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Okay so nobody likes, nobody loves making mistakes like, uh… I haven’t come across a person who is like: “yes you know what, I like making mistakes when I’m learning a language I like to go look making a fool of myself when I’m learning a new language.”
Let’s say you’re at a basic level and let’s say that you’re total perfectionist okay? So you have little tolerance for making mistakes, you just don’t feel comfortable! I personally fully respect that, Okay? If that’s the case, chances are that you will probably wait a little bit longer until you’re at an intermediate level in that language before you start chatting around with native speakers and I totally respect that and it’s totally fine but personally, I have a very low threshold, like I don’t mind making a complete fool out of myself in social situations when it comes to just making mistakes and sounding funny in different languages.
Now, something really important, I don’t necessarily see that as a good thing or a bad thing it’s just the way it is right? And you don’t have to be that way. I can see advantages to this approach because of the fact that… I think the first one is essentially the exercise in itself, the attempt to speak in a different language has helped me learn different languages. It’s just because that attempt to express myself in in these languages enhances the learning process in my mind so maybe, you know, like… It forces you to try to recall the things that you’ve learned and essentially that cements the knowledge that you already have of course that can be done in different ways. You can just try to write in the language some other advantages are…
Well, you know it’s nice to get feedback, instant feedback from the other person in regards to your accent, your pronunciation the words that you’re using, expressions you’re using, how current they are because maybe, I’ve had cases in which I would say something then the person goes like: “hey, that’s like… an old word. We don’t say this anymore! We say it this way now.” Then it’s like: OK, great! The audio program that I was using taught me wrong, great! So you know, it’s good to get feedback that way another benefit is essentially that if you basically really struggle expressing yourself in a certain way or a specific idea or concept, you want to say it and you can’t it’s easy for me to later remember that and then I really want to learn it so I go to my tutor or my teacher and I just learn how to say it online or you can also get, maybe if… You know, there’s the occasion to try to get that person to teach you how to say whatever you want to say, especially if you both speak another language in common. So that’s another advantage. What else? You can also… And normally I notice that I have the tendency to really remember stuff better if people correct me on the spot so I make a mistake, I say something wrong word or an expression or I say something or my pronunciation is bad then the person, the other person (the native speaker) goes and corrects me, he says: “no! It’s this way.” Normally my, tendency would be to actually remember that later better than if I just learned that if I realize that mistake on my own while studying. You know that could be just perhaps…
Maybe I’m a good auditory learner that could be the case, that’s not, maybe that’s not necessarily the case for everyone so I see advantages but that being said there… It’s insane to think that you can’t learn language unless you go and you chat with other people, there’s a billion other things you can do to to master a language aside from actually having chats with… with people I just want to suggest, you know, try to…
If you have a really [low threshold], if you’re a total perfectionist or maybe you’re very shy and you don’t wanna (want to) chat with other people or you’re just uncomfortable, maybe you’re not shy you’re just uncomfortable to talk to people when you’re still a basic level or even intermediate level, I’d just say, try to lower your threshold a little bit, try to care a little bit less about making mistakes because…
Especially since normally people really don’t care, you know, if you’re trying to speak their language they’re normally gonna be nice to you then they won’t care, they’ll find it cute, probably they will find it adorable in many situations (not always) but in many situations. So I would say, just try to lower the threshold, you know, give it a try maybe had some some small chats with people first baby steps but… if you’re really uncomfortable respect it, that’s cool. But maybe… Perhaps try to compensate for the lack of that exercise (which is speaking to other people) in different ways, so try to look for other exercises, try to write a lot if you’re already at that level if you’re not, if you’re still a basic level of course, just try to get to the level where, were (I can’t speak English today!) where you can actually write and express your thoughts in writing and that’s it!
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