THING: Learning a Language

Bonjour! Hola! Hello!

Learning another language is amazing! I will give you some of my advice on how to go about learning another language, and what things really helped me, but first I want to share with you why this topic is so special to me.

A long time ago, in a land far…..okay just kidding. But really, a long time ago when I was a kid in elementary school I became aware of SPANISH and the Hispanic/Latino culture! Not only that, but my next door neighbors were from Mexico! My parents wanted to live where we lived because of the diversity in the community. Their decision truly shaped my LIFE and I am so grateful! 🙂

I was intrigued by the Spanish language, I wondered how it would feel to speak in Spanish and understand and be able to communicate. I truly was fascinated. Not only the language but the culture, the beauty of the Hispanic people, the culture – all of it just spoke to me.

I don’t know exactly the very first moment or the very first thing I did or said regarding my profound interest in Spanish and the Hispanic/Latino culture, but I do remember so much. I remember asking so many questions! I remember being given books by my Dad to learn Spanish. The books were delicious to my soul! One book had the alphabet and I learned that, and I loved to pronounce the letters and the words and SOUND like I spoke Spanish! I loved a book I had that had English on one side of the page and Spanish on the other! I loved listening to music and TV shows in Spanish! I loved being among people who spoke Spanish.

One of the things though, that I really really loved, was finally being able to actually communicate with another person in a language that was not native to me. When a person heard me start speaking to them in Spanish, it was as if their eyes lit up, because there was Understanding, and Connection. To be able to achieve that, was so wonderful to me.

Speaking Spanish has been such a blessing in my life. I have met so many people (including my wonderful Argentine husband) and I honestly don’t know if I have the right words to describe how much I love Spanish.

How did I learn it? First – I wanted to! I really really really Really wanted to learn Spanish! I really believe that having such a strong desire is key to learning something and having it not be too difficult.
Spanish made sense, it seemed easy, expect for a few grammatical things at first like the subjunctive (if you’ve studied Spanish you KNOW what I mean)…. for the most part it made great sense! I think one of the things I love most about Spanish is the way it sounds!

My main bits of advice for being successful at learning a language would be:

  1. Have a desire to learn the language – find one that deeply intrigues you
  2. Immerse yourself – Look for opportunities to study and discover the language
  3. Read, Speak, Write and Repeat, and Repeat and Repeat over and over and over again (Repetition is essential)
  4. Make it fun – I would learn Spanish by looking at song lyrics for example!
  5. Be humble – It’s totally normal and okay to make grammatical errors and other things when learning a language, but if you’re humble about it I found that most people genuinely admire your diligence to speak their language and they won’t laugh at you if you make a mistake when speaking, but they will probably either correct you to help you or not even mention it at all. I prefer being corrected, that way I LEARN!
  6. Enjoy the culture and the language!
  7. Study it daily – There are so many ways, books, online, videos, music, classes etc.

 

I’d love to hear from you about your love of languages! Contact me just by clicking on CONTACT at the top of the Blog 🙂

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