MY EXPERIENCE LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE

tips speaking second language

If I can learn a second language, anyone can…

Learning a new language is hard, especially if you come from an English speaking country. Let’s face it, life is easier when most people you encounter in a foreign country can understand you. Despite being a lazy Brit who is used to everyone speaking English I always wanted to learn a second language. My journey began when I moved to Germany several years ago with my boyfriend who I met in London.

It’s possible to get by in Germany without speaking the language and this is what I did for a few years. I spent time living in Munich and Berlin and bouts of time working in Hamburg. All the time speaking barely a word of German. After a while it became a bit embarrassing. It’s not like I didn’t try, I bought books and did an online course but it just wasn’t happening. So eventually I enrolled at a local language school feeling determined to make it happen.

learn to speak foreign language

The course was the best idea for me and I wish I started as soon as I arrived. I felt comfortable stumbling my way past the basics being surrounded by other people also trying to learn. Before the course I wouldn’t say anything until I could speak perfectly. This meant I didn’t speak at all for fear of looking stupid. I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly academic person and learning something so challenging was exhausting. Every evening I would come home feeling tired, all I wanted to do was lay on the sofa and stare at the ceiling.

Things progressed and as I got over the first hurdle of mastering the very basics I started to enjoy myself. Fast forward to almost a year later and the course was coming to an end. This included six weeks learning politics and history which I somehow managed to pass. Having the certificate allows me to apply for German residency which is a nice option to have.

foreign language

At that time my boyfriends family were asking him how I was getting on. They are really nice and wanted me to do well in the final exams. This scared the hell out of me and the pressure was on to do well which actually helped me a lot. I put that added pressure down to passing everything which I’m still super happy about.

It’s been about six months since finishing the course and I must admit I have been a bit lazy. I find myself speaking in English a bit more so it might be time to get a tutor once a week. Having come this far I don’t want to lose what I’ve learned so I’m confident I will stick with it. I’m actually feeling inspired to learn another language. So this year I will hopefully take an Italian class with my boyfriend. It’s the perfect excuse to visit Italy and practice my skills whilst eating pasta and taking in the sights.

how to speak german

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7 Comments

  1. January 23, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    Kudos to you for going out of your comfort zone and actually going through with it. As someone who knows two languages, I can attest that it gets easier learning new ones after that. You find similar words and kind of go from there. Good luck with Italian!

    • January 23, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you! x

  2. January 23, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    I grew up learning English and french but I’ve always wanted to add a third language to my arsenal. I’ve tried to learn Spanish and some of it stuck but I would not survive a whole conversation in the Latin language ha. Props to you for learning German! I tried that too and it’s so hard!

    -Didier
    http://Www.didieryhc.com

  3. January 25, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    I’m so with you, I’d love to be able to speak another languages more fluently like Italian or French… But it is so hard! Good on you for persevering though!

    http://www.thefashionsamaritan.com

  4. January 28, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Your blog is so cool! German’s a great language, but sooo hard to learn it properly! keep going, xx

    • January 28, 2018 / 7:20 pm

      Thank you Ellen!

  5. February 14, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    James, Good Luck to you for taking the courage to go for other languages, it does open the world for anyone who has more than one languages. When I look back on my life, I couldn’t have been blessed any better – I was born with both English and French, Since my islands were colonised by France and then Britain. When I moved to London with my little girl and my husband, I had no alternatives but to speak English only since my girl was almost baby and starting school. She was not lucky to have had French like me. But I did lose my French a bit living in Britain over 20 years. I have gotten back well on my French since France is one of my favorite destination and even when I am in London I am communicating in French to my french friends mostly every day. I just wish you all best and keep it up with your studies in different languages, you will win, nothing is impossible. Hugs. Juli!

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