Whilst living in New Zealand, I attempted classes in Maori, the language of the indigenous people.

Having not attempted to pick up more than a smattering of foreign words in the years since school, it was a strange experience attempting to wrap my tongue around some different pronunciations and sounds!

One of the techniques I found easiest was to use music and song. Whilst it was definitely embarrassing to sing with and in front of a group of (virtual) strangers, the songs helped new words stick in my mind. A great side benefit was getting a sense of Maori culture along with the language.

One song in particular stands out – to the tune of “Old McDonald Has a Farm” (an English nursery rhyme), we sang the tale of Tangaroa, a Maori God of the sea. It was difficult not to slip into the more familiar words!

Nursery rhymes are great for learning simpler words, but for a bigger challenge which may be more suited to your musical tastes, try the huge range of music that is available in every language. From Brazilian hip hop (Portuguese) to Cantonese pop, listening to music in a different language is a great way to pick up new words and aspects of culture at the same time.