The purpose of this post is to tell a story; a personal real life experience of how someone learned a language. This is a story that deserves to be told and is 100% of what you need if you want to learn a foreign language.
- How did I learn a language? – Introduction
- How did I learn a language and why?
- What prevents people from learning a foreign language?
- What idea can help others learn a language?
At this point I recommend you jump right into the interview above. The rest of this post below is just my rants about language learning; which I have a passion for, but might not be as interesting. So go to the second part above called ‘how to learn a language and why’.
My rants about this language interview
Why is it good? It is specific, instructional and authentic and not written by a linguist, but by a man on the street.
It is not written in some broad abstract ivory tower way; rather, it a very concrete interview with someone who learned a language to the fluency level. It asks the three most relevant questions for language learners.
This person started studying his language with no knowledge of his target language as a adult. The result is this:
- He now communicates perfectly, almost as a native speaker, in fact, native speakers have told me they hear absolutely no mistakes, with the exception of sometimes a very light but nice American accent.
Note: When I am in a club with him and the music is playing, people do not hear an accent.
His own modesty would prevent him from saying he is at this level so I would rather convey what native speakers have told me.
I think this will be of a great value to readers, because probability the most frequent question I get is ‘how do I learn any language?’.
Most people feel intimidated and feel that languages are either acquired as a child though a bilingual education or learned by the gifted.
This is not true. Please read on.
For ease of reading I have divided this narrative into three additional parts. Each part answers a question.
An interview with a language learner
I chose the interview format as it is the most interesting and readable.
The language he learned was Polish. It is one of the hardest languages to learn for an English native speaker. This is because of the grammar and pronunciation which is foreign to Western European languages. However, I think it is the best language to hear a story about because it is so challenging. It is not something relatively easy like Spanish or Italian.
I felt it better to have someone else tell their story, rather than my own experience with language learning here. This is because I might lose some of my objectivity and show partiality towards my method of how to learn a language.
How to learn a language feedback
If you have any comments or feedback or personal experiences with you or someone you know who has studied a foreign language with success, please let me know. I think it is a story worth being read, for any one who wants to know how to learn any language.
Read part two of this series here and find out: why and how I learned a language.