It’s a terrible thing, envy. One of the seven deadly sins.
Often referred to as “the green-eyed monster, envy has taken the blame for many a misdemeanour in human nature.
In the name of envy, crimes have been committed, relationships ruined, hearts broken and many more travesties.
Why am I talking about envy on this post about languages? Because I can almost bet if you’re reading this article it’s because you’re envious of someone and what they can do.
You’re envious of someone who is fluent in another language/ bilingual/ trilingual /multilingual
“If only I could speak XXX language like you…”!
“I wish I could speak XXX like you!”
“You’re so lucky that you can speak XXX”!
I used to feel that envy too. It was very frustrating and annoying. It kept niggling at me and wouldn’t let me rest.
Until it came to the time to do something about it. Learning the language once and for all.
However, there’s one basic truth that I will have to admit to you. I’m almost hesitant to even say the words but it’s the truth. Maybe the goal of ‘bilingual’ is unattainable.
Saying “I wish I were bilingual!” is almost like saying “I wish I were Italian!” (when you aren’t) or “I wish I had grown up in the ‘sixties!” (when you hadn’t) or even “I wish I could fly!” (when you can’t)
Being bilingual is now considered to mean that you were exposed to two (or more) languages simultaneously as a child during the language acquisition age.
Of course, it’s not always as cut and dried as that, and there are all sorts of different factors and circumstances which can affect language acquisition in a person’s life.
See here for an interesting article about the difficulty of defining bilingualism from the Babbel, a famous language-learning website ^[Please note: No affiliate links with Babbel, but a very interesting article.]
Take hope, as all is not lost.
Coming in just slightly below the ‘Bilingual’ status is her highly respected younger cousin; meet Fluency.
Fluency is much more sociable than Bilingualism in that Fluency embraces everybody irrespective of place of birth, parents’ linguistic heritage, the age of learner but the best thing about Fluency is that she is achievable.
2 ways you can start to Fight for Fluency right now
- Start now
Accept that your language learning journey will be a life-long process so the sooner you get started on the road to fluency, the further along the road you’ll get towards your goal.
- Choose your weapons (strategies) wisely.
You get to choose from any (or preferably all) of the following strategies.
Private tutor, group lessons, online language applications, online courses, Skype lessons, Youtube videos, language exchanges, immersion courses, phrase books, textbooks, travel to a country where the language you want to become fluent in (your target language) is spoken.
How different styles in your language learning can help you reach your goals.
You feeling overwhelmed?
You might feel overwhelmed by this multitude of different strategies on offer but don’t be. It would be great if you could give each of these methods a try and then stick with the ones that work for you. Notice that I’m advising to stick to ‘the ONES’ that work for you…as ONE strategy will never be enough for you in your language learning journey.
Use as many strategies as you possibly can in your quest because each method, strategy plan, will undoubtedly add at least something to your achievement.
Have you ever felt envious of someone who was fluent or bilingual in another language?
Which language(s) would you love to be fluent in?
Do you agree with me here? Leave a comment below or share this with someone you know who is interested in learning another language.
I really hope this helps…
Yes! I’m currently only sparsely using Duolingo to learn French. I’m excited that a new employee I just hired actually has a four year degree in French, so I can get that second method in! I’m pretty inconsistent, so the more resources I have to turn to that fit in my already crazy day will be really helpful.