Vocabulary: Words that will save your life!

How much vocabulary do I have to learn to have a proper conversation? How long do I have to study in order to be able to communicate with a native?

Good news: You don’t have to be a language expert to communicate with natives!

Don’t try to run while learning a language because to be honest it always takes time to learn and speak correctly but you can help yourself by immersing into the language. Keep calm and try to listen to what people are saying ‘cos if you get nervous you’ll stop listening to what they’re talking about and it will be a complete failure!

As long as you know some basic words and know how to structure short basic sentences they will understand and even help you to improve your speaking skills 🙂
After a weekend with a German family I realized I was able to communicate with them if I pay attention, forgot about trying to speak perfectly and I was SERIOUSLY just there “communicating“ with them. Plus, I have been studying and following my own advice 😉 So I was aware of many words they said or at least I caught the main idea of the conversation…

In this article I would like to share some of the words that we must learn (no matter what!) in order to communicate and bond with people around us (even if you don’t speak their language!):

1. Greetings

– Hello/Bye
– Good night, morning, evening…
– See you later, see you tomorrow, and see you tonight…

Natives are always glad to hear you talking their language, saying hello or goodbye is just a small step but they will appreciate it and it will help you to feel comfortable enough to learn more things. Try to learn the common greetings (informal greetings like from friend to friend) so you get to learn some slang vocabulary.

2. Commonly used verbs

Verbs are a must if you want to communicate but sometimes you just don’t have the time to learn as many as you would like to so learn those that you would use every day: eat, drink, sleep, go, wake up, be, walk, etc. Study and learn the present tense and try to learn one daily new verb.

3. Adjectives

Pretty, ugly, funny, boring, fast, slow, dark, light, small, big… So you can get a bigger idea of what people are trying to communicate. You can add those which are commonly used in your language and translate them into the language you are learning.

4. Question words and numbers

What if you get lost? It’s always good to know how to ask what, where, when, how and who! Don’t forget to write them down, you’ll probably need to point at something like a map or place so that you help a better understanding.
Regarding the numbers, learn from 1 to 10 and then 20,30,40,50 … until 100! They will be useful when trying to pay for something or telling your age.

5. Commonly used vocabulary

This can include as many words as you want or as many as you are willing to learn. I recommend learning what comes next:

– Parts of the body
– Asking for the time! (What time is it?)
– Time of the day (morning, evening, night)
– Parts of the house
– Fruits and vegetables
– Learn how to say where you come from and your age

Remember that this is only for basic communication; this will not make you an expert unless you study a few minutes every day!

What do you think people should learn from your language? Share your comments with us!


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