mercoledì 10 settembre 2014

How to: learn a new language

If you have read my last blog post, you would know that I want to try something different: a lifestyle topic where I give you advices on every day things.
This is going to be my first post ever of this new topic, I hope you like it.

How to: learn a new language — tips and advices

As you may know, I’m Italian so English isn’t my mother tongue, but I can understand it and I can make others understand me.
 So I thought about giving you some tips on how to learn a new language.
Obviously I suggest you to learn a base by online lessons or taking them by people who teach the language you want to learn.
For example I started learning English at school where my New Yorker teacher taught me the grammar, the culture in England, United States and Australia and I also did some listening & comprehension, conversation and reading.
It could help you to reach at least a low level (and not start from zero).
But if you don’t want to take lessons or right after you took them, there are a few self-making options:

1 – READING: books, newspaper’s and magazines are really helpful if you read them in the language you want to learn. Especially newspaper’s because journalists use an update version of the vocabulary.
For books I suggest you to start from those you have read in your own language, so you can easily understand what’s going on in the story.When you feel confident enough to read a book that you’ve never read then do it.
I personally started by reading the first Harry Potter book, which I read in Italian when I was eleven years old. The Fault In Our Stars was the first book that I read in English (and I didn’t know the story).

2 – LISTENING: you can enjoy a song, sing along or dance to it but they can help you to learn new words or whole sentences too.
Folk songs can give you informations about the culture, the traditions and the customs of the places where the language is spoken.
I still listen to English radio or try to guess the lyrics of an unknown song or go and look for the lyrics online and try to translate it by myself.

3 – LISTENING &WATCHING: This is personally my favorite step, because it involves tv series, movies and the news which are great to improve yourselves in that language.
You can watch movies that you know well in the selected language or just watch never-seen movies/tv series with subtitles underneath.
From my experience I can tell you that a thing that helped me a lot to learn English is youtube. If you read one of my previous posts you’ll know that I love youtube and youtube videos, because they’re cheering and full of any kind of tutorials.
I watch far too many British youtubers and also a bunch of American and Australian, they really helped me to improve my English. I would say that they did half of the job of all the other step summed up together, and I’m not exaggerating.
Youtube is full of youtubers from every country so when you feel confident enough to watch something that can also cheer you up, go and watch some videos.
At the beginning it won’t be easy, I’m going to be honest I had to see videos many times before understanding every single word. Sometimes I still don’t get everything they say.
But the most important thing is that you keep practicing and you don’t give up. Give time to time and slowly you’ll understand almost perfectly the language you decided to learn.

I hope this will help you some way or at least gave you the inspiration for other kind of steps that I haven’t mentioned. (If you want to share with others your tips on how to learn a new language feel free to do it in the comments, so we can all try to improve ourselves)

venerdì 5 settembre 2014

My August Playlist

My August Playlist.

It's September and that means only one thing: My August Playlist!
This month has been full of music. My Everything by Ariana Grande came out, as well Trxye by Troye Sivan. I watched the Video music Awards so I had the chance to hear most of the song that I added on the HRN list sung live.  Even if Beyoncé was the absolute queen of this year VMA’s, I really loved Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Taylor Swift’s performances.
But let’s get into the playlist:

Hot Right Now

English Love Affair – 5 Seconds of Summer
Geronimo – Sheppard
Gasoline – Troye Sivan
Just a little bit of your heart – Ariana Grande
Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
Shake it off – Taylor Swift
Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
Fly – 11:11
This freaking song – The Janoskians
Drunk in love – Beyoncé
(it didn’t come out in August, but during this month I’ve been obsessed with it)

Old But Gold

Uptown girl – Billy Joel
The name game – Shirley Ellis
I want it that way – Backstreet boys
Jump in the line – Harry Belafonte
Tengo la camisa negra – Juanes

Part of the revivals (such as: Backstreet Boys, Juanes) happened thanks to MTV. I heard Uptown girl while I was watching The Simpsons, it was the episode where Homer wanted to join the hippie life.
Harry Belafonte’s song was played randomly by my iPod.
The name game is such an oldie, but at the same time it’s my favorite among all of them; I was re-watching Asylum and listened to that song again.

Tell me which ones were your favorites during the month of August, so we can share songs or even entire playlists.

P.S. I want to try a new thing on this blog, I would love to introduce the section “Lifestyle” where I give you some tips and advices on everyday stuff, obviously based on my experience. 
Let me know in the comments if you would like to have that new section, as soon as I can I’ll give you a little clue of how it’s going to be.