If you are interested in learning a language for the sake of learning without caring about grades or diplomas, then you are reading the right article. While many people are interested in learning major languages like English, French, Spanish, and German that will allow them to travel freely around the world, there are also a minority and endangered languages that can be equally useful.
Minority languages are spoken by small groups in a specific country and often have little or no resources. In many cases, these minority languages have few speakers or are declining in use. This article will tell you how to learn the most interesting and useful language for your information without leaving home. But first…
How do Languages and Dialects Differ?
There is often confusion about what exactly distinguishes one language from another. Speaking very generally, languages are large units of linguistics (which include grammar and vocabulary), while dialects are smaller units that do not affect other regions.
For example, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese are different languages because they have different writing systems (Mandarin uses traditional Chinese characters and Cantonese uses a modified version of the Western alphabet) and different words. But they are also considered dialects because speakers of Mandarin can easily understand Cantonese, but speakers of Cantonese cannot speak Mandarin without difficulty.
So, what is the difference between minority languages and endangered languages? Minority languages are spoken by small groups in a specific country; while endangered languages are believed to be endangered (the language is at risk of extinction).
How to Learn Minority Languages with Little or No Resources
These minority languages often have few speakers or are declining in use. But how can you learn one of these languages without leaving your home? Luckily, today there are many resources on the Internet.
There are also language learning apps that allow you to practice these minority languages without additional books or classes. Here’s how to get started learning a minority or endangered language:
I. Use Language Learning Apps like Duolingo (Android / iOS)
Duolingo is an app that focuses on basic vocabulary for everyday life, and it takes about only 5-20 minutes per day, depending on your level. There are tens of languages available in the app, including Azerbaijani, Haitian Creole, Javanese, and Afrikaans. You can even find entire courses (which take several months to complete) in Catalan, Hindi, and Irish Gaelic.
II. Use the Internet to Learn Minority Languages like Gaelic
There are also many language learning websites that can teach you basic words in Kurdish, Corsican, Kashubian, and other minority languages. Two of these sites are Learn Welsh Online (which has audio lessons) and Omniglot (which includes links to various resources for different languages).
III. Find Resources in Your Own Language to Improve Your English
You do not need to learn completely new words to improve your English vocabulary – simply learn new ways to say the same thing. For example, consider how the Spanish phrase “gato” means “cat.” You can translate it using Google Translate or a dictionary app on your phone, but there is another way to say it, which works better in English.
IV. Find Other Ways to Learn Minority Languages
There are other ways to learn minority or endangered languages, including using subtitles on TV shows and movies, listening to music or podcasts, watching world news programs online through your local public television station’s website, or even singing along with the radio if you know some of the words. There are also new technologies that can help you read texts at high speeds, repeating what you hear and reading phrases out loud over and over again. The possibilities are limitless!
How to Master Endangered Languages without Leaving Home
Learning endangered languages is not easy, but this does not mean that it is impossible. First, you should find online resources in your own language and then in the language of interest. For example, in Spanish and English (which you can practice seeing how it works). But there are other ways to master these languages without leaving home:
Find Movies in Your Own Language and Then in the Minority Language
You can use subtitles or online translators such as Google Translate if necessary, so you can listen and read at the same time. This method is also very good for learning dialogue because we tend to forget what we hear when we do not know what words mean. So learning common phrases through songs and movies will help you speak with more confidence and new vocabulary.
Read Short Stories in Your Own Language and Then in the Minority Language
If you find a story of about 500 words, read it in your own language and then try to read the same story in the minority language. Repeat as necessary until you feel like you can understand most of what is written (or at least know some phrases). Of course, do not forget that even if we learn all these phrases, we should be able to use them, or they mean nothing. So start with short stories and familiarize yourself with basic words used every day.
Find out How Spoken Words Are Pronounced with Phonetics
Spoken words are different from written words because we often read and pronounce them differently from what was written or heard. For example, there are accents or letters that have no sound in certain languages (like the “e” in Spanish). Learning exactly how to speak these languages with all their phonetic rules will help you master pronunciation and the speed of speech.
Find Friends with Common Interests to Practice Everyday Language with you
Find people who share your interests and make a weekly schedule together. Whether it’s going to a language exchange group meeting, going somewhere new for dinner, going on a hike at the nearby park, or even playing a board game—it can be anything as long as you feel excited about what you’re doing. When we are excited, we are more likely to speak with others about what interests us. You can also invite friends over for a language night where you will only speak the minority language. Learn phrases by using subtitles, repeat words after your friend says them, and learn new words every day.
Record a “Word of the Day” Video for Your Social Networks to Spread the Language
Invite people who share your interests to join you in learning the minority or endangered languages by recording short videos on YouTube. Keep it simple by choosing one word per video every day and talking slowly so that viewers can follow along without getting confused. If you do not have time, find other ways to practice spoken English (such as music or movies).
Find these videos by searching for “#minority language” or “#endangered languages” on YouTube, Facebook, and other social networks. You could also use the hashtag #langaday on Twitter.
You can even search online to find other people who are doing the same thing as you. For students, juggling all these with studies can get a little messy. Just to ensure that they do not interfere with your studies, you may want to organize a college paper writing services as part of the minority language learning program.
The Bottom Line
While it may seem impossible to learn a minority or endangered language with little resources, you can become a master in no time by following these steps. Learning languages is about teaching your brain how each word sounds and what it means. If you go step by step with this method, then learning a new language will be an exciting experience regardless of its time.