Best Way to Increase Vocabulary In Foreign Languages?

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rhhb
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Hi there, I'm currently studying Italian in school and also French and Spanish at home on my own.

What would you recommend as the best way to expand my vocabulary preferably outside that of typical school curriculum.
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redmeercat
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Experience the language as much as you can - watch films, listen to music, and chat to people. Take note of words you don't know, and then try to actively use them in sentences to help you to remember them for longer. Apps like HelloTalk, Lyricstraining and netflix are great for this - for French, films like La Famille Belier and (depending on how old you are, etc) programmes like La Mante are good. In terms of music, maybe Zaz, Louanne, BB Brunes and Stromae, depending on what you like! i also like to listen to podcasts, but some people find it stressful to listen to podcasts when they don't understand everything and also don't have a visual cue. Keeping a diary in the languages and looking up words you don't know can also help - I try to write a weekly update of about 50-100 words in Russian on my HelloTalk profile every week, in which I try to use the vocab and grammar I've learnt that week so that I can clear up any big misconceptions and errors before I move on!
Last edited by redmeercat; 5 months ago
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rhhb
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(Original post by redmeercat)
Experience the language as much as you can - watch films, listen to music, and chat to people. Take note of words you don't know, and then try to actively use them in sentences to help you to remember them for longer. Apps like HelloTalk, Lyricstraining and netflix are great for this - for French, films like La Famille Belier and (depending on how old you are, etc) programmes like La Mante are good. In terms of music, maybe Zaz, Louanne, BB Brunes and Stromae, depending on what you like! i also like to listen to podcasts, but some people find it stressful to listen to podcasts when they don't understand everything and also don't have a visual cue. Keeping a diary in the languages and looking up words you don't know can also help - I try to write a weekly update of about 50-100 words in Russian on my HelloTalk profile every week, in which I try to use the vocab and grammar I've learnt that week so that I can clear up any big misconceptions and errors before I move on!
I'm afraid to say I have a rubbish experience with HelloTalk, I never find anyone who actually replies (Tandem is a lot better if you like that kind of thing) i don't think i could handle a podcast, especially with French, but realistically this question was based around italian as i'm hoping to apply to statale in milan for 2021 entry (for an anglish course but ofc you still need the language for every day life)
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redmeercat
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(Original post by rhhb)
I'm afraid to say I have a rubbish experience with HelloTalk, I never find anyone who actually replies (Tandem is a lot better if you like that kind of thing) i don't think i could handle a podcast, especially with French, but realistically this question was based around italian as i'm hoping to apply to statale in milan for 2021 entry (for an anglish course but ofc you still need the language for every day life)
That's odd - I find Tandem a bit overwhelming and HelloTalk easier to find more long-term language partners. But either one works, and it's all subjective! With podcasts, you could always try the news in slow French - that way, you practice listening without having to get past native-level distractions. The duolingo podcast is also alright.
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help_101
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(Original post by rhhb)
Hi there, I'm currently studying Italian in school and also French and Spanish at home on my own.

What would you recommend as the best way to expand my vocabulary preferably outside that of typical school curriculum.
Hi,
When I first start to learn a language I can fondness it quite daunting to watch a film or listen to a podcast. I found that reading online editions of magazines (such as french or Italian vogue) helped to introduce me to a wide range of vocabulary and I can take it at my own pace. I also found that cheap children story books off of the internet were a good place to start, such as the hungry caterpillar or Cinderella (stupid I know, but it works!). If you did want to go down the podcast route, Duolingo do them at different levels of difficulty but also come with the transcript. That way you could read it first to familiarise yourself with the language and then try to listen out for the words so that it doesn’t seem so fast. Hopefully this is helpful.
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Kerzen
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When I was doing my A Levels (some time ago!), I had a subscription to the French magazine Paris Match - I loved seeing it on the door mat with a Paris postmark!

You can still subscribe to Paris Match and to other magazines, but you might find magazines made especially for British students more suitable for you.

https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/maryglasgowmagazines
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Kerzen
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I couldn't see an Italian magazine on the Mary Glasgow site, but I have found one elsewhere for you:

https://www.languages-direct.com/tut...xoC3noQAvD_BwE
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