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May 09, 2014

On Being Wrong

In a sense, learning a language, even the language we are born into, is like mastering any other area of human endeavor - we will make mistakes. As language learners we don't hear things correctly, we forget things or we just plain...

...don't say it, remember or pronounce it right.

As with eating or working or using any tool, the real issue is not getting it exactly right every time, the real point of learning any skill is actually to learn to keep learning.

In other words, don't worry, or even focus, on getting everything exactly right, but do develop the ability to learn from your mistakes.

As I've heard several people say; the only real mistake is the mistake you don't learn from.

Here is a link to a TED Talk on the importance of being wrong - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QleRgTBMX88.

I may have mentioned this before, but the people that bother me the most are those who feel the need to be, or believe themselves to always be, right about everything.

I think you will enjoy the TED Talk above, Kathryn Schulz is everything I like about a speaker - she's funny, insightful, concise and easily understood. She also tells great stories. And she's not afraid to admit when she's wrong.

Using a language is a public experience where we, or those around us, are bound to make mistakes. Don't pick on people who make mistakes, don't paralyze yourself with perfectionism and don't too proud to be corrected.

Learning a language, or even using the one you have, can be more rewarding than you could ever imagine.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes - I make plenty!


Posted by mmorf at May 9, 2014 11:14 PM


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