I’ve decided to become a socially conscious person by attempting to learn other languages that aren’t my first language. I studied American Sign Language (ASL) a few years ago, and it really helped me understand the beginning steps for learning other languages. Thinking in another language is, of course, the hardest part and when you get some type of training in that field, it genuinely helps with you ability to pick up other languages.
I’ve started using Duolingo and Memrise to learn Spanish. Half of my family speaks Spanish and I’ve never understood so I figured now would be a perfect time. Also, more and more Spanish people move here to the US so I felt it was beneficial to learn and communicate with more people (pretty much the same reason I pursued ASL).
Learning a language on your own is actually pretty difficult though. The apps help immensely, but I attempted to speak Spanish to someone who spoke it for the very first time a few weeks ago, and her response was, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Because apparently I pronounced everything wrong. That pushed my confidence back a little bit, so now I’m focusing more on pronunciation. Also, the conjugation of verbs is incredibly difficult, but this is where I’ve given up before so I can’t this time.
Wish me luck, y’all. I encourage anyone else interested to give it a genuine try. And if anyone else is out there trying to learn a new language, how is it going for you? What challenges have you come into?