As a self-described expert in failing at learning language, take it from me if you’re trying to NOT learn a foreign language.
I have vast experience, having failed at learning not one,
and not even three foreign languages..
I’m a TRUE BLUE not-learning expert.
I have NOT learned 4 different foreign languages (Spanish, French, Thai, and Portuguese)
Wanna be mono-lingual like me? Follow these easy peasy guidelines.
Always act really shy and feel scared to practice in the streets.
Don’t start by trying your hand at easy stuff, like hello, thank you, or excuse me.
And by all means, don’t even attempt conversation. That’s just impossible.
Get really flustered by mistakes
Agonize over every possibly wrong conjugation.
Beat yourself up for mispronunciations and even minor mistakes. You know you sound stupid when you make little errors, and everyone must be laughing at you.
Don’t speak unless it’s perfect
If you aren’t sure how to pronounce something, or you’re undecided on the proper word, it’s better to just stay quiet.
Speaking up means you could be wrong or misunderstood. Even worse, you could accidentally curse and totally embarrass yourself
Tune out of conversations above your current level
If you don’t understand 100% of a conversation, stop listening. Don’t try to figure out unknown words by using context, and definitely don’t write down words to look up later in your dictionary.
And obviously, don’t politely ask the speaker what they mean or about a particular word.
Arrive completely clueless
If you’re moving or studying abroad, don’t start practicing before you arrive.
Definitely don’t plan in advance, and get a teacher or attend a conversation class. Don’t check out cultural articles, or study a bit of vocabulary.
It’s better to arrive totally blank.
Don’t practice every day
After language class, go back to speaking and thinking in your native language. Don’t ever practice outside of class.
Don’t set aside a bit of time every day to study vocabulary and practice. You only practice language within the confines of the classroom.
Continue watching movies in your native language
Don’t even go the easy way out by adding your learning language subtitles to gain familiarity with new words.
Keep it all native language, all the time.
Of course, don’t change the spoken language to your learning language (maybe with your native language subtitles). Or, oh goodness, watch foreign movies in your learning language about your learning culture!
Don’t consume any media – music, literature, and yes, movies – in your learning language.
Tell yourself that you suck at learning languages and it just isn’t for you. If you’re reading this, you already speak the most widespread, and by many accounts the most international, language already.
Soon, there’ll be a perfect translation app and all those hours spent language learning would be for nothing.
Plus, barely anybody speaks Language-You’re-Trying-Not-to-Learn outside of Country-it-is-Most-Spoken-In anyways. It’s basically a waste of time.
Get overwhelmed by the enormity of learning a completely new language. Jeesh, the last time you did this, it was decades ago and you were a baby!
It’s better to give up than to fail.
Pin How NOT to Learn a Foreign Language
Great tips ;)! Haha! I’ll be sure to do all of these….kidding of course!!
This post made me laugh :)! Thanks!
Thanks Kelly! Good luck in your language learning journey 🙂
That actually sounds like a plan. You are right with “If you’re reading this, you already speak the most widespread, and by many accounts the most international, language already.” even if you meant it sarcastically.
Most people do not need more languages in their life than english.
I speak english and german. I started learning french but then I stopped because I realized there is no point whatsoever to learn that language. Or arabic. Or polish. Or finnish.
I rather learn computer languages than foreign spoken languages.
I know you were sarcastic in all of your statements, but for me they had a calming effect as in “you are good enough the way you are”
Think about it.
All the best
This was such a lovely comment!! Thank you Alexander!