7 legitimate shortcuts to learn a language faster (no tedious methods)

Chris Eubanks
4 min readNov 28, 2023
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Skip the writing system / written standard

You are under no obligation to learn any characters or separate written standard. Your decision to learn to read and write all depends on your language goals. Speaking and listening are the number 1 signs of language competence. If you can understand fast spoken speech, you’ll know what your coworkers are joking about when you hear them laughing. You can always re-read or translate a text or email, but speaking requires on-the-spot understanding. If your daily hours are limited, you’ll get more returns putting 100% of your time into speaking / listening rather than allocating time to reading / writing.

A writing system may prove useful later as the language becomes more serious for you. For example, with Finnish I am learning both the written standard and spoken language. The level of seriousness of Finnish justifies this. But for Mandarin, I’m not learning any characters until my spoken language becomes competent. Had I allocated any time to writing characters, I would not have enough time to learn to listen and speak.

Focus on reality shows / comedy podcasts

If you want to understand chaotic real life speech between multiple speakers, reality shows…

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Chris Eubanks

Language learner. Rapidly learning the Finnish language. Follow me for specific knowledge that can't be found anywhere else on the Internet.