Musings / My life

Languages – Step by step

I have devoted 2020 to learning languages: Russian and Spanish. Throughout university years I used to study 4 languages simultaneously: Russian, Spanish, German and Italian besides teaching English. I also studied Japanese for 2 years.

I have had just enough ups and downs to realize I’m no genius at all. I wouldn’t even say my language skills are above average. I don’t even say I’m talented, no. I’m simply fuckindetermined and language learning is my ultimate hobby.

I keep holding on when others would give up and laugh at myself when others would cry.

I think learning languages is all about patience and practice: time and energy (and of course money) in other words. With enough practice, anything can be learnt.

Of course this is not true for my university subjects as they were a pain in my ass for 6 years. The freedom of language learning is that you can do what you real-time want.

  • You can practice reading skills: read books, do reading tasks or simply read a magazine/blog to improve your vocabulary.
  • Then you can also listen to music/podcasts/vloggers or watch films just to improve your listening skills.
  • I haven’t even mentioned playing computer games…

How could you prepare for a Pathophysiology exam through playing with your PS4?

Learning languages is about unlimited opportunities and fun. You don’t even feel it’s learning and still you are actively proceeding toward your goals. I experience flow during studying and it can really cause addiction. I’m good at binge learning – 6 to 8 hours can fly away barely noticed.

The secret to this is to always do what inspires you.

Some days I’m up for a difficult challenge so I start with Grammar, the other days I simply practice listening as it has a pace so I cannot lose focus throughout the listening comprehension. It’s all about finding the proper strategy. It’s not simply two dimensional, it’s much more: it has culture, history, future – a proper background story waiting to be discovered. Through this journey you can enhance your presentation skills, improve cooperation and negotiation in debates and arguments, not to mention your writing skills.

For me language learning is also a riddle, like a memory game in a tricky puzzle, spiced with culture and an enchanting array of challenges all packed in one.