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Monday, 13 January 2014

"Which language should I learn"?

By now you know I'm a great big believer in passion. It's the only real gold.

It's fine if people 'study something' or 'have a skill' - but great to meet those who are a true expert in it, who live and breathe their skill. The way the world is moving I also think the latter to have more chances in the future. 

So you can have a look at online language predictions for 2025 (Europe) here - OR ask yourself the question and answer within 1 second: 'What language do I WANT to learn'? 'In what language will I achieve excellence'? 

A song to to bring you in the right mood while making a decision (no, you won't understand the words):



I've long reached the age that I can drop a few generalizations. Like (cliché alert!): passion wins, always. I've been an independent online marketer for 8 years now, and that's because of passion. It's passion that puts food on the table, that buys my freedom and that makes me work with great customers.

I worked with people who spoke 7 languages for they wanted to optimize professional chances, and people who 'only' spoke 2 - but so enthused and profoundly they connected with clients unlike anyone else. For it's as though they spoke their culture, the body language, the country, not just their alphabet. 

A person with passion brings things to the table that few others can: quality, depth, self motivation, motivation of others and, above all, an immense and very clear standing apart from others. And that's what competition is all about: standing out. You 'are sexy when you dance', not when you have a degree in grammar. 

Any other reason (than passion) for learning a language will make the process twice or three times as long and hard. I speak 3 languages I really love, and 2 I only learned for professional reasons - and, man, we're talking a world of difference! 

It doesn't matter that I all love them now - it was blood, sweat and tears versus a breeze. (See 'How to learn a language in 1-2-3')

Another thing to consider is: if you are going for a specific language for economic reasons, than so do many others, probably even very many. Where is then the advantage? Are you sure you will be better at it than others - or will know how to 'sell' yourself for that matter? 

You don't have any 'zing' with any specific language or culture? Are you sure? Absolutely sure? You could do what some career specialists do: ask yourself what you did or liked to do as a child. Without thinking, without putting ratio or thought in it (ergo: what is in you, intuitively, effortless). 

Can you remember any mention of or story from or a link to a culture that often came back? Chances are you have - be it ever so delicately - an emotional link to that language or culture, that will enhance your chances. 

Alternatively, we can learn Russian together.
It's the next passion on my own list.

Bernardus


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