Hi guys ^^
I had no intention of posting today, because I had nothing to blog about. Plight of someone trying to write about their journey learning a language, no learning = no postings 🙂
However, I was just reading around forums, and blogs and I was noticing an increasing number of language learners who gage their progress of understanding something, and well that is all perfectly fine, I do it too but they then make statements along the lines of
If I can understand this, then I should be able to quit learning? Right?
Which, I don’t know why but seemed to really piss me off ._. they make these statements on the basis that learning stops. When learning is a never-ending story. Once you start it it’s never going to come to an end. You can’t learn it all. Ever. And statements like these are what give language learning that vibe that it’s either all
1. SUPER HARD AND UNATTAINABLE ; or
2. ITS THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD
Because the way I see it is from saying if I can understand this then I can “quit” you reach a level like for example I reached being able to actually read kpop articles on my favourite sites like Dispatch (its gossip but fun) and other places but I didn’t say :
Oh. I can read this. Now I can end my learning journey, this is all I ever wanted!
No. I decided to aim higher, and higher for me was novels. I haven’t really gotten there but I’m still going. Each day I continue with Korean, it’s a choice I made and I enjoy my choice of learning another language its made me see things a little different from the way I used to. Opened a new set of eyes to my world.
Now from thinking it’s either a) super hard and unattainable ; or b) the easiest thing in the world. We give language learning a bad name from both of those ideas, to me anyway. When someone things its super hard and unattainable they’ll never truly try to reach their potential, which is disheartening because they’ll also be less likely to try another language. And just like that a future language learning lover is killed.
By thinking its super easy we have the same effect, my friend once wanted to learn Spanish but was afraid it was a hard thing to do, learning a language on your own, no classes and just general learning to teach yourself something and I had previously learned Spanish and French and didn’t mind the learning experience (it was school subjects not of my choice though) and I thought I was being helpful by telling her “No, its super easy to learn a language, especially something like Spanish, I was learning really fast when I was learning as a school subject” ~ what I unknowingly did was give her the idea that it would all be a walk in the park, which I at the time believed was more helpful than scaring her.
It had the opposite effect in the long-run of things. My friend did start learning Spanish because I had successfully convinced her that language learning was super easy, but she lasted barely a year, she said it wasn’t as easy as I had made it out to be. It was really hard.
Thinking about what she said then and what I read I really think if you know what its like to learn a language you should be honest, its hard, its no walk in the park, but its also fun and exciting not only do you learn a new language you land up learning a new you. I know I have these past few years and I wish there was more people willing to try and experience these feelings. Work through the pain (metaphorical) enjoy the process no matter how hard it seems at times and you’d be surprised how much it changes you as a person and so much more!
There is a lot that happens during a language learning journey ; apart from the ups and down we I’m sure all experience every now and then and if you don’t ; well you aren’t human and I don’t envy you. I like the different emotions that get conjured up! ^^ its so much fun, I’m sure I don’t have to explain it all to you guys lol.
This is the way I see language learning ; its not something that once you can understand what you think is just alright you can say to yourself “I think I can quit learning now” ._. if that’s your mindset you honestly shouldn’t have started it to begin with.
Its like the saying about a cat : Don’t take me if you can’t give me forever. ♥ I believe the same holds true when you take the pledge (metaphorical) to learn a language seriously ; don’t take it unless you can give it forever. Because learning never stops and really why would you want it to? Good or the bad times. Its fun no matter what.
So just try and remember this when you think you know all you “need” to know and also remember how to be honest with someone when they want to learn a language. Be honest and don’t make like its all breezy.
I know this post was really long and probably you lost me mid way ; but if you made it to the end then wow high five to you 🙂 <3 and thanks for reading. Leave your opinions in the comments. I’d like to know if its just me that’s crazy or not ; do you think someone can say they “know enough and can quit learning” or its a forever process. I don’t mean till your ninety but in the sense that you can never truly know everything about your target language (or anything else for that matter!)
And I made it an open thread so anything else even non-related can be commented on 😀