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How to Learn a Language in 3 Months

How to Learn a Language in 3 Months

We all know that learning a language is one of the things that makes us human but did you know that learning a language is one of the most complex things that we do? Some chimps have been able to successfully use a limited amount of picture cards in showing their understanding of language. Some dolphins have been able to make sounds in a kind of communication with humans but their level of speech does not even match my 2 year old grandson. Language is definitely a human domain.

We are wired to learn a language from birth and it is not only the words but also the complexities of the pronunciation where, depending on your country of birth, you will learn the intricacies of rolling your “r’s” of clicking your tongue or using guttural sounds created in the throat. These are the kind of things that make learning another language more challenging.  Learning a second language is, at first, a process of comparing what we already know to what we hear in the new language. We hear new sounds and new words and we try to compare and connect them to the existing language we already know.

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“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Each week Rocco and George teach me one new phrase in Italian – Buongiorno, arrivederci, uno momento,  parli Italiano?  This is about as far as it goes, so far. It is great for perfecting the pronunciation but a bit slow going. It probably fits in with my attitude on life which is to learn what you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can. I am a lifelong learner full of all matter of interesting trivia. There is no urgency to my study just a vague idea that one day wouldn’t it be nice if when I went to Italy, I could speak a little Italian.

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“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” ‒ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

My daughter is learning one French phrase per day. She is very busy and has many other things happening in her life so she just needs to slot one phrase into her day. This suits her needs and she learns it off an app on her phone which is also good for hearing the pronunciation. But to learn a language in 3 months something more is required.

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At age 17 Roshan had the passion and drive to learn a language. His family were from Germany a few generations ago and he felt a strong connection with this that fueled his desire to learn the language. He wanted to learn about where his family had come from and felt it was important to learn to think like one of his ancestors to fully understand his roots. He got on a plane, flew to Germany and stayed there for 3 months and he set himself a challenge – to speak nothing but German for the whole time he was there. The idea was that he would pick up key phrases and words first, and then learn the grammar almost unconsciously as he went along.  By not talking in his native tongue, he is starting to think in the new language. This resulted in quicker learning and better vocabulary retention and a fast transition to fluency. When Roshan returned home after 3 months he could speak fluent German. Roshan believed that

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” ‒ Rita Mae Brown.

When it comes to learning a language you will be one of these kinds of learners but when it comes to learning a language in 3 months, the immersion technique, that Roshan followed, is considered by language experts to be the best way. They have found that people learn more quickly if they stop reading books and just start speaking the language they are aiming to learn. This intensive exposure reaps great rewards.  So if you love the idea of learning a language in 3 months and you also have the passion for doing so and you are not lucky enough to travel what can you do?

  • Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player or ipod.
  • Attend a language school – most language schools use some version of the immersion method.
  • Download a language app.
  • Skype someone in another country and converse.

Online Resources:

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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