Well, here we are again, at the first day of a new year!
I have only one memory of any New Year’s Day in recent memory, specifically when I was with a study group in Haifa, Israel, visiting the Technion. Beforehand, however, I walked into an open manhole. Thankfully, I was not hurt.
On a day like this, there is a lot of reflection, and it seems that as time continues to amble along many of these reflections will be forgotten.
That doesn’t mean that reflections are not in order, however!
So what could I do to make languages of the world more real in my life?
- In an earlier post I exhorted you to act immediately in the event that you had any desire to learn a language…
Well, as it turns out, I am sometimes surprisingly hypocritical. I have a desire to learn a language, and then I think to myself, “don’t I have enough already?”
I don’t have to learn all of them fluently. Even if I just learned them to a basic degree, that would be okay. What is important is that I not be seriously handicapped by language barriers in the world. This is what I do what I do.
So, from here on out: if I have a desire to learn a language, I act upon it. I follow my own advice.
- Likewise, I also have to realize more easily when it is time to forget a language, no matter how much time I have invested in it. Sometimes the magic dies down, and there’s little that can be done about that. In that case, I need to find magic elsewhere, and not feel like a “quitter” or a “loser” for given up on a language.
- I also need to let memories of past failures stop weighing me down. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a very sharp memory when it comes to events, and as a result I find it difficult to forgive myself for past errors, no matter how long ago they were.
As a result, sometimes there are times in which I feel that I got “answered in English” because I wasn’t good enough or used an incorrect construction and I hold onto that unnecessarily.
- And I also need to stop insisting that I understand every word. Even when watching TV shows in my Native Language (something that I do with family members, primarily), I don’t understand every word, so why should I hold a similar standard with any acquired languages?
- More custom courses on my learning programs…that is, I put in the words myself.
- Get speaking exercises done more often, even in my strongest languages.
- Get pen pals for any language I believe needs practice.
- Stop questioning myself so much.
Don’t let you dreams be weighed down by anything.
Go get ‘em!