Wow! That went by quick! 2 weeks to living in Chile-in the books! I can’t believe it’s already, and only, been two weeks. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but yet, it also feels like I’ve done so much.
. . .
This year (2018) has already been a crazy year, all about doing strange & fascinating things (and it’s still only January)!
. . .
Listening to people speak so fast in Spanish.
Living in another country (alone).
Not a thing about this year has been normal (compared to all the past year’s of my life).
. . .
Seriously, though, listening to people speak another language has become so fascinating to me because they do it with such ease (obviously I know it’s their native language), yet for me to follow along, takes a lot (and I mean an extra amount) of effort.
And, every time I listen to people speak Spanish, it’s so fascinating to think that that’s how I sound to them when I speak English.
. . .
And, as if listening wasn’t hard enough, when I think I know what they’re talking about, I’m usually wrong because I missed an important word or part of the conversation.
. . .
Living here in Chile is like being a kid all over again and needing to start over at 0 & learn how to speak all over again & train my ears to listen to a foreign language as if it’s normal.
But, I’ve asked myself this question multiple times since living here:
“Exactly, how, do you learn & become fluent in a completely new language as an adult?”
And, if you came here for answers, I’m sorry but I’m still figuring out the answer myself, but I can say:
Part of it is because our brain isn’t as fresh as it was when we were babies, so it’s harder for you to soak up and retain things & catch on to the tones in peoples voices.
So, you end up having a slight accent when you speak because that’s what you grew up hearing and that’s what your brain thinks words should sound like. And because you have an accent, you feel subconscious about speaking, in fear of being made fun of. And because of that fear, you just don’t speak, and you never practice, and you never learn.
So, what I’m trying to say is, that if you are trying to learn a new language:
Don’t be afraid to speak it because that’s truly the only way you will even come close to fluency in that language.
But, let me warn you, it will take a long time.
But, it will definitely be worth it!
Thanks for reading!
Now get out there and go learn a new language & don’t give up on it!