How to Learn Languages With Ease
This is a story about a handicap: Yes, I felt incapable to learn foreign languages!
Since I was a child, I failed at learning languages at school. Italian — the grammar just didn’t do it for me. My teacher was a bully, and I felt intimidated by her from the age of seven. Latin — I gave up. English — I was unable to get out a straight sentence.
Nevertheless, I felt intrinsically motivated to go to London after completing high school. My teacher asked me what I wanted to do professionally. When I replied, ‘Becoming a stewardess, so I can travel the world’, she laughed at me: ‘You don’t even speak English!’
Right, I didn’t become a flight attendant. Instead, I ended up in London for much longer than expected!
When my money was gone after a couple of months, I had no money to pay the rent for my room in Central London. Instead, I had a ticket, to fly back home… that was no option for me! I started job hunting, which was hard at first. I didn’t even know what it meant when I got the reply: ‘Come back with a CV!’
Eventually, a lovely Croatian recruiter had compassion for me. She made sure, I got a job in a coffee shop. I had a drink with her in a pub, and I could barely hold a conversation. That changed completely within a couple of months.
After two months I would turn from someone, who barely spoke one language, to a Multilingual.
Serving 300 customers a day, meant using the same expressions over and over again, and adding step by step new words and phrases. My manager was impressed when she heard me constantly using new expressions.
Within months, I lost the fear of speaking Italian too: I dated an Italian guy, which made the use of the language much more playful.
Nowadays I even speak four languages. My husband is Mexican. I am fluent in Italian. Thus switching from one Latin-based language to another is no big deal.
Why did I fail in the first place at learning languages?
My belief system had sabotaged me: I felt, learning languages was all about learning grammar and rules…