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In 2020, Pinterest is being hailed as one of the most efficient traffic driving, business promoting, ad generating, network assisting, teaching resource that has ever graced the screens of consumers and entrepreneurs.
But chances are if you do use Pinterest, you prefer using it for making aesthetically pleasing boards that showcase ideas you find ‘pin-worthy.’
(I mean how else am are you supposed to plan my dream wedding?)
But I’m here to unlock a secret about the platform that nobody talks or even seems to know about.
That’s right– aside from the fact that it enables entrepreneurs to directly market to over 335 million people and cash in some serious revenue using schedule-based marketing suites like Tailwind (using that link gives both you & me a free month of the smartest way to manage visual online presences), Pinterest is stocked full with unique ways to acquire a foreign language.
And I don’t know about you, but I consider any teaching resource that doesn’t feel like a teaching resource to be a hidden gem.
One of my favorite parts of the language acquisition journey is finding new unconventional ways to engage with my target language.
Because books, dictionaries, and Rosetta Stones are so 20th century.
I’m a firm believer that if I’m going to be using something anyway, then I might as well put it to good use.
My time spent on Pinterest is no different– and your’s doesn’t have to be either.
A lot of Recipe Pins provide both a text translation & visual
I’ll be real with you. When you start a search with a foreign language, 9 times out of 10 the first suggestion will be “food.”
So that tells you from the get-go, that you’ll find lots of results matching that query.
There’s few things I love more than ‘visual translations’ of a foreign word. I personally think it not only encourages retention of the term, but brings us back to when we all most quickly picked up languages– as toddlers.
With Pinterest being an entirely visual search engine, you’re going to be getting tons of high-quality photographs of foods oftentimes with its name in it’s origin language.
Take these 2 pins for example:
Now I don’t know about you, but thanks to those graphics, I’m like 98% sure that “bun” can be translated as “noodle soup” in English.
I’ll go even further and assume that based off what I know about grammar and placement of adjectives in Vietnamese, that “bo” is beef, “hue” is spicy, and “rieu” is crab.
Now I might be wrong, but I can sure as heck keep scrolling till one of those words again.
And I find when I do that– as in find multiple graphics– It’s easier to link the Vietnamese word with it’s physical meaning over just an English translation.
And even when pinners aren’t as “design-savvy” with textual labels, the photo will/should always have a caption (a.k.a. it’s title) that you can read as well.
But a lot of the time, said caption will be solely in English, so in that case refer to my next suggestion.
Use Google Chrome to translate the whole page in the foreign language
If you didn’t know, Google Chrome, has a pretty handy right-click feature that allows you to translate any page into your translation language of choice (which you can modify here).
Then when you’ve got the nice pretty square checked next to your target language, you just have to right-click and the option will pop up for you to translate it.
And suddenly: TADA. The whole page goes full native speaker on you.
This may or may not seem initially intimidating, but this is digital immersion at it’s finest.
And personally, I’ll take a picture-based learning resource over a textual-based one any day.
Your best bet for both learning and retaining new words here is looking for the same words on different pins.
Because every now and then, translations may be different from the native way of saying the recipe, meaning that its important to look for reoccurring words and similar-looking recipes.
And if this eases your nerves; text on images typically serve as translations for the captions underneath.
Using Pinterest as a Direct Translation Tool
Below every Pinterest search, you’ll get a row of suggested queries to narrow down what your looking for.
Meaning that when your page is translated into a foreign language, those suggestions will also be translated.
So all you have to do is click one, and Pinterest will automatically translate the query into English when it redirects you to that new page.
And the URL will say the English translation regardless of what language your page is being displayed in.
I’ll also put a little warning here to not get too comfortable relying on Google’s translations, especially as sentences/titles get longer.
But typically Google has a pretty intelligent translation system in place for short phrases and single words.
So as always, look for where words are repeated and how they’re being used on multiple pins or multiple resources.
By searching “<Target language> language”
For me, this means looking “Vietnamese language.”
And typically, regardless of what language you enter, the results will bring up a a bunch of English to searched language vocab.
So if flashcard-style learning is your forte, then you’ll be able to find tons of new words to add to your stash.
And you can really take advantage of Pinterest’s ‘Boards’ feature where you can save all these pins in one unique area for later reference.
Plus with this search query, you’ll also be given lots of results that’ll take you to pages sharing “the best resources to use when learning the language,” “how to learn the language,” “travel basics,” and pronunciation tips.
Just a few examples:
Plus, especially when you’re just starting out, elementary-styled graphics like some of the ones you see above will be extremely useful.
After all, basic “kiddy” graphics are the way elementary aged students really hone in on their mother tongue skills.
Search “Learning a language”
This query isn’t nearly as personalized to your actual language of choice, but you’ll receive tons of methods for acquiring a language that you’ve probably never even thought about.
Generally, these pins are posted by people who they themselves have attained fluency or near-fluency in a second language.
They’ll suggest reliable resources, habits of successful learners, self teaching tips, and common newbie mistakes.
And depending on your search query, you’ll be able to find results tailored directly to your level of fluency. (i.e “intermediate language learning”)
Using other Pinterest users as resources can be one of the greatest hacks to maximizing your language acquisition speed.
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You ready to take on the world of Pinterest?
Heck yeah you are.
I’m always super excited to meet other people who are passionate abut languages and since you clicked on this article, I’m assuming that you’re learning a foreign language just like me.
It can be a tough– yet thoroughly enjoyable process depending on how you approach its acquisition.
My goal with this site is to make sure that my readers are able to master languages, learning, and life in the most naturally simple ways possible.
Because don’t we all want to simplify the learning endeavors we partake in?So if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, then make sure you sign up for your free copy of Everything to know about the “Naturally Simple” approach to language acquisition.
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As always, thanks so much for reading and I’ll see in the next one!