Advice for language learners

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop

This is something I wish I had the foresight to see when I was studying Japanese so vehemently all those years ago. I hope it helps. If you’re learning the language for fun, and you enjoy it, keep at it. If you’re learning the language also for the sake of professional development, also find something else you can learn alongside.

Remember, language is a tool for communication. That’s all. Studying the language for the sake of it is fun and everything, but if you’re putting all your bread into one basket, and that basket is language learning, you’re going to want to find another basket to bring along.

Say you do succeed at acquiring the language to an acceptable level. Congratulations. Then what? If you have this other basket there are two great advantages. If you feel your language skills aren’t up to scratch, you can fall back on this other skill, and if your language skills are up to scratch, you can combine the skills together to create a valuable niche.

Being able to translate and interpret is great. Being able to translate and interpret with domain knowledge, is amazing. You started learning the language so you could use it right? Having this other skill means that you can better use the language from the outset.

If you’re wondering what else you can do, I would recommend learning something like marketing so that you can best make use of your communication skills. I’d start with This Is Marketing by Seth Godin.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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