Advertising
Advertising

15 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied A Foreign Language

15 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied A Foreign Language

Once you’ve learned a new language, it’s hard to go back. You develop a specific mindset and gain experiences that you can only have from learning a foreign language.

If you studied a foreign language, here are some things that you’ll immediately be able to relate to. If you’re only able to speak one language (English), these are references that you can look forward to.

1. It’s easy to get started. But so hard to master it.

Language learners understand that like any skill, getting started is the easy part. But to go from beginner to intermediate level, then intermediate level to advanced is another ball game. What’s the real secret to learning a language faster? Consistency, daily routines, and dedication.

7.-say-something

    2. Your private teacher becomes the highlight of your day

    Having a private teacher can accelerate your learning speed. When you start building a relationship with these teachers, it can become one of the best things to look forward to in your stressful day. There’s laughter, learning, and growth that happens with each session, and it can become addicting.

    Advertising

    skype-translator

      3. Going to the same ethnic restaurant again

      From sushi to Korean BBQ, we only find ourselves going to that same restaurant again, not only to enjoy the delicious food but to practice your target language.

      20150111_192253

        4. That feeling when you’ve just had your first conversation with a native speaker

        Best feeling. Ever.

        baby laughing

          5. You now travel for a completely different reason

          When you can speak a new language, you can start building relationships with native speakers living in the country. Travel will never feel the same again.

          Advertising

          landscape-1470081513-la

            6. The urge to start learning yet another language

            We’ve all had the desire to become a polyglot and being able to speak dozens of languages. But making sure we’ve established a solid foundation with one language before moving onto another is crucial.

            Reading-014

              7. Someone learns that you speak a foreign language, and now wants you to translate everything

              Then you realize how little you actually know, and how much more you need to practice.

              7_dos_and_donts

                8. The urge to hang out with anyone that speaks the language you’re learning

                When you’re first starting to learn a language, you either use it or lose it. It’s critical to find opportunities to practice your speaking skills with anyone that would speak with you in your target language. Find meetup events, conversation exchanges, online language teaching websites — anything!

                Date-a-Guy-when-His-Best-Friend-Likes-You-Step-9

                  9. You’ve mistakenly greeted someone in a foreign language

                  Especially after you just finished speaking with your private teacher.

                  Advertising

                  6.-greeting-bowing

                    10. Impress the people around you by ordering Tacos in Spanish

                    Even if you’re not President Obama.

                    President Obama orders lunch at Five Guys in Washington, D.C. during an unannounced lunch outing May 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

                      11. When someone uses the “everybody speaks English” argument

                      While over 1 Billion people speak English as their first or second language, that’s still 85% of the world that do not. As the world becomes a more multicultural place by the day, the diversity of languages spoken will only continue to increase.

                      Advertising

                      giphy

                        12. When people talk about you in a foreign language… but you understand them

                        8.-overhear-conversations

                          13. When you learn how to speak Spanish, and realize that there are 10+ places that speak a different type of Spanish

                          From Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico – they all come with different slangs, accents, and even grammar rules that will continuously confuse you!

                          limitless

                            14. The first things you want to learn are the dirty words in the language

                            Let’s face it, these are the best words to learn. It’s why I first learned all the dirty words in Spanish when I traveled to South America.

                            psy-1024x576

                              15. You’ve studied the language for so long that you forget how to say something in your native language.

                              Hola? Bonjour? Hello? It happens to the best of us.

                              2014-04-16-top-6-reasons-why-youre-forgetful-2-fb-2

                                More by this author

                                Sean Kim

                                Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

                                10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

                                Trending in Brain

                                1 How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly 2 11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind 3 4 Ways to Develop a Flexible Mindset 4 What Is a Fixed Mindset And Can You Change It? 5 How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Published on November 23, 2020

                                How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                                How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                                Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

                                Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

                                Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

                                Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

                                Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

                                Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

                                Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

                                In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

                                Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

                                Advertising

                                After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

                                What can we learn from this historical lesson?

                                1. Focus on the Consequences

                                Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

                                So was Moscow not an important target after all?

                                Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

                                When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

                                • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
                                • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
                                • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

                                The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

                                This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

                                2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

                                Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

                                Advertising

                                Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

                                If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

                                Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

                                This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

                                Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

                                • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
                                • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
                                • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
                                • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

                                Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

                                3. Ask for Advice

                                Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

                                Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

                                A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

                                Advertising

                                Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

                                4. Beware of Biased Advice

                                Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

                                For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

                                • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
                                • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
                                • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
                                • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
                                • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

                                However, most purchases are unnecessary.

                                Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

                                Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

                                After all,

                                • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
                                • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
                                • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
                                • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
                                • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

                                There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

                                Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

                                Advertising

                                Bottom Line

                                It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

                                You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

                                Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

                                Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

                                Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

                                Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

                                Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

                                More Tips on Thinking Clearly

                                Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
                                [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
                                [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
                                [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

                                Read Next