When we take a New Year resolution like “losing weight,” “stop smoking” or even “learning a new language,” we fail.
First, because we don’t have a precise objective like “losing 8 pounds in 30 days”, “stop smoking in 2 months” or “speaking German fluently in a year.”
We can also take such a resolution at any moment.
Succeeding is another story.
Starting the challenge is easy. Staying regular to reach the final objective is the most difficult.
We often think that traveling to the country to learn the language is the best solution. It’s false.
I’ll always remember an Indian colleague. He worked as an engineer in a medical research company. English was enough in the office.
He has been living more than three years in France, without speaking a single word of French.
I met him several times when I was doing the shopping. I asked him every time if he improved his French. He always answered me: « You know, French people speak too fast! French is hard to learn! ».
He always found excuses. He just spoke English and Hindi as his native language.
You can live six months in Berlin without being able to speak a single word of German. You just have to speak English all the time, or your native language with your relatives.
However, if you make an effort to speak the local language, you’ll learn more in one week than in seven years of school.
You can also learn the language of your choice without leaving your home.
You can practice your Portuguese with your Brazilian neighbor, your Brazilian girlfriend or Brazilian students in a nice bar in your city. You can also keep learning with Brazilian movies, videos, and TV series.
The famous polyglot Benny Lewis learned Egyptian Arabic in two months with Skype when he lived in Brazil. Think about it!