In my own success story, I consider all the many friends that I have made around the world, thanks to learning new languages, to be the coolest part by far and the force that drives me to continue and try to share this wonderful experience with as many other learners as I can.
Today I am hoping that as many of you as possible take just a minute or so to drop a comment to share with us and share your success stories!
Seriously, take a couple of minutes right now to write something, even just a short comment! The nature of the two topics of conversation we have open to discussion means that you must have something to say about either one 🙂
The first post, which is quickly becoming one of the most in-depth references of the blog in terms of covering many aspects of language learning and providing useful links, is about reasons why we don't succeed in learning languages, and retorts for why we can. If you are a struggling language learner and feel there is something stopping you then you should find a suggestion in that post, or can write a comment on that page to let me know what hasn't been discussed yet!
In this post however, I am looking for success stories. I want to hear your inspirational stories of overcoming your challenges to learn a second language, how you succeeded, and the wonderful benefits you got from being able to use that language (whether your interest was spoken, or written, or reading etc.). I am especially looking for unique, funny, interesting, special and inspirational stories to help inspire other language learners, but normal everyday Joe stories are quite welcome too!
The reasons I am requesting this are two-fold;
Firstly, others can see your story and vote up their favourites or reply to create mini-discussions. This alone could make the comments on this post one of the most interesting places to visit on this site over the long-term, as many of you have much more interesting stories in language learning than I can possibly write about on my own!
Inspire millions of people with your story!
Secondly, I will take a few of my favourites and either request them as more detailed guest posts on Fluent in 3 months to be read by hundreds of thousands of people, or include them in a much bigger project (hint: related to my as-yet-still super-secret contract in Berlin) to hopefully inspire many millions of language learners around the world.
For one great example, see one comment on the previous post from Julie who is learning several languages despite being deaf and partially blind and getting discouragement from others. Her story is obviously one I want much more people to know about! It's truly inspirational, and deserves a chance to get through to as many people as possible.
What about you? Learn a language despite being way too poor, being a single mother, starting very late in life, or other challenges that you overcame? Tell us!!
What success means is also relative. It can be giving a speech in the language, reaching fluency, having your first deep conversation, having your first ever basic conversation, understanding what you read or heard or anything else you are proud of.
Make sure that you write an email in the appropriate field or associate your comment with your Facebook account, Disqus account or similar, which has an associated email address I can get in touch with you through. (By default, only I see email addresses in comments, which are hidden from the public). This is only for asking to use your story outside the blog (this site's ~400,000 visitors per month is nothing compared to what I have planned 😉 ) with your permission.
Otherwise, share it here below anyway because even normal stories that many others can relate to can be incredibly inspiring. You could well be the one to inspire many people who are browsing the comments specifically looking for motivation and a story that sounds familiar, or a more familiar story selected for the mega-inspirational project I have in mind.
If you would like to share your story just with me for privacy reasons, without using the comments feature below, you can send me an email (I read all my emails, but can't reply to them all). I always absolutely love reading your success stories, both in my inbox and on the forum! But I'd like to take this to another level, and make sure as many stories as possible can be read by others, so comments are preferable!
My questions for you as you reply (answer one, some, or as many as you like, or go into other important aspects of your story) are:
- What challenges did you initially have to overcome when you were getting started with learning your language?
- Did you always want to learn this language, or where you always good at language learning? Or did you start from scratch as an adult?
- How did you overcome your biggest challenges?
- What language learning technique(s) and tools did you use?
- Who are what inspired you to make the jump?
- How long did you spend to get to where you are?
- What wonderful experiences have you had now that you have learned a language to this level?
- What plans do you have for the future with your target language?
There is no word limit in comments, so write whatever you feel like! Brief replies are also welcome 🙂
Thanks so much for helping me to inspire other language learners with your wonderful stories! Even if you don't reply to one, come back to this post later and vote up your favourite replies, and if you have not had success in your language learning, check out the post beside this one for why you have no good reason to not charge forward! 😉
Also, feel free to share this post on Facebook with your friends to get their stories too. Cheers!