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Lyd Explains: Learning a Language

Today I wanted to talk about learning a language! I am learning because I want to speak the local language when I tackle my travel list. In this post I am going to share the free methods I'm using on my language learning journey.

There are more than 6000 spoken languages in the world and more than half of people in the world speak more than one language! So I figured why can't I.

I am improving my French and trying to pick up Spanish too. I took 4 years of French in high school and use online learning tools, like Duolingo, to practice. My language learning is completely self structured. Over the last year, I was struggling for it to stick. I was learning the sentence structure and vocabulary but I still wasn't sure how to use it.

I needed to practice my comprehension skills and instead of translating, focus on understanding. So now I am listening to French as much as I can. I listen to podcasts, news (because they speak slowly) and even watch my favorite movies in French (since I already know the words). It has been amazing to see how much I am understanding and continuing to learn.

My next hurdle to fluency is speaking. I understand that speaking will be challenging and I will need to gain confidence to be comfortable. In Pittsburgh I found free clubs that meet to just speak in French. There are also online language exchange programs where you can speak to someone in exchange for helping them with English too.

I have been able to speak French a few times in pubic and it was the most amazing and connecting feeling. I am so excited to learn more and travel to Quebec and France to use it. Learning Spanish will give me the opportunity to use it here in the US and abroad.

The best advice I received was "Don't be afraid to make mistakes when you speak, you will learn it as you use it." All you need is to be able to be understood! Language is a great skill to have and makes it easier to connect with people of different cultures too. I will keep you posted on my learning journey and I hope this post inspires you to learn a few too!