Musings / My life

Languages – burn out just to achieve even higher

I have been learning languages all my life long. I have always set goals I found challenging and demanding, so I took up more and more languages.

I have gained a quite profound language learning experience and throughout this exciting journey I have acquired many learning techniques and skills I find extremely useful on a daily basis. Currently I have two advanced exams – English and German and right now I’m preparing for my Russian intermediate language exam, which will be held on the 4th of January.

No matter how many times I have gone through this process, it still teaches me useful lessons of real life.

First of all, always being humble – even if I think I’ve mastered a few languages, actually my real knowledge will always be a stand-up comedy in certain situations, it’s just a fact I have to live with. I can become a native-like speaker in English but it takes an awful lot of hard work and sacrifice – and here comes the part which I usually forget: staying humble.

All this hard work entitles me to master one language at a time and not more and not all.

The better I become at one language, the more I forget the previous one – and I need to learn the same words, expressions, phrases, grammatical exceptions and rules just like before. It teaches me to stay humble and keep fighting on as I am rewarded with small things but never with the illusion of knowing it all.

Whenever I lose motivation and skip a few weeks, my active knowledge starts fading away and I have to put in even more effort and work to gain it back. It teaches me never to give up.

Never give up, even when you don’t see the reward at first.

I felt hopeless most of the time I’ve been learning Russian… I have learnt English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and still Russian is the trickiest language for sure.

No matter how hard I try, I still feel it’s the highest mountain I’ve ever wanted to climb.

Just one month to go, I’m counting the days as I’m learning 20 hours a week besides working full-time, so I guess I’m reaching my critical point where I simply burn out for good. After taking the Russian intermediate language exam I’ll start learning Spanish for sure. I need some positive feedback after all.