Starting a New Language

December 1, 2020 by Leave your thoughts

I know. I know. 1st January is meant to be the day we start new things, right? Well, at least do something new on a Monday! I know. I get it. But no! I refuse to get into those rituals. And here’s why…

You set yourself up for disappointment by letting everything ride on a specific day. Basically if you don’t get into the swing of things, you end up giving up and waiting for the next big day to start. Instead I prefer to just start any day I feel like and take away that pressure. I highly recommend it. I get it might feel uncomfortable for some of you, so you’ll need to be brave!

So let’s get out of our comfort zone. After all learning languages means we really need to get used to that feeling anyway.

So what’s going on and why am I writing this blog post now? 

It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog, YouTiube channel or pretty much anywhere lately. There are lots of reasons for that and I will be happy to expand on those as we catch up again over the coming weeks and months. The important thing is that I am back. And I am back in a different way. It’s good to be with you and thanks for joining me!

Making a Korea of it! Yes, I am punny too! #SorryNotSorry

If external sources are to be believed, I have studied a gazillion languages already. Well this little nugget of intelligence only helps to highlight the shock I had recently. I hope the scene is well and truly set and that you can now join me on this journey properly. 

Picture a warm autumn day in the rolling Balkan hills as we drive to Skopje. My 13-year old daughter pipes up in the back of the car that she would like to learn a new language with me. My wife and I have been raising her with 5 languages all this time and I made a conscious decision not to turn her into a project or a mini version of me. Languages are my choice and I just decided to speak to her in some of them. No strings. No stress. Just chatting for her to understand English, French, Spanish and German. Her mum uses Macedonian, so that’s covered as a given too. 

Naturally I was very excited that she wanted to learn a new language with me. I asked what it was and why. Her reply really surprised me. She wasn’t sure which language it was. She wanted to learn it though because she found a YouTube channel she loves and liked the sound of the language they used on it. All she knew is that it was an Asian language. 

Secretly I was hoping for Japanese or Chinese because I have at least studied a bit of those languages. It would definitely serve as a good base for me to help her and to improve my own knowledge too. 

When we arrived in Skopje and parked the car I asked her to find the YouTube channel she liked and to let me listen to the language.

It was Korean!

I didn’t know whether or not to be excited or petrified. Like lots of people I know who love many languages, I also have a huge list of languages I would like to learn one day. Korean does make that list too. I mean, how could it not, right? 

Photo credit – Lindie Botes

The fortunate thing is that I already have some resources for Korean and I also have some friends who have studied the language before. So my brain started working on what to do next and how to figure out a plan of action.  

I have had a lot of people ask me how I go about learning a language. I have given some advice on live chats, during presentations, interviews and in posts. This is all great stuff. But nothing is quite like joining me on the journey.

Now I am going to give you a yearlong peak into my world. You can join me in the learning process. Come along for the ride, I will be updating my social media channels regularly with the progress, my highs, my lows, my frustrations as well as my methods for learning a language. Join me here, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and possibly TikTok…if I gather the courage to join the crazy there too! 🙂 

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This post was written by Richard

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