Imagine that you just walked into the United Nations Building in New York City. Because of your careful planning … and a little bit of luck … you have a meeting with several UN translators.
They all speak at least 10 languages and are proficient enough in 5 of them to instantly and accurately translate matters of world importance. These people are amazingly good at languages.
You just have one question that you want to ask them. “How many mistakes did you make when you were starting to learn your first language after your native language?”
Their answer would be: “We made lots of mistakes when we were starting to learn the languages that we now speak!”
Even World Class Translators Didn’t Start That Way
If the best translators in the world, made lots of mistakes when they were starting to learn a new language, don’t you think you will make a lot of mistakes too?
Of course you will — the trick is to learn to enjoy your mistakes.
Mistakes are an Essential Part of Language Learning
There is no path to mastery of a language that does not go through the phase of making lots of mistakes. Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. You will never get good without making lots of mistakes.
How Should You React to Your Mistakes?
Have you ever forgotten something you had just studied and then been upset about it? Did that unhappy emotion help you learn your new language faster? I don’t think so.
I suggest that you change the emotion that you feel when you make a mistake. I want you to feel great when you make a mistake!
I know this sounds strange, but when you make a mistake you have done something that is an essential part of learning a language! Of course you should feel good about your mistakes. They are essential!
If you don’t try … and make lots of mistakes … you won’t learn.
People Who Never Make Mistakes are Called Losers
Now you are probably thinking that there are people who never make mistakes, and of course you are right. In the American language, we call them losers! A “loser” is someone who never accomplishes much.
People who never make mistakes … because they never try … are the only people who never make mistakes. However you are going to accomplish a lot, and you will also make a lot of mistakes.
Everyone who has ever learned a foreign language made a lot of mistakes in the process of learning. Mistakes are essential.
So the next time you forget something or make a mistake, say to yourself, “That’s great!” smile and really feel good about it.
You are doing something that is an essential part of the process.