The awful truth before learning a language!

Right before we start learning a language, we feel really excited and ready to accomplish our new goal. We begin to read tips on how we will acquire the right accent, how we will learn more vocabulary and, in general, how we will speed up our learning. Everyone has a different approach to suggest, a better teacher or a more efficient book. So, what do we do? We take their word for it and impatiently start testing all of these “better” options, the one after the other.

While we diligently follow the tips we read, with the newest published book at hand, and truly, a quite talented teacher, we are not learning as fast as we hoped to. Why is this happening? Is it because we are not gifted or clever enough? Or are we maybe too old to start learning something new?

We keep wondering if all this is due to our lack of time or simply, our disorganization. Therefore, instead of continuing our studying of the new language, we google articles entitled “How to manage your time more effectively” or “ How to take advantage of your free time” just to make sure that we have covered another problem.

Let’s not even mention about how insecure we feel while we do exercises of listening in the new language. We get constantly annoyed by any kind of noise around us, we always blame the weird accent of the specific speakers or the overwhelming speed of the language in everyday conversations and we end up understanding only a scant fraction of what has been said, while, according to our preparation and practise, we should have understood so much more.

And now… our worst nightmare! The speaking part! We blush, we gulp, we hardly utter “h….he…..hel….hello” and nothing more can come out of our mouth. Ever! It feels like we are about to make a million mistakes, so we simply avoid speaking at all costs. It usually takes a few years before we feel confident enough to speak a foreign language, even for a few minutes.

Yes, all that happens to all of us. No exceptions. The reason is that familiarizing ourselves with a new language demands a continuous and tenacious effort. And this is something that you are not going to see written in any article, nor be confided with by any expert. Learning a new language is a process that is going to take time. In parallel, we must try hard and sacrifice other, more fun activities throughout the course of learning.

As it is natural, every single day will not be the same during this attempt. We will experience a great number of failures and somewhere in between, some successes. These are the steps, though, that will eventually guide us to the knowledge of the new language. There will come a moment, when unconsciously, we will hear something and we will fully understand it in that language. A moment that we will be reading a text and comprehend it, without the need of a dictionary. When we find ourselves among people who are native speakers of that language, without actually thinking about it, we will have answered to their questions and fluently continue our discussion with them.

If we show the necessary patience and persistence, we will reach that point. No matter how much we look forward to getting there, let’s enjoy this voyage… It is certain to take us there, when we least expect it to happen!


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