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Neil Kendall Languages

The language learning challenge

So The Language Learning Journey Begins - Why I'm doing This, And What My Goals Are

January 13, 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to my language learning blog! I want to write the first post by telling you a bit about why I'm learning languages and what I aim to achieve with this whole experience.

To begin with, I'll tell you a bit about myself. I'm a British guy (born in England, currently living in the Highlands of Scotland), so it will therefore come as no surprise that English is my native language.

Like many people, I studied languages in high school (French and German in my case), but after leaving education I forget pretty much everything I'd learned as I had no further use for these languages anymore. That was until I went travelling for a few years....

I met a lot of people on my travels both in and outside of the UK, and one thing that really made an impression on me was when I'd meet people who spoke several languages. To me, there is something quite cool about a person who can speak multiple languages fluently, and effortlessly switch between them as required.

It has to said that the British are generally very lazy when it comes to language learning - the mistaken belief that 'everyone speaks English' is very prevalent in our culture - but most people I met from continental Europe, Asia and so forth were fluent in 2,3 or more languages.

During a visit to Spain a few years back, I had to start learning the basics of Spanish in order to survive (I quickly realised that it's not true that 'everyone speaks English'). However, I found it hard work as I had absolutely no clue about how to learn languages efficiently and effectively. As a result, I didn't do very well.

And now to where I am now - I've decided I'd like to study languages properly with the aim of becoming aim of becoming a polyglot who is fluent in at least 5 to 8 languages. I am currently learning Scottish Gaelic, Japanese and Spanish. Once I have learned these to conversational fluency, my aim is to add in more languages such as French, German, Italian and Mandarin Chinese.

I will go into more details about my research on effective language learning methods and my current methods of learning in one of my next blog posts, as well as why I decided to study these 3 languages first.

Until then, take care!

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