On Learning: Foreign Language

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❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞ ‒ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Are you trying to learn a foreign language? What language(s) are you trying to learn?

One of the things that I’m interested in learning throughout my life is language. In fact, I’d like to learn as much as five different languages with reading fluency before I die. Right now, I can read and speak my native Hawaiian Pidgin English and American Standard English, but I’m hoping to at least learn German (this is currently my main focus of my foreign language learning), French, Latin, and possibly conversational Lithuanian as well as to long-term goals in language learning.

I took foreign language courses throughout my education in school starting from high school where I studied Japanese for two years and then in college where I studied Spanish for two years. I can remember bits and pieces, but I remember not being interested in it because it was a requirement, and I didn’t really take those languages because I was interested in it to do more in those target languages. More so, at the time that I took those courses, I don’t believe I understood at all about language learning. I barely understood English grammar more than on an instinctive level. I didn’t really understand what declensions were and I barely understood conjugation and tenses even in English. It did take starting to learn a foreign language to start learning English on a more instinctive level. Ironically, for some reason, these types of knowledge didn’t really click on any level until I already graduated as foreign language learning remained one of my hardest subject in university. It’s funny how that works sometimes.

I’ve recently started using Memrise, Mango Languages, and random sites on the internet and some resources that I get from my local library to look for foreign language learning materials. There’s a lot of resources out there to help you learn many different languages. One of the things that I’m coming to realize that it’s truly all about the time and effort you place into learning. I’ve started using a casual sense of the Pomodoro technique for language learning so I know I’m at least setting aside some time and dedicating it all to my learning. It’s been useful to make sure I study at least 30 minutes a day. I like using the Memrise app on my phone. Even simply the process of sitting down and setting aside time helps to bring a productive mood out, which I feel has helped to retain enthusiasm into learning more.

Learning a foreign language is something that I’ve been trying since I was a little girl, but I never stuck it out with the consistency. Now that I’m actually comprehending what I’m learning and trying to make it fun, hopefully I’ll stick it out much longer than I’ve done so far.

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