Today I am graciously presenting you with 7 ways through which you can make your life miserable learning languages. The best thing is that you don’t need to follow all 7 pieces of advice to begin hating learning languages, usually only 1 or 2 will suffice.
1. Look up every single word in the dictionary
Look up every single word you don’t know (or are unsure of) in the dictionary, and never try to understand or guess the meaning of words from context. Don’t bother just looking up words that are crucial to the general understanding of a particular text; rather, look for every definition you possibly can and make sure reading one page of a book takes at least half an hour.
2. Memorize verbatim hundreds of dialogues and long lists of words
Everybody knows that rote learning is the way to go. You should memorize word-for-word every single dialogue included in textbooks you get your hands on, because this will invariably make you sound natural and fluent when you’ll be finally faced with native speakers to talk with.
Also make sure to have long lists of decontextualized and useless vocabulary to memorize every day. If you’re learning English, for example, you should have lists including words such as tendentious, propitious, jocose, coruscating, and antediluvian. Plugging those in when conversing with native speakers will leave them in awe.
3. Wait until you make absolutely no mistakes before speaking
Never meet any native speakers until you’re absolutely sure that you won’t make any mistakes when speaking their language, otherwise you’re sure to die in embarrassment. It’s common knowledge that natives will laugh at you in unison for every mistake you make. Therefore you should bury yourself in books in isolation because that’s the only way you’ll ever reach fluency.
4. Remind yourself of how hard and boring learning a language is
Movies? Blogs? Music? Forget about it. Everybody knows learning a language—I mean studying a language—has to be a painfully dreadful process. Forget about interesting stuff like movies or music, or learning about the culture of the people that speak your target language. Learning a language has to be boring and hard, so you should never stray away from 1950s-style textbooks telling you that the dative is used to mark the indirect object of a sentence.
5. Make sure to learn every single grammatical rule there is out there
By now you should’ve guessed that buying the thickest grammar book out there and spending months studying through its content is the only possible way of mastering a language. Do not bother learning rules inductively and do not use your reasoning power or common sense to draw inferences by listening to how real people speak.
6. Only study to pass exams
Don’t bother learning a language for its own sake, or even for things such as traveling or making friends. Learn a language to pass exams, because they are the only meaningful benchmark of a person’s fluency in a language, and people will be really impressed upon hearing you got JLPT N2 in Japanese. Plus, language exams usually test you on your grammar knowledge, and as we have seen above, learning every single grammatical rule in a language is a sure win.
7. Never try different ways of learning
You’re stuck in a rut and feel like you’re not making any progress because you’ve been using the same old method for the past 3 years? Do not, under any circumstances, try a different way of learning. Rather, keep studying the same way, just harder and longer. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is by far the superior way to go.
Any further advice?
I hope these short and sweet pieces of advice will prove to be useful to the attainment of your goals, yet somehow I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Could you help fellow language learners by pointing out additional ways they can make their life miserable learning languages? Don’t hesitate to share your own stories
Waiting to hear from you!
By Sam Gendreau