Knowing the basics of language is, naturally, the foundation of good speaking skills. But after you’ve learned to communicate in the new language to some extent, you can start working on some useful colloquial expressions to make you sound even more natural and fluent.
Start by listening
Listening to native speakers is an excellent way to pick up common colloquial expressions. Try to actively memorize repeating structures and phrases and rehearse them later by yourself.
Imitate a native speaker
Imitation is the best way to learn to speak a new language. Do you know someone who is a native speaker of the language you are trying to learn? Is there a relatable character in your favorite TV show that would be fun to mimic? Listen to the way your (language) role model talks and try to imitate their style and pronunciation.
Sound more fluent by using synonyms
Using synonyms makes your speech a lot more vivid and natural. For instance, if you are learning German and want to express how great something is, there are several other options that you can use instead of the usual toll (great), like:
Impress with idioms
Learn a few common idioms and use them whenever you get a chance. You can find bucket-loads (pun intended) of useful idioms online, but here are a few examples for our dear German learners:
es ist mir Wurst = it doesn’t matter to me
Schwein haben = to get lucky
die Daumen drücken = keep fingers crossed
auf den Arm nehmen = pull someone’s leg
Bock haben = be in the mood for
Don’t worry, be happy!
The most important thing about learning to speak a new language is not caring about mistakes. In a conversation, there is no time to formulate each sentence you utter perfectly in advance. Your thought can change mid-sentence, which means that the beginning and end of the sentence don’t always go together so well. This is very common, even for native speakers!
Remember that when you don’t make a big deal of your mistakes, nobody else will care either.
Director, Learning Material & Customer Relations
Language loving coffee addict and communications professional haunted by eternal wanderlust.