Learning a language: don’t fear mistakes

Learning a new language is incredibly difficult. It is much more than just translating “hello” to “hola.” In many ways, learning a language is learning a new way of thinking. Languages rarely translate meaning between each other directly or perfectly. Words have different feelings from each other, and the way sentences get put together put different emphasis on verbs and subjects. Changing your thought process this drastically is a bit scary. How can it possibly be done?

Well, it can be done, and many people have done it throughout the world and throughout history. However, it takes a lot of time, and most importantly it takes a lot of mistakes. Perfectionism is the enemy of learning a language. A lot of people stunt their language learning process when they worry too much about mistakes.

What if you sound silly? What if you make no sense? These aren’t really “if” questions, and more accurately “when” questions. You will sound silly. You will make no sense at times. This is all a part of learning a new language. The question is what you will do when you sound silly and make no sense? Will you be discouraged or will you push through until you get it right?

Those that push through are the ones that will learn a new language. Those that avoid mistakes, entirely, will be stuck on their journey to learn a new language. This is not to say that you should celebrate your mistakes. Your goal should be to speak the language correctly, but you must recognize that mistakes are unavoidable in the quest for language.


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