Motivational Upkeep – Learn the language you love

This post will discuss a tip on motivational upkeep.

The first key to motivation with learning languages is to make sure that you learn a language that you are naturally attracted to. If you learn a language that you have little or no interest in, then you are going to have a difficult maintaining your motivation in the long term. Whenever I study languages, I do so because I enjoy it because I naturally like the language.  I can’t imagine struggling through the Finnish language if I didn’t have a strong desire to learn it. I probably would have moved on a while ago.

How do you know what language you like? Pay attention to its vocabulary, its vowels and consonants, its intonation, its cadence and rhythm, its written language, and its culture. What aspects do you like or dislike? Answer those questions with each language you encounter and you’ll slowly move towards one that you want to learn.

Do you want to learn a fluid language like Italian or Spanish, or a more guttural language like German or Icelandic, or an exotic language like Finnish? Do you want to write with the Latin alphabet, or make chicken scratches like Japanese, or write right to left like Arabic or Hebrew, or write an alphabet where “H” is pronounced like an “N,” like Russian? (They use the Cyrillic alphabet). Do you want to communicate through the actual tone of your voice like Chinese or Vietnamese, or do you want to learn a language that is completely unrelated to all of its neighbors, like Hungarian or Basque?

Most people in their lives have said “I’ve always wanted to learn _______, because I just think it sounds cool.” Find that language for you and focus on that to start. You’ll benefit in the long run as it will serve a strong motivational boost throughout your studies.