What life lessons have you learnt from language learning?

Hey LingQers,

Although I’ve learnt 2,000 words in Chinese, I actually think the life lessons I’ve taken away from my experience over the last five months are equally as important. Here are a few quick things I’ve gained through language learning:

I’ve learnt how to better accept my mistakes and faults, especially when speaking, lol.

I’ve learnt that it’s okay to change your motivations around as long as you keep moving forward.

And the most significant of all: I’ve realised that I can learn any language to fluency! Anyone can! This has got to be the coolest discovery because I never believed it was possible before committing to my last five months of learning.

Those are only a few of the lessons I’ve learnt, but I’m more curious about you guys.

How have you grown from your experience in language learning?


I’m hoping to learn that patience is rewarded. I’ve learned that I can stick with language learning even when I don’t see much progress, but getting from knowing a few random words to knowing a language seems like a big reach for me at this point.


I learned that being constant pays off, and that is the hardest thing to me.


I have learned that the 90-day challenge and the effort to maintain my streaks are a negative influence on both my learning and motivation. I’m not saying that it isn’t important to work every day, but I am motivated by intrinsic reasons out of pure interest and joy; the challenge concept changes that for me, in a bad way. All of a sudden I’m worried about my ranking in the 90-day challenge, or how few words I’ve learned compared to others, or how some of these people reach my 90-day goal in less than a day. Why do they even bother? What is their motivation? Do they really know that many words in such a short time? What is wrong with me? Am I stupid or something? Got to keep that streak alive, so I’ll just sloppily lingq some words I won’t remember, even though it’s time to sleep and I can barely stay awake. Oh, just got an email from Lingq saying I can buy my streak back…wtf? The system itself is promoting some type of deception…who wants to lie about their streak? Nobody I want to know.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Lingq. But I love other resources as well, like youtubers (Senor Jordan comes to mind). I know we’re not supposed to worry about grammar, but when you’ve forgotten the grammar you learned (or didn’t) in your native language (like me), I think it helps to learn that stuff too. So I spend a lot of time that cannot be easily tracked by Lingq, nor would I want it to at this point. I’m letting go of all of the extrinsic motivational gizmos the system has to offer, and it feels great. Now that’s motivational!


Language learning helps me relate to people of diverse cultures and world-views. I enjoy the opportunity to befriend people I’d otherwise never talk to, were it not for studying their language, such as Buddhist mothers visiting from Malaysia in the coffee shop, or the burka-clad Iranian woman I met at the children’s hospital with her disabled child, together with my disabled son.

Admittedly I’m also addicted to the rush I get speaking Japanese or Mandarin in random encounters with natives (mostly Chinese people). I especially treasure the time I spoke both languages to restaurant staff in front of my 80-year-old father whom I hadn’t seen in years. Priceless ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°),


I have learned that I have to study by communicating people who speak the language I want to learn and use as many ways I can to be involved with conversations.

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Don’t try to convince people of anything. Even showing results will not convince sycophants and those who adhere to dogma. A good example is showing someone who says AJATT doesn’t work, the results of those who do AJATT. They will often still claim it doesn’t work as if the proof you just showed is imaginary.

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The biggest thing is to be ok with uncertainty. I really took this lesson to heart from some of Steve’s videos. It’s ok if you don’t understand some of the grammar in a sentence, or not everything is 100% clear at the moment with known words. Accept it and keep pushing forward and with time and practice things become more and more clear. As I’ve adopted this principle, the process has become even more enjoyable and my results have increased 10 fold. It has been huge for me.


Very true. I wasn’t much of a perfectionist to begin with, but looking back a year ago and then at who I am today I can say that language learning helps do away with perfectionist tendencies. We can improve and spend lots of time learning the language while still being ”lazy” because we aren’t forcing ourselves to do things that aren’t enjoyable. This is all somewhat common sense but I still need to be reminded of it sometimes.


Language learning, and particularly learning Russian, taught me the importance of patience and putting effort into what we do. I also learned how to organize my time and assign different priorities to different parts of Language Learning. I think that these are skills which can be applied in everyday life.

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