Tuesday, 22 December 2015

All in the mind

80% of learning an language is psychology. Only 20% is to do with method.  (Where exactly I got that, I forget, but I believe it.)

That figure is the average. For some cultures--Japanese, for example--the psychological issue is even greater. And it depends on the individual as well. Me, for example. I've had a HUGE psychological language-learning issue with Japanese.

I won't go into that here.

But you know yourself the issue that you had with French. You felt it sounded feminine. You and your mates called it a "poofy" language. To a lesser extent you had an issue with Latin too. You'd heard it was a 'dead' language. And you were frustrated by the fact that even after learning its grammar rules it would behave like a 'proper' subject such as Maths or Science.

Bringing such an attitude to any language guarantees that you'll never learn it.

Listen, you first try your hand at Japanese (in 1993) you'll make very little progress for 20 years. Then, when you finally change your attitude, you'll streak ahead and feel comfortable with it in a year or two. Simple as that.

Moral of the story: Deal with your attitude first!   

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