A list of top 5 positive attitudes to picking up a new language:
1. Read New And Old Books:
If you are seeking knowledge, go for books that support and feed your quest for it. It does not matter how old or how popular the book is. Most bestsellers now are delivered to you by movie makers who are willing to spend millions of dollars. If you cannot read, watch the story.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.
When you turn 40, like yours truly :), you will seek new reasons from your childhood to understand how you’ve come to be the person you are now. Old titles then become your source of inspiration and new books are your guide to future self-growth.
We all learn from people who have experienced the journey before us. Do not feel disappointed if you have just discovered a book written in 1950. How many have heard of “The Absorbent Mind” by Maria Montessori which was written more than 80 years ago? Only those in the know (Montessorians) or want to know about childhood education would have heard of it or knew of the title. The author would not have written it if she had not felt so strongly about the subject.
2. Know the name of the language you want to speak.
Get involve with native people. If you can’t travel (no money, not willing to spare the time to travel), go online and meet them on social sites. Be specific and learn to pronounce the name of the language in other languages. Spanish, Spanyol, Espanol,西班牙. If you are passionate, you will want to find out every detail of how this language is spoken by people everywhere. Treat it like your mother or native tongue. Better yet, eat the food, sing their songs, dance to their music, get yourself immersed early even before you are ready to speak your first sentence.
3. Be realistic.
It is impossible to USE the 11 languages that you know how to speak. In practice, people need only 1 language to survive anyway. Bilingual people use two languages effectively only to get along with others who do not speak their native language.
There is only one universal language that works for everyone, the language of intuition. When one person is looking at you across the hall and smile, your intuition tells you he may be interested to get to know you. 😉 Your instinct guides you to either ignore it or smile back. Making new friends is just a smile away. I just met a new friend this week, a Korean woman who sends her daughter to school everyday like me. At first I thought she was Chinese. After the school bus drove off, we started chatting in English. Her English is not perfect. And I don’t know Korean. It does not matter. We could still communicate.
4. Choose your language carefully.
You may think that Hindi is not for you but as soon as you start listening to Hindi songs, you could sing the song at the first note. If you have been speaking a new language for many years and still speak with a native accent, it does not mean you are bad at learning languages. “Changing accents does not make you speak clearer”. Read more.
5. Be loyal to the language.
The language should feel simple and comfortable to use from the beginning. Drive yourself to succeed from the start. That will motivate you to do more and stay loyal overtime. Bilingualism is an acquired skills; there are many techniques and lesson plans. There is no subsititute and short cut to fluency.