‘He who has two languages has two souls’…

I can’t remember who said that, but I think it’s true and that it is the main reason why we feel akward when we speak a foreign language. We feel self conscious when we hear ourselves uttering foreign sounds or using different intonations. We sound “different”, not ourselves and this can be a little bit embarrasing. But it is a feeling we have to fight if we want to speak other languages, communicate with people from other cultures and get to know them. It’s just a question of resorting to our sense of humour, of being able to laugh at ourselves, I think. We don’t have to be word-perfect, nobody is, not even native speakers so although I agree that we have to aim high in order to achieve results, there’s also the danger of aiming too high, unrealistically so, as this can only lead to failure …

I think that as with everything in life, practice makes perfect. The more you speak, the more confident you will feel, the more used you will get to yourself speaking English, to your “other soul” …

So, my advice is: relax, use your English as much as you can: read in English but read things you find interesting, listen to English, watch films or TV shows you like, speak in English, write in English (here in this blog for instance): do things you enjoy doing and do them in English, and don’t worry too much about getting a perfect accent or being totally accurate, after all you can have a successful Hollywood career without that!šŸ™‚

clj

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