How to Maintain Skills in Multiple Languages?

This article is for people with the biggest flexes of all time- the polyglots. Although people who only speak one language would agree to the fact that their one language also needs regular maintenance. Skills should never be left alone. They have to be regularly oiled using the choicest of resources to continue to be good at them. Same holds true for language learning skills. Here we list some of the most tried and tested methods to keep you acing the language game.

  • For your native language read a newspaper cover to cover.

Over time, especially for your first language, your vocabulary starts thinning down. This is followed by formation of simpler sentences and choosing simple structures to poorly convey complex information. And God forbid if you have a formal event to attend, where you are required to comment on politics and art, you are left looking for heavier words to impress the audience. Here you can’t escape the expectations because after all this is your native language. To maintain this language, you should read a leading daily. It will instantly help you re engage with the language and also keep you abreast of politics and news that you care about.

  • Watch a TV series in your second language

See how easy this is? Watching a TV series in your second language will help you wind down after a tiring day and with minimal effort keep your second language well oiled and ready to use and comprehend. Say your second language is Haitian Creole (learn here), watching a TV series/ vlog will engage you with a lot of characters or people, their speaking styles and walk you through different situations which will only serve to introduce you to new words and familiarize you with a variety of inflections, intonations etc. used in the particular language.

  • Spend most of your time in the language, not learning about the language- strategy for language number three.

Most of the times when we bury ourselves in our smartphones browsing for hours about the language, exploring content we are essentially performing a low efficiency activity. An alternative would be to engage with a friend in a conversation you care about. You will make mistakes while having fun. Even if you do it once in a fortnight you will be able to keep in touch with your third language. The trick lies in dedicating space for conversation in your target language.

  • Have conversations- In your head

It must have been a while since you did this but bring back your imaginary friends from your childhood. Just kidding. But orchestrating imaginary situations and thinking of a dialogue exchange between you and an insanely famous superstar might actually do you good. Of course you need to have these in your fourth language. If you would forget to have this conversation, consider setting a time aside to day dream this in your target language. Not only would you gain immensely from ‘thinking’ in the language, you would also love to be a part of this little sketch.

  • Try reading your favourite bedtime stories in your fifth language

We were saving the most fun bit for the last. How many times have you heard of the little red riding hood. Probably so many times that you remember the plot of the story like the back of your hand. This is exactly what will help you in retaining new words in your fifth language. The best part about these bedtime stories is that they have been translated in all languages from German to Haitian Creole. So you will know where the story is headed and will automatically shift focus on learning new words, connectors etc. Hope all these help you. All the best.

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