I have been learning foreign languages since childhood.
So far I have been able to reach the level of a local speaker in English, a very good speaker in French, a basics of Russian and Spanish, and currently studying German at a university.
And if there is one final lesson I have learned over the years, it is this: Learning a foreign language makes you feel like a fool. A complete, complete, complete fool.
I’m currently abroad in Germany and I’ll tell you something – not a day goes by that I don’t fool myself. I make mistakes, I stumble over my words because of spelling mistakes, I mix all the rules of grammar together, mess it up and throw it in the trash.
One of my German flat mates doesn’t even bother to talk to me because I rarely understand what she is saying. She may think I am more stupid than I am.
But here’s the thing: that’s fine. It really is
It took me a long time to get to this point. When I moved from the Czech Republic to the UK where I was born, I could not even order a cup of coffee without standing in line and preparing for five minutes before shivering and sweating.
I had a piece of paper that said I spoke like a native speaker, and yet I felt that every sentence I said aloud only confirmed that I was English. How bad i was
Talk about impostor syndrome, am I okay?
I have felt the same way with the French. I used to be the best student in my French class and I was proud of that, which put me in a completely unnecessary pressure to always perform 100%. Especially when I went to France. And especially when people praised my “wonderful French”.
Oh no! He says my French is great! Now I really need to prove to them that they were right!
* Palm of the face. *
German is something that really grounded me and made me look for languages for them – learning is a really difficult thing, and everyone who tries to do it deserves all the praise in the world. Is.
Languages are fun. A challenge. There is no way to compete or verify your self-confidence. Speaking a foreign language will inevitably make you feel like a fool at some point because you are literally like a child who is trying to communicate without enough words and grammar knowledge so that you Be able to present yourself as an intelligent adult.
This is disappointing. Even insulting at times. But that’s fine too. And why is it here?
It helps to prioritize other people’s opinions about me.
I am going to make the people happy. I really dislike it inside myself and I’m trying to figure it out right now.
There are billions of people on this planet so chances are not everyone will like you. You can accept it now and start saying no more.
I’ve always cared about what people thought of me. I wanted to show them how intelligent I am, how admirable and respectable I am. She will say what an admirable special snowflake she is.
Except that no one cares about you, unless they are close to you. People have their own lives. They definitely make an opinion about you, but in the end they don’t care. Everyone is too selfish for that.
Speaking foreign languages has helped me a lot in this regard. I can’t even tell you how many people thought I was completely dumb, deaf or had a pile of dung in my brain. When someone explains something to you four times, after which you still stare in confusion and this helpless “what?” Repeat, eventually they give up.
But that’s fine because as luck would have it, you’ll know what they’ve been saying for about ten minutes all the time. A light bulb is on in your brain. Oh my God, that’s what they meant! They may still think you are disappointed, but you have just improved your language skills.
I will never forget how this Irish girl told me five years ago, “She should have known better.” He practically had to write this sentence for my 17-year-old in poor English, but I learned a new sentence that day as I gained a new understanding of the Irish accent.
I’m sure he doesn’t remember my tangled stare in the kitchen freezer at our workplace, but I’m sure he remembers the language lesson. Perfect! We can overcome embarrassment and take a step towards being able to write this article without making mistakes.
Fooling yourself on a regular basis results in less shit about what people think because if you have to care about everyone who thinks you’re really out of it, your The head will be like a searching air. The ball, as we say in Czech.
Basically, you will burst into frustration. This check phrase has no meaning. Although people say
It shows how social interaction is the tip of the iceberg.
I never spoke English to my flat mates. We mostly speak German only.
This means that our communication is somewhat interrupted – we can’t talk in depth on summary topics, and when we do, I understand 50% of what they say. I still manage to handle the conversation somehow, and when I don’t really believe, I just say, “I don’t know what you just said.”
She laughed. I laughed. They explain Time to move on.
It makes me think about how little we really do in social interaction. With all this knowledge I am full of different topics, opinions and values and principles, and yet for my flat mates, I laugh because they have just learned that banana skin is called “benign”, which That’s ridiculous because “scal” means “scarf” in German.
The banana has a scarf.
You got the summary. Here I am writing articles about different things on the internet, and yet in German, I am like a shadow of what is actually going on inside me. It really makes you think about how complex humans are below the surface.
Our minds are amazing and we never know what the other person is going through – their worries, their fears, their joys, their hopes, their skills in areas we don’t know about.
It teaches you open-mindedness, humility and compassion.
It challenges me mentally and emotionally.
When I speak German for a long time, my brain is fried. It literally hurts.
It was even worse when I tried to read something in Russian in high school – not only did I have to understand the words but I also had to figure out what each letter meant! My partner is currently facing the same problem with the Russian, which proves that I am not alone.
It is tiring to keep your mind busy expanding to such a high level of potential. It just goes to show how rich it is.
Just imagine – you are forcing your mind to think so hard that you run out of energy. I wish it didn’t cause headaches and make me feel like I want to watch a reality TV show to fill my mind with useless junk and then go to bed for ten hours.
Oh okay. Knowledge has its own value.
There are innumerable benefits to learning languages, from opening yourself to new cultures to increasing your ability to express yourself and therefore your ability to experience the world more fully.
Feeling we have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally is just a side effect.
All the previous points melt into a simple golden throat: It’s not good to feel stupid, but it will boost your self-confidence in the long run.
It has taught me that no matter how much I embarrass myself, as long as I am happy in my skin, everything is fine. People forget. People don’t care
And when they are in the process of erasing this strange confrontation with you from their minds, you keep growing. Keep learning You keep challenging yourself to become the best version you can possibly be.
And you have an explosion. Because learning a language is more fun than anything.