Whether it’s for travel, an upcoming job interview, or an impending visit to those scary in-laws of yours — whatever your reason to learn a language — with Babbel you can hold a basic conversation in a new language in only three weeks! Yup, as we proved last year, 15 Babbelonians who couldn’t speak a word of Spanish needed only 3 weeks of study with the Babbel app to start speaking the language. If that wasn’t enough, one of our British Babbelonians also recently recreated this feat by learning Italian in 3 weeks using only the Babbel app!
What links the two stories together is the impressive fact that our learners didn’t chain themselves to grammar books for hours at a time in order to become conversational in their new language. No, they managed to fit their learning in around their normal work day, and while doing so, they used the following 8 tricks to get speaking in only three weeks!
1. Find your motivation
Attempting to speak a new language in three weeks requires dedication, but if you know exactly why you are learning a language you’ll be sufficiently motivated to persevere with each new lesson. That’s why it’s vital that you set out a concrete reason for learning your new language, and that you imagine how you would apply your new-found language.
If you’re learning for travel, envision exactly how you will use your new language skills in-situ. Do you want to become a confident traveler who can find the hidden back-street gems that a clueless tourist would never know about? If so, this will tell you which lessons to focus on when using Babbel, and it will motivate you to complete as many of these as possible before you fly!
2. Create a manageable learning schedule
Three weeks is enough time to start talking in a new language, but only if you create a strict learning schedule for yourself that makes the most of each day!
Learning enough to be conversational is less daunting if you plan in advance exactly which courses you want to learn, and then count the number of lessons found within those courses so that you can break down your learning into manageable chunks.
Set yourself a goal of completing 3-4 lessons per day, as this amount ensures you don’t overwhelm your brain with too much information that you will struggle to remember!
Each lesson takes about ten minutes to complete, so you can set aside less than an hour per day.
3. Learn only what you need
The lessons on Babbel are designed to let you set your own learning path, and to ensure that you can start speaking your new language with confidence, quickly. Therefore, if you are a complete beginner you should try to complete the first two beginner’s courses on Babbel within the first two weeks.
The beginner’s courses cover all of the fundamental aspects of your new language, they teach you how to construct sentences and ask questions when conversing with a native speaker.
Then, dedicate the third week of your study to revisiting lessons, or to topping up what you’ve already learned with specific extra lessons, that support how you intend to use the language. For instance, if you are learning for travel then use the final week of your study to concentrate on holiday-specific Babbel courses.
4. Find your perfect learning time
Once you have settled on the scope of your learning plan, set aside a specific time each day which you can dedicate to completing these lessons. The morning could be the perfect time to learn, for example, as completing your lessons will give you a sense of accomplishment that will last the rest of the day.
By learning first thing, you can relax, knowing that you have already ticked off that day’s core material.
Plus, if you find that a particular batch of lessons is too tricky, or if you feel you haven’t sufficiently committed them to memory, you will still have plenty of time left in the day to re-do these lessons — during lunch, before bed, or relaxing on the balcony after work.
5. Learn with a partner
Whether it’s with a friend, a flatmate, or loved one, learning in tandem beats learning alone. By teaming up you can share the pain of those early-morning starts, you can work together to overcome struggles and you will have a conversation partner with whom you can practice the gains you’ve made!
It’s natural that your motivation to learn might sag some days, which is why a learning partner comes in handy. As they will always be there to give you a kick in the pants if you ever feel like skipping a day’s lessons!
6. Go mobile with your learning!
Speaking a language in only three weeks means you’ll need to be pretty imaginative with your study time, especially when it comes to fitting your language learning in around your daily routine. Make sure to have your phone on you at all times, and to download your chosen lessons in advance. This ensures that no matter where you are, and no matter what time of the day it is, you can quickly and conveniently open the Babbel app to get started on a new lesson or revisit a previous lesson.
Whether you’re waiting at the hairdresser’s, queuing up at the post office or commuting to work, make the most of this downtime to revisit or review your lessons.
You will reinforce your progress by enhancing your recollection of new words and phrases!
7. Last-minute recap of the vitals
As you come to the end of your three-week learning journey it makes sense to recap the most important aspects of the language. But you don’t have to redo all of the lessons you’ve learned. Just focus on the “Review Lessons” that are contained within each Babbel course.
When you encounter a new topic on Babbel (say, ordering drinks at a bar) you will be tasked with completing two lessons that teach you the most important vocabulary, grammar, and phrases you’ll need. These two lessons are then immediately followed by a “Review Lesson” which is a bite-sized recap focusing only on the most important highlights of what you have just learned. At the end of your three weeks, make sure to redo each review lesson, rather than going over entire modules again. By going over these review lessons you’ll ensure that you keep the most important aspects of the language fresh in your mind.
8. Test yourself with a mini-challenge!
After three weeks of study it’s time you put yourself to the test! This is a fantastic way to motivate yourself while you’re learning; the thought of facing a real-world challenge at the end of your three weeks will focus your mind and help you find the discipline to prepare beforehand.
The exhilaration of overcoming a challenge (no matter how small) will prove just how much progress you have made in three weeks!
Not sure how to test yourself? If you’ve spent three weeks learning Italian with Babbel then why not make a date to visit your local pizzeria and order your favorite quattro formaggi in Italian? This will do wonders for your pronunciation, and it puts you in a real-world scenario that you can easily replicate on your travels!
Don’t think it’s possible to speak a new language after just 3 weeks? Then check out this video showing a genuine beginner speaking bonafide Italian – in Italy – after only three weeks of study with Babbel!
Do you remember our colleague David who took on the challenge of learning Italian in 3 weeks? You’re probably curious to know how it went! Allora, David has landed in Rome and has successfully used his Italian to order at a real Italian restaurant. His Italian wasn’t flawless, but he got his delicious food (and he even managed to convince the waitress to switch back to Italian after she addressed him in English). In other words, being brave pays off! (In the form of pizza.) The next time you’re on holiday, will you dare to order in the local language too? #italianin3weeks