Life · On learnings

Learning a new language

 

Last December 2015, I pledged that I will challenge myself more into learning French, and will carry that promise to 2016. I started the basics back in college but I had to pause it for a while. Now that I have enough time, I am re-learning it through Duolingo, joining online groups to practice my skills in conversations, and listening to Carla Bruni’s and Stacey Kent’s French songs.

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Reasons why I want to learn a new language

Learning a new language is not easy. It requires a whole lot of patience for yourself, and perseverance. I chose the app Duolingo because it prompts me about my daily target. Here are the top 2 reasons why I want to learn French.

  • Discover a new culture

I have always wanted to learn French as a kid. I am constantly in awe of how it is used in daily life. I find French songs soothing, and French movies uniquely interesting. Learning the language will help me understand not only these things but their culture as well. As they say, language and culture are different sides of the same coin.

  • Be more open-minded

Every person is a product of his own environment. To learn and understand a new language entails learning not only words and objects but also perspectives and values. Hence, by learning French, I will be able to see the world from a different point-of-view.

 

Experience of learning a new language

My road to learning French is not a walk in the park. The other day, I was conversing with someone in French. As a newbie, I made a mistake. I chose a word that does not even exist! A more experienced learner corrected me and I am grateful that he did.

I told that experience to a friend and she asked me “aren’t you humiliated of being corrected?” No, humiliation is not part of the process. Learning a new language is like learning how to walk as an 8month old baby. It is inevitable that you will stumble along the way.

Instead of feeling embarrassment, I felt happiness that I could, at the very least, communicate in short sentences. I see it this way: if I did not chat with some French-speaking individuals, I will not be able to learn the right word to use.

I still have a lot to grasp to become proficient in this 3rd language. I am definite that there will be more mistakes along the way. Another thing that’s for sure, I will be acknowledging more corrections, explanations, and suggestions.

If you are learning a new language as I, never be afraid to make mistakes. The word itself may sound negative but the thought behind the word ‘mistake’ can be as positive as learning a new language in the right way. As Alexander McQueen, the British fashion designer and couturier once said, you can only go forward by making mistakes.

Comment or send me an email about a new language you learned or are learning. Nous pourrions peut-être discuter en français? smiley jpg

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2 thoughts on “Learning a new language

  1. This post made me think about my goal similar to yours. I started learning Japanese late last year but I didn’t carry on for some reason. Thanks for ‘nudging’ me.

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