragana and katakana verses Spanish, which uses similar English characters. Also, I know some Khmer since my parents are both from Cambodia, so that way is different from all of them.

Ways to remember a language:


  • Hand write flash card because you’ll start to remember how it’s written and get a visual
  • Write a few time, so it sticks in your brain
  • Practices writing translating hiragana to katakana because you will need to remember which character is what and which character is the right one to use
  • Remember the characters for Japanese is hard. Hiragana, katakana and don’t forget the kanji you’ll be leaning as well! It’s good to test yourself from time to time
  • Writing may seem easier for some people, but you also have to speak it. Go through some set phrases that your teacher prepared for you and try and look at your phrases once in a while until you remember it
  • Try and get a program that allows you to listen and reply to practice your speaking. In my class, our teacher has a CD of him speaking. He would say a sentence and we would repeat it. It works! I use it when I’m in the car or at home.

Spanish-I need visuals to help me remember a lot of things and interactions.

  • Make videos because you have to rehears what you want to say and by having a visual, it can like play in your head when you need it
  • Make a song because that way it sticks in your head, if you make a catchy song
  • Label things around your house with flash card or pieces of paper, so you see it everyday and you can try to visualize the things in your own house

Khmer-Vietnamese or any language at home

  • Watch videos
  • Listen to what your parents are saying and trying to figure out what they are saying (yes I do this and my parents know…..just not extended family)
  • Have your parents or family member teach you how to say things and practice that over.
  • Now a days, there are many temple schools that teach Vietnamese. Try and enroll yourself in a school. It’s usually free.
  • I used to not speak Vietnamese as often, but seeing as many Vietnamese kids now a day don’t speak their native language, it makes me worry that I may forget mine. I speak half Vietnamese half English at home. It’s more like 80% Vietnamese and 20% English.
  • Try and watch programs or shows in your language to understand it better.

All languages

  • PRACTICES!!!!!!!!!!! You just need to find how YOU learn best for the language you are learning and practice. It takes time to remember it all
  • If you have friends that have taken that language, mooch off them. Get them to practice with you
  • If you can, immerse yourself completely in the language. Completely. What do I mean by that? Go to the actual country, stay there for a little bit, speak to the locals, learn about the culture, etc. If you can’t go to the country, try and go to an area where you live that has locals that speak the language you’re leaning. Speak with them and try to converse with them.
  • It’s okay if you make mistakes in another country. People will usually be alright with your mistakes and they probably know that you’re trying your best to learn the language.
  • Try and utilize apps. I use Mango Languages. It’s kind of like Rosetta Stone, but here’s the catch! Mango Languages will offer the program to some libraries for free! You just need a library card. It’s free and it has so many languages you can download from and practice. Plus there are cute mangos on the screen as you practice.
  • Watch movies or shows in the language that you’re learning. It’ll help you recognize the speech. I like to watch anime. 😀


-xoxo Alissa and Suzane


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