Coming from a background where learning a language was mandatory, while growing up, I have seen just how important and truly interesting it is to know another language. With learning a new language, you also get a deep connection into learning about culture, tradition, habits and beliefs of another country. Everything once considered different becomes close to you, and with a blink of an eye you establish new connections and gain acceptance and value.
Every language that you learn shows the people who are native that you care, and that feeling is wonderful creating daily interconnections and bonds. As someone who is currently learning German, I can just see how it affects my daily thoughts, encounters and perspective. Now, don’t get me wrong. German people like speaking English too, but something about me trying to speak German, no matter how bad it is, I see how much people appreciate that. Through language I have learned just how much they care about climate change and the planet. In addition, how well they established the automobile industry we know today, why is it important to give away for free what is not needed anymore at home and just how useful someone else will find it. How cozy german christmas markets are, why do they love a good beer and so on. I can go on for days. Of course, no language comes super easy, especially the speaking part. But by setting a goal and having the willingness, you are destined for success.
What do I believe is the secret of learning a language? Pure consistency. Set aside every day 30 minutes, or an hour. The time frame does not matter much since sometimes it is difficult to take time from our daily busy lives. What matters is that there is no skip day. If that means 30 minutes every day, that means 30 minutes every day, no excuse. Another factor may come across as unusual, but speak to yourself in that language. Practice conversations out loud. Expose yourself in front of a mirror or in a room and pretend that you are speaking to someone.Watch videos and repeat them over and over. And last but not least, try to write it down. Maybe for some people typing is better but there is scientific research that suggests that everything we write down with our hand starts being a part of us thus, helping us memorize better. I guess it’s time for a bit of paper and pen.
Don’t ever be afraid of diving into a new language since maybe it just opens a new door for life experience and opportunity. You know what they say, you get culturally richer by every new language you learn.
Good luck on the quest.