6 Common mistakes when learning a new language
by Ana Jimena Hernandez
Learning a new language should be exciting. Actually, learning anything should be exciting. But sometimes people forget that every achievement has a process and it is your responsibility to enjoy it. Many people struggle with new languages, most of them get frustrated because they can't communicate properly, some of them decide to take the risk, some of them quit without having begun to do it.
According to linguisticsociety.org there are 6500 languages around the world, and there are many people who can speak more than four languages!
If you are reading this, you are probably one of those brave souls who decided to conquer this learning achievement. However, it is understandable learning a new language isn't something magical, and sometimes we make some mistakes that make us feel we are not having fun.
1. Having no patience.
You are aware learning is a process. Sometimes we wish we were a superhero or a wizard! But unfortunately, for this specific case we are humans and it takes time to learn. You must focus in your progress and forget about the time; time is relative for each person and if you worry about time you will be missing the fun.
2. Believing It must be hard.
As we said before, learning is a process, but it doesn't mean that it must be hard. Remember the mind is powerful and if you are going to tell yourself that, you are going to believe it and it is definitely going to be hard. You don’t have to suffer, that is not the point. You just must be aware that you must be disciplined and consistent and that learning requires effort. Find the best way for you to learn and forget about the negativity.
3. Getting frustrated when you don't understand everything.
It happens, especially if you talk to native people, but it is normal, they are talking fast, it’s their own language, you probably would do the same when you talk yours. You will learn if you keep talking, that’s the point. You always could ask them if you are lost in the conversation, but usually context helps a lot. If you want to do more, you could watch a movie and hear native people speaking, use subtitles, so it would be easier to catch some words and understand their pronunciation.
4. Focusing on your mistakes.
Ironically, this is probably the most common mistake. You are too hard with yourself. You need to calm down and understand mistakes will make you improve. If you are aware of them, it will be easy to fix them. Everybody makes mistakes. Even native speakers. Languages are complex, you must learn grammar and vocabulary, and understand when you read and listen. So, as we said before, focus on your achievements. Mistakes are part of the adventure, embrace them and move on!
5. Being insecure about pronunciation.
Some languages have special sounds, as you are not a native speaker, your tongue is not used to make some sounds and pronunciation could be complicated at the beginning. You must to remember that you are learning, and you've made a lot of progress, so you just must ask or check it on some app to be sure. Nowadays there are a lot of apps to help you. You can also record yourself and native speakers and repeat the words you find more difficult as many times as you need to reproduce their sound correctly. Find the funnest way, technology gives you a lot of possibilities.
6. Being worried because you don’t know all the words.
Actually, most people don’t know. Not even native speakers know all the words. Vocabulary is something that you learn step by step; reading, talking, listening, writing, it is the only way, you know that. So, don’t allow yourself to get frustrated with this. Feel satisfied every time a new word appears, because that means that you are going to have a new word to learn, and that’s great! If you want to improve your vocabulary, talk, read, listen and write as much as you can. You will see.
Always remember there are no limitations when you are trying to achieve something, in this case, learning a new language. Embrace your mistakes, your progress, your achievements. Failure is part of living, but it is how you rise again that gives you the meaning.