Quick Tip #3: 6 Phrases Everyone Should Learn First

6 Phrases Everyone Should Learn First

I’m Justin Ryan at Language From Nothing with a quick tip on learning your first phrases in a new languague.  Here are 6 phrases you should always learn first no matter who you are or what language you are learning.

  1.  What does this mean?
  2.  What is this word?
  3.  How do you say _____?
  4.  I don’t know.
  5.  I forgot.
  6.  I need to look it up.

 Why learn these phrases first? It’s because I guarantee you, you’re going to be saying these to yourself already in your own language once you start studying a foreign language, when you encounter words you don’t know or don’t remember.  Which, at the start, is probably going to be all the time.

And since you’ll be saying them pretty much right when you start, why not have them be the first phrases you learn in the new language? That way you will be using the language as a tool to learn the language. Plus you’ll have lots of opportunity to practice since you’ll need to use them over and over again.

Since I’m learning Spanish, I’ve looked up these 6 phrases in Spanish for myself:

1) What does this mean?1) ¿Qué significa esto?
2) What is this word?2) ¿Qué es esta palabra?
3) How do you say?3) ¿Cómo se dice ___?
4) I don't know.4) No se.
5) I forgot.5) Se me olvidó.
6) I need to look it up.6) Debo buscarlo.
(en el diccionario)

Now every time I have a question about what a word means, I can say them in Spanish instead of English, making myself use Spanish to learn Spanish.  

I call these 6 phrases Pocket Phrases because they are similar to the basic tools of a pocket knife.


If you like this post, check out the FREE video course I made called The Foreign Language Smart Start. It was created to help you start learning your first words and phrases in a foreign language.

If you want to see the strategies from the video course put into action, check out the 28 Day Spanish Challenge.  I personally used the strategies that I teach in the course to learn my first words and phrases in Spanish.


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