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Wellness

What It’s Like To Learn A New Language

Learning a new language is a challenge, especially if you’re starting with a foreign or archaic language. Sometimes learning a new language takes a year or more, but that doesn’t mean that a person shouldn’t make the effort or invest in an immersion or immersion program if they know someone who knows someone who has already done it.

I’ve used learning a new language as my first foray into the social world. In 2013, my husband and I immigrated to a new country. So instead of learning how to play the guitar with my new husband at our kitchen table, we sat with other immigrants for four days learning to read, write, speak basic Spanish, and to cook by roasting vegetables to make a variety of salads. It wasn’t easy at first, and I didn’t realize at the time how much my husband was helping me practice speaking with him, because the more we spoke, the more I began to understand who I was. Today, I speak with him comfortably more than I ever had before. I feel more confident and happy in myself and my abilities. I also know exactly what my husband means when he says, “You don’t have to worry about what I’m saying, because you don’t have to listen.” It’s amazing to think that we’re starting this process with a language, though we already have a strong relationship with one other person in the world.

At the outset of the process, we did not have any family members who spoke a language other than English, because all of our family members were already well-educated. But as we began to learn more, and more people began to teach us, I began to realize how powerful language truly is. After only a few months of teaching, I was able to confidently navigate a public space, make casual phone calls, and communicate when speaking Spanish with people who were much closer to me than I was to myself.

Once I began getting used to those new abilities, I discovered a new love in music. I wanted to learn more. For me, the most important thing about learning new languages is having the ability to listen to anything that I hear in a language other than English. I have learned so much from talking to people who’ve been studying for more than a year. It is impossible to know everything, but listening to people who have taken time and effort to learn a language that can be understood by a non-native speaker is so incredibly rewarding. Here’s what you need to get off to a great start in your new language learning journey and you just have to know when to take that very first step and follow in their footsteps.

1) Take Action Now! Start a Blog

You are the start of this journey. That can be you or it can be someone (like me). No matter who takes the first step of becoming a language learner or not, they will always be at the forefront in this quest for understanding. Even if you know next to nothing about learning a new language, it’s important to continue learning as you take that first step in your life. Here are some things that have helped me along the way on my journey to learning about myself:

Create a blog. Write about whatever interests you. I created the blog “My Language Journey” when I was about a year into reading, studying, and speaking three different languages. It wasn’t pretty. It was only about six posts at the end. But I kept reading and writing about the language, and it was a great way to build up my confidence. That confidence in the beginning can lead to success later on, because it keeps you motivated and inspired even when you know you can’t accomplish everything that you want to yet.

In the end, I never stopped.

My blog is still alive today and I wrote a new post two days ago. Every day I take my first step in doing the steps I have outlined and I learn something that I can implement into my own language learning journey.

2) Start a Class

If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are a new student looking to move forward in your own language learning journey. You may have heard of a language class, a language course, or a language club. You may know that a certain city is the best for learning a language, and you want to make sure that you live near a friend or family member who can help you with setting up a class in that city. These places are a great way to start learning a language. However, before you jump in with both feet, keep a couple of things in mind.