Like studying any foreign language, to succeed with Igbo, you will need to spend a lot of time reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These four skills together will help you to master Igbo.

However, like all romance languages, there is gender: some words are masculine; some are feminine.  You must learn the gender with each word you learn, or you're setting yourself up for disaster.

For those who really wish to master the language, you should make the commitment to make the pursuit of Igbo a lifelong hobby.  Every day, more and more people are learning Igbo, so it will be time well spent.

You will have to find good study materials, good teachers, and good practice partners. Most importantly, you will have to find the discipline to study and practice and improve regularly. If you don't study regularly, you won't make much progress, or worse, you'll make lots of progress and then forget what you've learned!

The secret to fluency (since we know you want to know) is quite simple: master reading, master writing, master speaking, master listening, improve your pronunciation, and improve your vocabulary. The issue is that most people don't actually do any of these tasks well.

You see, most people only focus on one or two of these skills, or they focus on all six, but at a very cursory level. If you wish to become fluent, however, you need to focus on all six, all the time, and spend enough time with each so that you see regular progress.

Bottom line, if you want to become fluent, do this:

  1. Recognize the tonal notes in writing: In every language, there are tones as to how they are spoken. You need to recognize and identify how it is being spoken and how it is written

  2. Identify each high and low tones in speech

  3. Listen to native speakers and try imitating: Listen and watch movies based on this language. It helps in succeeding in this dive as imitating the actors twists your tongue to the required tone

  4. Recognize patterns of spelling

  5. Find a native speaker and practice talking with him/her: Find native speakers around you and practice with them. There are lots of online opportunities too that grants you access to listen to native speakers like Facebook and YouTube

  6. Learn basic greetings

  7. Read 20 minutes a day in Igbo, and from varying sources

  8. Listen to Igbo TV and radio every day

  9. Write a new essay or short story every week and get it corrected

  10. Speak weekly with others, and ideally those who can correct your mistakes

  11. Make sure your pronunciation is as spot on as can be

  12. Improve your vocabulary constantly