Learning foreign languages and humility

3 May

“there is one critical trait that is often overlooked and can mean the difference between giving up and becoming fluent: humility. “

Self Taught Japanese

Succeeding in learning a foreign language, especially one very different from your native tongue, requires many traits: a good memory, time management, the ability to experiment and learn to pronounce foreign sounds, listening skills, and an analytical ability to comprehend and use various grammatical constructions.

But there is one critical trait that is often overlooked and can mean the difference between giving up and becoming fluent: humility.  [謙虚 (けんきょ) in Japanese]

Humility, or being modest, makes it easier to recognize your own mistakes, and leverage the constructive feedback you receive from others to improve. It also allows you to study more closely with your peers and learn from them, regardless of the amount of experience they have studying the foreign language in question.

Staying humble allows you to keep learning more about a foreign language with five, ten, or even twenty years under your belt. I think many people after some point…

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