Learning a language is not always easy, fun, exciting or interesting.
Sometimes people will laugh at you when you try to say something in Nepali. And no, not only complete strangers in the bus.
It can be quite frustrating when your teachers says ‘da’ four times, and according to her these are 4 different sounds – but to your Dutch ears it sounds all the same.
And what do you do when you struggle to understand what someone is trying to tell you, and you’re not getting anywhere cause your Nepali is not sufficient, nor is his/her English?
But this is not the whole story.
Cause you realized you can order momo’s, and a cup of chiyaa, and you can ask how much it is altogether.
You’re starting to have conversations with Nepali’s who don’t speak a single word English.
You understand parts of conversations you hear on the bus.
Your teacher is so excited about the 10 sentences you made, that she won’t erase them from the whiteboard for a whole week.
To stay encouraged for the bad days, here are some wise life lessons from Ruth, regarding language learning.
Because there will be times you want to give up.
Newsflash: learning a language is never ‘done’. Besides the fact you’ll need a long time learning the vocab an average Nepali (/or whatever other nationality) has, language is continually developing. Not to mention the different dialects.
Three golden rules (that could be different in a week from now – but at least the three golden rules of this moment)
I Won’t Quit – mentality
Keep that mentality, no matter what. Even when everything inside of you wants the opposite. Cause only an I Won’t Quit mentality will get you somewhere!
Speak Nepali with every Nepali you meet, and even with Americans, South Africans and Norwegians. Of course you’ll use wrong grammar, and of course one day you’ll ask the shopkeeper for glasses ‘because it’s raining’ (true story) but it gives others the opportunity to correct you and it’s THE way to test what’s already in your mind.
When they’re laughing at you, just laugh with them. We all make mistakes.
And asking for glasses when all you need is an umbrella – if you ended up leaving that shop with an umbrella, then you got what you wanted, right? No problem!
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.