Language learning tips

I recently decided to take a course in a native mayan language. Apart from class instruction. I wanted to practice and further my knowledge but I have no experience in language learning. If you have taken a language course before, any study tips? For studying I usually have success with writing notes, but I'm not sure how to structure them.

  • I have studied/learned several languages. One thing that while it sounds boring but really help is practice, practice, and more practice.
    For most people shorter but more frequent sessions work better than a marathon one day long one.

    What I found for myself that helps that as you go along and learn a new word, sentence, expression or whatever to take a little pause and let it sink in. And also, in my case, since I tend to think visually, to picture whatever the words depict as an image and try to associate it with the word(s) I am learning. So, if I was learning a new word for chair, picturing a chair and the new word (and sound) for chair. The same with actions like walking, sitting. Just picturing a figure, or oneself, doing those actions while thinking of them in the new vocabulary.

    And as you aquire new vocabulary, if you see something that for which you have learned the new language's word, name it. You can also put little labels around your place with names for things in the new language.

    And, since you are learning a foreign language for the first time, it may help to try different approaches to see what will works best for you.
    And try not to feel frustrated (easier said than done) if you end up feeling like you're stuck. Just keep going. And sometimes going back to an easier section helps, or just a different one.

    Good luck. Enjoy.

    Oh, and if you are learning a version of Mayan that is spoken, try to learn/practice the actual sounds that make up the language/alphabet. At least somewhat. It really helps ending up being more understandable. As opposed to try to speak a foreign language with the sounds of one's native one.

  • Writing essays is what works best for me

  • I've never been good at languages.  I find that repeating phrases many times helps me out; as does memorizing works, phrases, numbers, etc. Is Native Mayan still spoken anywhere.  Sorry for my language ignorance. If you can find some folks that speak that language, try "immersing" yourself in conversations ONLY using Mayan.  This forces you to try, and to remember words and phrases.

  • The youngest you start the better, and there are lots of similarities in language, learn those and less you need to learn.

  • Try having a conversation partner with the new language! Repetition and practice help! Association with objects and applying the new language within your daily life! 

  • I agree with all this. Heard Mayans went extinct as a race and/or culture in school. Also heard Mexicans say that's not true, we just assimilated and blended to survive. Have not heard of Mayan being spoken anywhere as a language. Also that the best way to learn any language is to learn the pleases, thank yous, shirt colors, and where the bathroom and library are, then dive in, forcing yourself to rely on these new skills to get around until they get stronger. Saying this as an exclusive english speaker, of course.

    I think you are fluent in a new language when you start dreaming in it.

  • Songs, dramas, movies etc. be entertained while learning, but I doubt if there is much to be found. Perhaps you'd have to personally make a trip down to Guatemala

  • I've never been good at learning a new language and I don't plan to start at this phase of my life.  But I am interested to see the replies to this to see what I maybe should have done that would have made it easier!

  • Practice with someone else, preferably a native born speaker of the language you are learning. 

  • I'd say immersion but not sure if that's really applicable in this case.  Practice then, repetition especially if you're older.  Have fun with it and enjoy the process above all.