I was in an airplane some time ago and beside me sat this blonde British lady with a perfect touch of queens’ English. I noticed this before we boarded. However, as the plane taxed towards the runway trying to bullet into the cool clouds, her phone rang and she flowed away in French while composing a mail on her tab. Guess what language she was deploying there? German! I was stunned!
I later got to know that she speaks five major world languages fluently and has mastery of three. Just imagine having the ability to switch languages as you switch countries! Wow!
But before you can swing that professionally, here are five things that are essential in learning a new language.
1. Be Passionate about the language
Of what use is a smart car, fitted with all manners of modern miracles, without fuel? Of what use is a ship without its propeller? Passion is to life what the gas and propeller are to the smart car and ship respectively. This passion is like the oil to the mind that lubricates and drives all the external pulleys of our lives. Without passion, life would be dull and monotonous.
Why would we want to get educated?
Why should we get out of bed every morning and head to the office?
Why should we want kids?
Passion anchors life. Likewise, if you want to learn a new language, you must have a natural drive and passion towards it. It is what would keep you sailing when the sea gets rough in the new language wave and you just want to throw in the towel and head home. As the old proverb kindly states - to him that will, ways are not wanting.
Passion gives you motivation and this motivation will help you persevere.
2. Know that you can learn and master any language
The mind is amazing and when stretched. Everyone has the potential to learn and master any language effectively when the mind is opened and transformed. It begins with your perception of yourself and the world around you because this will have major influence on how you communicate with others and the behaviour you manifest.
When learning a new language, it is normal to fear making mistakes or embarrassing yourself. If you perceive this as a failure or that you are not good enough, then this will become your main obstacle to master a new language. Similarly, if you perceive mistakes as a way to help you improve your communication in a new language effectively, then you will succeed.
Our ability to learn and master any language goes beyond our wildest imagination. There is no limitation to what we can learn or do.
3. Language Learning apps
Gone are the days you needed to travel long distances and pay through your nose to learn a new language. Thanks to the power of apps, we can now learn how to cook, fix things, navigate and monitor our body vitals. You can even learn a new language all by yourself! Yes, all at the comfort of your home.
4. Deploy the power of Repetition
In learning a new language, you must behave like the toddler and deploy the power of repetition. Repeat every little word, phrase and their sounds until they become part of you. According to Zig Ziglar, ‘repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.’
5. Mingle with pro speakers
"He who walks with the wise shall be wise" and as my mentor would always say, "the company you keep determines what accompanies you". To learn a new language, you must roll with people that appreciates the language and are worth their onions therein, for therewith, can you also learn to speak it right. Listen to news in that language, listen to songs and music in that language too. Try and read magazines and interact with native through skype, or italki etc.
Conclusively, learning a new language is a fun activity, and a great opportunity to explore the rich culture of the language, its ways of life and deploy the power of speaking like a local even though you are a foreigner.