New languages – tried and given up?

Learning a new language…ever tried and given up?

Credit : raw pixel

To date, I’ve taken up four languages (including english). In those experiences, I embedded three of them and abandoned the fourth disappointed.

You may wonder why I share this story given the topic of my book. Great question! It is fair to say that humans have limitations – that’s a fact. As much as I dreamt of flying freely as a youngster, it was never going to be unless I obtained a pilot’s licence (which incidentally is on my bucket list)…the fact is humans are not designed to fly unaided notwithstanding Hollywood’s take on super heroes. 

So, how is this relevant to my language experience? 

My multilingualism occurred through opportunity (and necessity) when my parents moved us from an english speaking environment to a french one with a year “layover” in Germany. I forgot my german over the ensuing years. Then happily picked it up again during a 3-month intensive course about five years back. A year later, an opportunity to learn mandarin presented itself. I worked diligently at it – the tones – a challenge but I persevered until I was whisked in for emergency surgery. Classes, it is fair to say, went by the wayside. I fell behind and struggled to catch up, my motivation then evaporated…

My takeaway from the experience was recognizing how essential visualization (seeing yourself doing it) and grit (relentless determination) are to success. When your mind and energy are in sync, we can learn almost anything! 

I know this to be true for each of us – as kids we “sponged up” new skills – so we’re clearly capable. I encourage you to explore the tools in the resource section to re-acquire those youthful and useful skills, as adults…. 

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