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Learning A New Language at Forty-Three


Most people embark on learning a new language when they are in high school or even college. For most this is just a requirement for graduation and for some a chance to help prepare for their dream career. There is really no right or wrong answer we all have our reasons for making the choices that we make. In high school (twenty-four years ago) I decided that I wanted to take French after three years of Latin I figure it would be easy. Well to my dismay it was not easy in fact I did horrible. I am not sure if it was the fault of the teacher, the class, or me. Back then it could have been any combination, but I quickly learned that it was a bad combination.

It made very me sad that one of my dreams was something that I was failing, but at that point I did not have the resources to make it better I was not a strong enough of a person or student… but it was still something that rested in the back of my mind.

Twenty-six years later… my entire life is on hold. I watch as the hours, days and weeks slip away. I just finished a week of French midterms. Written, Oral and Reading… it is a harsh flashback of my past. Some of the French I remember most of it is unfamiliar to me. I was thinking that going back to school I had conquered my fears of the language and I was coasting though with white, red and blue colors. In my mind I was doing very well but that fantasy was quickly assassinated as I learned a way to record my spoken voice as I read an assignment and then replay it for me to critique. I listened to my first recording and I quickly realized that I had completely butchered the French language into pieces that were no longer recognizable. What I had thought sounded perfect coming out of my mouth, where no more than the sounds of nails scratching down a chalkboard. To say the least this was not only humbling but also very depressing. It seemed that all the studying and hours spent has only allowed me to become no better than I was in high school. So my game plan was to study more and ask more questions, which caused me to become more confused and frustrated. Even though I have no plans of abandon this adventure again. I have seriously started to question my sanity… I knew that learning French is difficult. Although I did not expect for it to gut and fillet me and serve me with a side of low-fat tartar sauce.

I write this to remind you that the saying what does not kill us makes us stronger may just be a bit overrated. But this is not to discourage you but to help you find the correct direction and to encourage you. There are different ways to learn a new language. I the main thing that I have learned is to always remember never give up and try as many techniques and methods to learn as you can. There are many sources to learn; books, internet sites, and study at home programs.

But even after the worse day of studying and one of the most difficult weeks of work and school, I am setting here looking at my note and trying to cram all this information into my head, in hopes of it making sense. I have dreams of opening my mouth one day and this beautiful French just flows from my being. There is a saying”Fall down seven times. Get up eight“. I am determined to make this dream happen. I must remind myself of this daily.

If you have dreams of learning a new language no matter how old you are. Never give up and be true to yourself and you will one day speak the language of your dream. But never give up if there is a will, there is alway a way!


Source by John-Michael Korpal

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