Learning a New Language: My Story

by C. Brown

Learning a new language is a wonderful endeavor, full of new and interesting challenges. I tell people that it is possible for everyone, no matter what age you are.

At first, I did not know if I could learn another language. In my case, it was Spanish.  Learning the new language, however, was something that I really wanted to do. My family and I were going on a vacation to a seaside, Spanish resort. I wanted to be able to talk to the locals. I was determined to learn.

 I took classes and did my homework. I became a good student. I practiced every day. At first it was hard, and I wasn’t very good. But over time, and with much practice, I was speaking a foreign language!

It’s Not Rocket Science

In most cases, learning a second language is perceived as an impossible achievement, reserved only for talented individuals. Nothing can be further from the truth. In my experience, I can easily say that anyone can learn another language if they “need to” or “really want to.” You do not have to discover complicated physical formulas or chemical reactions. Just follow a few basic study routines and repeat them over and over again.

Second, the major challenge of learning a second language is that you have to practice, again and again, day by day, week to week, year to year. You must continue to practice no matter how boring it may be. It requires motivation and strength of will. Perseverance is key.

It’s Like Building a Muscle

You must exercise regularly to develop your muscles. As soon as you stop exercising, your muscles will begin to deteriorate. This is also related to language learning. Even if you speak the language well today, it will begin to get worse as soon as you stop speaking it. So, it should a continuous process until you are able to master it very well. Like going to the gym regularly to build muscle strength, the mastery of your new language will build strength with regular practice.

The Vacation was Wonderful

Learning Spanish made the vacation that much better. The seaside, Spanish resort was wonderful, and I understood much of what the locals were talking about. I even made some friends, some of whom I keep in touch with (in Spanish, of course) to this day.  

One day I realized something. I was a young man and I spoke to strangers in their language. It was a thrill that many people older- and even younger- than I was had not yet reached the level I had attained in speaking another language. It wasn’t easy at first, but it was a challenge which I faced, and I am glad I overcame it.

So, what are you waiting for? Learn that new language. You will so enjoy it!