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57 Habits During the Day That Will Make You Learn a Language [Mega Post]

Cover image of the blog entry about 57 habits to learn any language.

A warm welcome to my linguas-didici people! In a world where time has become a scarcer resource, many find it challenging to find the time to study the language they dream of speaking. But don’t forget: All of us get the same 24 hours a day. How you use them is entirely up to you! You probably just don’t have the habits to learn any language yet. This is why you will find an extensive list of 57 habits to learn any language! 57 habits to learn any language might sound a lot, but you will realize that they are easy to employ!

You only need the following:

  • A smartphone with a pair of headphones and internet access (with enough MBs)
  • A book in a foreign language
  • Some classmate(s), workmate(s), friend(s), acquaintance(s) who is/are (almost) (a) native speaker/s in a foreign language
  • Willingness and motivation

In my opinion, it makes sense to present these habits in chronological order, meaning from the moment you wake up until you return to your bed. Obviously, your daily routine might be entirely different. Moreover, this routine does not depend on which level you have. But, it will make your language proficiency improve at an incredible rate!

Finally, when I say “foreign”, I will always be referring to the particular tongue you are striving to learn! Also, each of the upcoming actions is obviously meant to be done with or in the foreign language.

In the Morning

Woman eating and studying in the morning.

In the morning, you can start immediately to dive into the new language, doing this:

  1. Set a foreign song you love as the alarm on your phone.
  2. Say “I don’t want to get up” or “I want to get up.” Then, get up!
  3. Change the language of your cell phone.
  4. Read a page or two in your book or do a lesson in Duolingo when going to the toilet. Don’t waste this opportunity by going to social media!
  5. Have a monolog in your head or talk while you shower. If you have waterproof speakers, put on some captivating morning broadcast.
  6. Try to name all of the objects and ingredients you use while you prepare breakfast. Attempt to say the verbs for the cooking processes (e.g., to boil). In case you don’t know, attach some post-its with the new vocabulary to the objects.
  7. Listen to music or broadcasts, watch a series, or just leave it on playing in the background during your meal.
  8. Plan your day in your head. Do so in the foreign language (as much as possible). Write down the words you fail to remember!
  9. Curse because you have to leave home (this is a serious tip as slang and curse words are also an important, often funny, and interesting aspect of every language).

Going to and Returning From Work/ University/ School

Oh, the possibilities! Take a moment to look around what 98.56 % of the people (who travel alone) around you are doing. Yes, good old blank stare like a zombie at the smartphone. What are they looking at? Usually, it is some series, Instagram/Facebook, or some game. Of course, this is often not interesting enough, which is why everyone has earphones plugged in and listens to Spotify at the same time. The remaining 1.43 % is actually doing something productive by working on their laptops or reading a book. Wait a second! Aren’t 0.01 % missing?! Exactly! You will be one of the 10,000 who will do this:

  1. Put on your headphones and listen to content in the foreign language while walking to the public transport and repeat out loud (or in your mind) what you are hearing.
  2. Express your anger about the fact that the bus/train/tram is too full again.
  3. Sit down (if possible) and get started. Do some lectures in Duolingo or Babbel, read a book, read a blog entry, go through a vocabulary list, or watch a short documentary (with or without subtitles).
  4. Practice using the legendary Italian gesture with your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger united, forming the peak (if you study Italian).
  5. Plan the rest of the way in your head. Also, mention significant points in time.
  6. Get out of the public transport and listen to your favorite song for the remainder of the way.

On your way home later, you can perform these steps in the reverse order.

At Work/University/School

Image portraying some of the 57 habits to learn any language you should do at work.

By now, you will have probably had more contact with the new language in one day than 99 % of the other language students. Imagine following this routine at least five times a week. But, this was just the beginning! Because at work, university, or school is where you will spend at least a couple of hours. Perfect in order to improve your language skills! This is especially the case if your employer at work allows you to use headphones and YouTube. Are you already curious to get to know some more of the 57 habits to learn any language?

  1. Plug your headphones into the computer, go to YouTube, type in “Listening comprehension [INSERT LANGUAGE] beginner/intermediate/advanced.” You will find a lot of videos of 20 minutes to more than one hour. You don’t need to listen to the conversations word by word but, rather, let them play in the background.
  2. From day one, ask colleagues who are natives in the language you are learning to talk to you in their language and their language only! Make quick small talk when grabbing a coffee or tea.
  3. Write those mentioned colleagues, now and then, and start a casual conversation, using the internal chat tool of your company. Online dictionaries like,, or are your friends in case you are unsure about the spelling.
  4. Regularly ask these colleagues to take a break with you (shout out to Ramy, Eric, and Rayane!). Try talking to them in their language. At least, let them speak in their language (SLOWLY) and listen!
  5. If no one has time, just take your book or phone and study by yourself!
  6. Take some post-its and write down vocabulary that you find especially hard to remember. Plug them around your computer screen and have a look at them once in a while.
  7. Change the language of your PC to the foreign language.
  8. Translate all of your computer and e-mail folders.
  9. Make a habit out of not taking work-related notes in your mother tongue.
  10. A walk to the toilet can always be turned into a short language-learning session.
  11. Just put on some foreign music while working and relax when your brain eventually gets tired.
  12. Take notes. But, do it (at least partly) in the foreign language as at school or university, headphones will not be an option. No excuses!
  13. Sit down next to friends or colleagues who are natives at university/school. Same rule as before: Talking is not allowed in your mother tongue or English.
  14. Be cheeky. Look at their notes (if they were taken in the foreign language and readable). Be a proud copy-cat and copy them!
  15. Download an app like PowerWord and become a walking dictionary if you are bored and really cannot follow a lecture at university. Don’t go to social media or 9GAG

At Home

Woman shown while studying languages on her phone at home.

Aaaah, finally at home. Now, you can relax, eat, and watch your favorite series on Netflix, can’t you? Yes! And please, take a rest. Studying without breaks is utterly unproductive! Don’t go bonkers! But, why not turn relaxing and doing nothing into relaxing and learning a language in the process?

  1. Put on whatever you want to listen to in the background in the foreign language if you decide to cook, clean, iron your clothes, etc… Don’t listen actively to it. Relax and let it play in the background. Why? Because doing so will still improve your feeling for speed and pronunciation!
  2. Sit down and put on Netflix. Watch whatever the heck you want but be sure to do so in the foreign language. Activate subtitles. Haha, don’t be silly. Don’t you dare to put on subtitles in your native tongue! Subtitles in the foreign language are, of course, permitted.
  3. Practice using the legendary Italian gesture with your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger united, forming the peak (if you study Italian).
  4. Listening to a workout or yoga session on YouTube in the foreign language in case you like to exercise at home.
  5. Take out your textbook you bought previously if you are really hardcore. Finish some exercises or read through grammar sections.
  6. Print out song lyrics and sing along. Your neighbors will not hear you singing. Ça va, ça vient! In case you don’t understand the songs yet, translate them, and start learning them by heart.
  7. In case you nurture some sort of diary, then it’s definitely time to write into it in Spanish, German, or whatever it is you are working on at that moment.
  8. The same goes for all the poets among us!
  9. Hobby cooks should search for new recipes on non-native websites. You might also listen to French or Italian cooks while they explain their traditional recipes. Exciting!
  10. A nice thing to do if you have a bathtub is to take a nice long bath. There, you can chill out, but, at the same time, you can put on some language-learning audios in the background. Read a book (don’t let it fall into the water!).
  11. Make an MS Word documents for each tense (1 page per tense), containing all the different conjugations. Add information about in which case a specific tense is applied. Print them out and stick them to the wall (e.g., over your bed).

“…slang and curse words are also an important, often funny, and interesting aspect of every language.”

Doing Groceries

Fruits shown in a supermarket.

Doing groceries presents a perfect opportunity for boosting your vocabulary. In the following, you will read about some small things you can do to turn this rather dull duty into a fun language-learning practice.

  1. Open the fridge and swear in foreign because it’s empty! (Ah mierda, el refrigerador está vacío de nuevo!). Food is life, folks!
  2. Make a list of food you need to purchase. Of course, in the foreign language! Look up all of the words you don’t know.
  3. When in the supermarket, write down at least five groceries you don’t know the foreign word for. Translate them. Say all of them three times in your head. Soon, you will know all of them.
  4. The supermarket would surely be the best place (given that you have enough MBs) to listen to YouTube. There, you will find a bunch of videos naming all of the basic nutrition vocab like banana, onion, apple, etc., or videos about going shopping.
  5. Pay and say, “I am hungry. I am going to eat now!”

Doing Sports

It’s remarkable how many people have their headphones on while running or working out in the gym. But what do they listen to? Here comes a list of typical songs: Eye of the Tiger (absolutely the best!), every aggressive song from Linking Park or DMX, Adele (I just suppose that women listen to her), etc. You get the point. Instead, you can kill two birds with one stone. Get toned and smart at the same time!

  1. Download some listening comprehensions or documentaries from YouTube and put them on the device you use in the gym or while running. Listen to them. Repeat especially difficult phrases.
  2. In the gym, you can do some learning sessions on a language-learning app between your sets.
  3. It might sound stupid, but what I always used to do is repeating particularly difficult terms all over in my head each time I did a rep. You will never forget this word again!
  4. Work out together with someone pretty fluent in the language you are studying and willing to do sports with you if you a fortunate enough to know somebody like that! The exchange of some phrases between reps will benefit you tremendously!

Just Before Going to Sleep

This is the best time to learn vocabulary. Why? Everything you learn will more easily migrate to your long-term memory. The reason is that no strong sensory stimulus like watching videos on your phone or just TV follow after your learning sessions. Such stimuli “overwrite” parts of what you have just learned before these can manifest themselves in your memory. Be smart and avoid that! Instead, I recommend the following:

  1. Brush your teeth in Chinese. Just kidding. But, do you know how to say words like washing machine, sink, toothpaste, or shower cabinet? No? Write them down and learn them!
  2. Employ your freshly learned vocabulary while brushing your teeth. Make sentences in your head like “I like taking a shower in the shower cabinet! Then again, I also like to take a nice bath in the bathtub!”
  3. It is always smart to do one or two sessions in Duolingo or any other language-learning app. These often have some elements of gamification, which will make it easier to convince yourself to put in work despite feeling tired.
  4. Then, be sure to have a look at some of the post-its with unknown words you have created during the day. I used to repeat 20 words every evening for one to two months. The result: ca. 600 new words!
  5. Look at the pages with the tenses you have plugged to the wall. Make it a habit to repeat all of the conjugations of one to two tenses every evening. You will know all of the tenses and the differences amongst them in no time!
  6. Put on some hours-long YouTube video with some voice that will pronounce many words during the whole night if you believe in its effectiveness. I cannot confirm that this works as I cannot sleep when listening to something. Sorry, folks!
  7. Go to sleep. You have done well, my friend! Tomorrow awaits a new day full of opportunities to put your new habits into practice! Exciting!

You might have noticed that thinking and saying something in the foreign language is something that should accompany you during the whole day. On the other hand, some of these habits might seem to be the same thing to you, only performed at another moment during the day. You are right, my friend! However, it is still vital to stress that you need, e.g., to speak with someone at differing points of time because the topic of the conversation will be different. On the other hand, listening to foreign music in the morning and then again at work and then once more on your way home will result in an accumulating learning effect. Take advantage!

That being said, it is nearly impossible to build up all of these habits. The purpose of this blog was to show you what is possible if you are dedicated. I do not expect anyone to build up all of these 57 habits to learn any language. I also don’t practice all of these. Do some cherry-picking and choose those you find the most appealing.

What are you waiting for? Time to surprise everyone with your incredible progress! Cheers!

9 + 6 + 15 + 11 + 5 + 11 = 57 habits to learn any language!

57 Habits During the Day That Will Make You Learn a Language (Mega Post) – The Arrival of an Inspiring Blog

In this blog, you will discover a bunch of proven tips on how to crack the language-learning game! Just give me a bit of time. I hope I was able to let you in into 57 habits to learn any language we language freaks use on our way of conquering yet another language! There will be a loooooot more articles coming!

Are you asking yourself: “Who is this guy whose words I am reading right now?” You will find some information about me here.

Earphones and an iPhones lying on a table.
#5 QuickTip: Listen to content in the foreign language as much as possible in order to sensitize your sense of hearing for its rhythm and intonation.

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1 Comment

  • 1elliott


    February 17, 2022 at 16:25
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