Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Happy Language Learning!

I really wish I could wave a magic wand and have all of my beginning Greek students become able to speak a modern foreign language such as Spanish or German. They would see immediately that studying the grammar of another language is a far cry from thinking in that language. Today I was watching a Youtube interview and I heard, "Thank you for having me." This is an impossible sentence in German. You either have to say "Thank you that I can be here" or "Thank you for the invitation." 

Do consider learning another language, be it Spanish or German or French or whatever. I often give the same advice to learners: Do not be ashamed to speak the language, talk to as many native speakers as possible, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's your effort that counts. Don't be insulted if other people correct you. That is well-meaning and you should be able to profit from it. 

"Practice, practice, practice" is the best advice I can give you. The internet makes it so easy nowadays. In reality, no one will care if you speak perfectly or not. If you draw a lot of attention to your mistakes ("Oh no! Sorry! That's so embarrassing!") you'll just stop the flow of the conversation and make things more awkward. This reminds me of a tip about oral presentations I once read: Don't apologize if you make a mistake, like jumping to the next slide because of an accidental double click. Just go back one slide and continue. Also, a sense of humor never hurts.

Happy language learning!