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Nobody likes a social media show-off. But are you learning languages so you can be LIKED, huh?!
We’ve all got that friend or family member, don’t we? The one who’s learning more languages than you are, or who is further along in the language you’re learning, and boy are they excited to tell EVERYONE about it. Their language app achievements get spread across social media so you can’t miss it. They comment on their foreign friends’ pages in other languages and LIKE everything so it goes as public as possible. They post banal updates in different languages just to show off.
What a PAIN, am I right?
Actually, you should be doing this, too. You see, what your irritating friend is doing is practicing. And they’re getting feedback, correcting errors, and trying again. This is how you learn.
Your brain needs to make mistakes and correct them in order for your neural pathways to connect correctly and fire more accurately. That’s science-talk for practice makes perfect. There’s no magical wizard wand inside your brain that either “does good” or “does bad” at languages – you practice and you get better, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. Anyone who is “more talented” than you at language learning has just being doing it longer than you have. And that means all you have to do, if you want to catch up, is do. Speak, listen, read, write – anything you can do to fire those neurons and build those pathways.
So I say to you: be annoying on social media! Write a LOT, every day! Take the opportunity to annoy everyone with your incorrect grammar – or your correct grammar! Be vulnerable so you can get feedback and correct your mistakes. Show off your triumphs so you can feel motivated to keep going. With the Twiddlers and Faceleybooks and Instasnapgrammerlypops out there, you can very easily start writing to other language learners, or language natives, RIGHT NOW.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to “look” online. Are you learning languages to look polite? Or are you doing it to be a multilingual badass?