For a long time I thought learning a new language at this point in my life was kind of futile. I was under the impression that if you don’t learn a language when you are a baby, it’s almost impossible to learn it. If you think about it though, that seems like it can’t be right. As adults we know basic sentence structure, parts of speech, grammar etc. and even if it’s not the same for all languages we know it does exist in some way for most all languages. That should make it easier, no?
What makes learning a language difficult as an adult is that it is so much easier to speak in our native language. Our minds are predisposed to our first language and so it’s hard to think in a new or different way. But ultimately learning a new language is like learning any other skill. It takes, patience, practice, and perseverance. All of that is hard when you already speak one language fluently because not being able to properly communicate is frustrating and so it is easy to fall back on the form of communication that we know.
Currently I’m learning Spanish and I’m starting Japanese, both of which I’ve been primarily been learning on my own using Duolingo. I have co-workers also trying to learn Spanish and we have “Spanish Club” after work every* week were we meet up for a drink or something and we try to speak only in Spanish.
For me learning new languages is about being able to connect with more people in my personal life and being able to accomodate more people in my professional life. And honestly, I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.
*we try to do it every week, but it does not always happen 😦