” Patiente is a tree of bitter roots and sweeter fruits”
There is a Spanish saying from the olden times ´ La letra con sangre entra´( It is also a famous painting by Francisco de Goya, a Spanish painter of the 18th- 19th century). In English the translation would be the softer and ultimaltely less strict ´No pain, no gain´.
In my opinion, I don´t feel that we must suffer in order to learn, specially when the task at hand relies on something as human and natural as the spoken word.
It is clear that everyone learns better and much more deeply when they enjoy what they are doing and end up doing it with more enthusiasm, optimism and creativity as a result.
That being said, I definitely believe in persistence, enthusiasm and creativity during the learning process. It certainly is a given that despite the fact we have to give an effort and challenge ourselves to comprehend, to listen, speak and be understod, that effort should be a pleasent one. A positive experience will be arguable more of a benefit in the future so long as one perseveres and enjoys the views along the way.
Not long ago I was having dinner with a friend and he asked my opinion about a program that ensured that one could ´ Learn Spanish in 10 days ´ under hypnosis no less. In my experience( wheter it be in Spanish or any other language), I have never witnessed any learning program, whether it be hypnosis or sleep training that could allow anyone to become proficient in anything at all, least of all 1 or 2 weeks. In truth I think the reality lies somewhere in the middle.
That being said if anyone knows an app or program that makes one fluent in so short a time, please do let me know, I would be more than happy to try it 🙂
“By taking control of your emotions, you will control your self- learning process”
The most common features about all human beings is that we all experience similar emotions, positive and negative ones. From Spain to China all humans also feel and behave similarly if not the same when we aim to learn a second language.
It is so important to start with an inner strength and firmly believe that “the sky´s the limit .
Your natural abilities for learning to speak Spanish will be already extremely high, chances are 100% and it is all just a matter of training your ears for at least 6 months. You are genetically programmed to listen and speak!!!
Then, how can I gain self – confidence? How can I make myself assume I will learn to speak Spanish by training my ear?
If we take control of our own self -learning process by following the next steps we can detect negative emotions and turn them into positive ones. We can remove anxiety, worry, apathy and boredom and turn them into arousal, flow, control and relaxation as long as we:
– Find a balance between skills and challenge
– Know what to do
– Know how to do it
– Know how well we are doing
– Know where would we like to get to
Once we have gained self -confidence, we will be super motivated and learn much faster and easier.
How do you feel about learning Spanish? What are your feelings about it?
” If you talk a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head, if you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” (Nelson Mandela)
Once we have assimilated the language by listening, it is time to practice, practice and practice preferably with Spanish native speakers without being afraid of detecting mistakes. It is not neccesary to be a perfectionist and wait until you can make perfect sentences. Jump into the pool and swim because you can already swim!!!
Most natives think it is neat to listen to a foreigner making the effort to speak their language and not only they will be helpful and understanding, but also they will simply love you. There is no better way to build strong bounds with other human beings than trying to speak to them in their language no matter how.
I personally love to practice with elder people. They tend to speak more slowyly and use less slang. They are also good at asking questions and telling interesting stories about their lifes to whoever wants to listen. They will love to interact with you with patience, love and care. So if you have and elderly neighbour in your community who speaks Spanish, he or she will be more than happy to speak with you.
How long will I need to practice ? Honestly, I am of the opinion that learning a language is like a marriage, once there is a solid base one has to listen and speak, mantain the mutual communication as a husband- wife to keep it up. It is a relationship that will last for the rest of one´s life. The excellent news is that there are many enjoyable ways to mantain and dive deep into the language, but we will talk about this topic in the next posts 🙂