I remember trying to tell my Russian teacher, “I’ll call you tomorrow.” What I actually said was, “I’ll kiss you tomorrow!” She corrected me, we laughed, and I learned from my mistake.
Of course, it’s easy to laugh things off in a fun situation like that. Keep that in mind next time you make an embarrassing mistake. Having a sense of humor and a positive attitude are the keys to fast, fun learning.
After all, laughing about your mistakes is much better than the alternative—sulking, clamming up, or beating yourself up about it.
Enjoy Your Mistakes: Learn Faster!
Let’s say you just made a mistake—again. I know it’s frustrating, but try this: this time, decide to act a bit differently. Tell yourself, “Let’s make this fun instead. Let’s see if I can get my tongue and mouth to make that sound.” Pucker up your lips, make gorilla noises, babble like a baby, or sing it if you have to!
Try anything you need to do to say that foreign word. Don’t take yourself too seriously; just play with it. If you can make it fun, even when you make a mistake, learning will be a lot easier.
You Can Learn How to Make Any Possible Human Sound
Imagine you’re visiting a strange land where they have a world-famous way of kissing. I mean, these people practically invented the kiss, right? You’ve signed up for a course in kissing, you’ve packed your bags, and you’re flying over there now.
OK, so your plane is landing, and you know you’ll be met by your chosen tutor. Should you be nervous? No way! In that country, people have lips and tongues and mouths just like the rest of us. What’s so special about “The Special Kiss” that you can’t learn? Now replace “The Special Kiss” with Spanish, French, Russian . . . see what I mean?
There is nothing a Spaniard or Russian can do with their mouths that you can’t learn to do with yours. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to be a native in order to learn to talk like one.
If you have the right attitude—one where learning is a fun and exciting adventure—you can learn to do exactly what they do. This won’t come easily at first, but practice it. I guarantee that you will develop the perfect attitude for learning how to kiss—I mean speak a foreign language.