I’ve just been spending some time in Disneyland Paris to practice my French. There is a lot more to languages than just knowing the words and being able to formulate sentences. You have to get the accent right so that you are emphasising the correct bit. You also need to punctuate your sentences correctly. Otherwise you end up with things that you didn’t technically order like this morning I wanted a cappuccino and a special eclair with nuts on but I got a cappuccino, special eclair (we switched to English to pick the nut one) and a nut coffee.
You can be excellent at learning and remembering words, you can study grammar but without practice you will never get past the intermediate level or the classic “broken” speech that so many people have. I am one of those artificial people in terms of speech as I work off scripts and it’s so formal that it’s an immediate giveaway. I would like to be better but it’s not one of my talents communicating.
You also need the desire as well as a need to communicate. I want to do this but I don’t have the ability despite having the intellect. You don’t need resources as many people around the world are polyglots without any money but you do have to like talking. Not only that, you need to like talking to strangers. I most certainly do not like that. So a lack of practice due to reticence will cripple any linguistic endeavour you may have.
What struggles have you come across in your life so far and how have you dealt with them?