Language Hack 2: Make It Default
This is where emersion can come in handy, but it’s not essential. The key is to do the ordinary, habitual things that you do, in your target language.
If you watch movies to unwind, switch to movies in your target language.
If you use Twitter, start an account in your target language and follow people in that language.
Like music? Find some artists in your target language. It doesn’t have a lot of words, but I’ve been enjoying this recently:
On Facebook? Add some people who only speak your target language as friends and start messaging them (it turns out this is way more normal and not at all as stalkerish here in Jordan than it is in the UK).
My wife and I have recently started using Arabic when we’re together at home for ordinary conversations. It’s been a challenge, and often frustrating, but the practice has paid off when we’re with our Arabic speaking friends.
For a while one of the things I found hardest to get was Arabic numbers. I just couldn’t seem to convince my brain to recognise a ٥ as a number 5 (not a 0), or a ٦ as a number 6 (and not a 7).
So one day I switched the time on my phone over to Arabic numbers. That way, if I was going to get to appointments on time, I was going to have to master Arabic numbers.
The first week was super frustrating, and I regularly mistook ٦:٥٥ for 7:00 (6:55) but after that, I became faster. With heavy exposure, my brain finally absorbed these new shaped numbers.
(Image source: GotCredit)