What you need to learn foreign languages
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Do you have what it takes to learn a new language?
Think for a minute... why do you want to learn a foreign language? Is it to impress the smart people you go out on dates with? Is it because your parents are bilingual, and so you should be too? Because it's just an interesting thing to do when you have extra time?
Unfortunately, none of these are strong motivations to learn a new language. You'll probably sign up for a language learning app like Duolingo, keep it up for a few weeks or maybe a few months, and then drop the whole thing because other priorities get in the way.
By the way, here is a very good article by world-renowned author Tim Ferris, 12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time (daily spoken practice is one of them).
Three strong motivations to learn foreign languages
1. Travel (Once it resumes)
You are planning a trip abroad and would like to speak at least the basics of the language before you get there. What could be better than a full language immersion by going to the country where the language is spoken? But with COVID-19 cancelling nearly all travel plans, you have even more time to prepare! 😀
2. Career advancement
As a 2017 report by New American Economy discovered, the need for bilingual workers in the United States more than doubled in five years. And this demand is projected to increase, especially for Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic speakers. So if you want to increase your chances of being hired for your dream job, you better start working on your language skills.
In your daily life, you are surrounded by people who speak a foreign language, and you would like to not only understand them, but also participate in their conversations and activities, and to learn about their culture... but you are too shy to voice out those few words of Spanish/Italian/Portuguese that you know.
Strong motivation + time + patience = Learn that language!
Good, so we've established some strong motivations to learn a new language. Now, do you have the time for it? In other words, can you spend 2-3 hours weekly studying and practicing that language? Do you have the patience and the discipline to stick to that schedule for the next 12 months or so? Do you have a tool to track your progress to confirm whether you are improving or not?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, then congrats! You have everything it takes to learn a new language.
We recommend you try Spanish lessons with Overcome the Barrier. You can study for as low as $7 per lesson with experienced native speakers from Latin America.