What is the easiest way to learn a new language?

I live in Puerto Rico and here you can find people from around the word, Chinese, Germans, Italians,etc… There has to be a easiest way to learn a new language because to be honest I been trying to speak English from several years by now and I still struggle with it. But it will be so nice to communicate with other people in her own language specially if am planning a trip. Hope somebody can help me.
Carlos Andres

The old saying is that the easiest way to learn a language is sleep with a native speaker of it.

There is no shortcut to learning a language. The best way to learn a language is to study it, use what you learn in real life as much as possible, and reinforcement, reinforcement, reinforcement.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when conversing with native speakers. Reluctance to speak for fear of looking foolish will lengthen the amount of time it takes for you to become comfortable with the language.

After you have a basic grasp of the new language, begin thinking only in that language, not your native language.

Immersion. Speaking that language by necessity with no other languages around. My college PoliSci teacher was from the Netherlands, and didn’t speak a single word of English when he came to the US. Ended up fluent in like, 3 years I believe.

Fluent in the sense of being able to speak readily without pausing to think of words, not in the sense of he knows every word in the English language.

Also, there’s a school of thought that says that learning the word as a concept instead of a translation (that is, pointing to a tree and saying “árbol”, as opposed to saying “the word for tree is árbol”) helps with retention. Rosetta stone I think does it that way.

I agree with you 100% about immersion. It’s one of the techniques I used.

I must disagree with you, however, about Rosetta Stone, which is just about the worst program for learning a language I have ever seen. You will not learn to speak and understand a language by using Rosetta Stone. They are not in the business of teaching languages. They are in the business of marketing language products. Don’t waste your money.

This is not as easy as you may believe, nor is it automatic. For a long time after learning the fundamentals of a language, you will continue to think in your native language and then translate in your head. This transaction becomes quicker over time, but it’s not like you can consciously flip a switch and begin thinking in the language you’ve learned.

It’s a case of YMMV, of course. I think people who grew up in multi-lingual households have an easier time with this, and it occurs much earlier in their language training. I grew up with Polish and English concurrently, and when I was learning Hungarian in the late 90s/early 00s, the ability to think in the language came rather quickly (like within weeks or months), even though I only achieved a conversational knowledge of the language. I found this to be true of other multilingual speakers, but not so much of monolinguals (with one exceptional individual who became near-native fluent within a year or two, and now is indistinguishable from a native speaker.)

I can vouch for what pulykamell is talking about. I can do that, albeit not very efficiently.

Your written English is quite good. Not perfect, but if you could speak like that, you’d have accomplished you goal (depending on how thick your accent is).

There are many different types of learners who have different ways they retain and use new languages, especially aged over 7 years when the brain’s ability to absorb new language starts to deteriorate. The best way for you mightn’t be the best way for other people so it’s up to you to use different methods and, if not finding the one best method then keep them all going. Personally I am a kinaesthetic and visual learner, which is discussed here.

You could also look up and read about multiple intelligences which goes further to explain how we’re hard-wired differently.

Even partial immersion helps. I studied French more than 50 years ago, and if you ask me to say something in French, there isn’t much I can say. But when I go to France, and am surrounded by the language, I’m amazed at how much comes back, vocabulary that I hadn’t been conscious of all these years. But genders and verb tenses seem to be lost forever.

Really? What’s so bad about it? Not arguing, just asking. I’ve only seen it used a few times.

Keep in mind that a very large amount of English vocabulary comes from French. Once you get a sense of which words are derived from French, you have considerable access to that language. Minus the gender and complicated verb conjugation, of course.

Minus les faux amis, also.

Speaking of which, I suspect Danish of having more faux amis with English than any other language. Look through a Danish dictionary and you’ll find several hundred words that appear identical to English words, but that have a completely different meaning. It must make the learning of Danish (or vice versa for Danes learning English) extra tricky.

What they said. Remember: nobody knows 100% of any language and nobody was born knowing any languages. It takes time, it takes practice, but you’re already ahead of the curve with respect, not only to many people who learned English as a second language, but even to many who don’t speak any other (there’s a thread in these same boards right now mentioning people who can’t match subject and verb at all, for example).

You’re not trying to speak better than William Shakespeare, you’re trying to make yourself understood. And judging by your written skills, it looks like Mission: Accomplished.