Speaking a new language is a major milestone some of us might encounter as an ambition in our lives. However, there is a fear factor and few can explain exactly why or what it is we are afraid of.
Don’t be afraid of the fear, after all, it is the very emotion of being frightened that drives us to succeed. The stronger the fear, the more sure you can be that we have to nail this.
If we examine some of the common fear factors in speaking a new language, we will often feel that native speakers are laughing at our struggling language skills. But you should always remember two vital things: not one human born knows how to speak in any language. Sure, a new-born can cry and make loud audible sounds, but no words.
It can take as long as a year before any coherent sounds are managed; two years until we start stringing together groups of words and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it compares to learning a new language in school or college.
When your child made mistakes as he or she began to talk, we laughed but not at them – with them! It is sweet, cute and a little endearing. If a native speaker sometimes smiles or titters at your poor language skills, they do so not out of malice or mockery but out of fondness and empathy.
When a native speaker hears you speaking a new language, they will be impressed at the very fact you’ve made the effort. Moreover, the fact that you have a different accent or pronunciation dialect should not matter one iota. Accents are exotic and can make the words you say even more dynamic to the listener. This is regardless of whether you are pronouncing it right or in the local dialect.
In business, it is sometimes important to get your ideas over to the listening group. You will naturally be afraid that doing this in a language that is not your own is unachievable.
You will lack fluency at first, but in time you’ll get to know the short way of saying something. Learning along with a native speaker or living within a country where your target language is the only one being spoken, is the best method to get where you want to be in speaking a new language.
J, Katie. “What’s Stopping You from Speaking a Foreign Language (and How to Fix It).” Joyoflanguages, Joyoflan, 14 Feb. 2018, joyoflanguages.com/scared-of-speaking-a-foreign-language/.