Ode to the language learner. This is for you.

5th October 2019

This is for you. Whether you're multilingual or learning your first few words. We see you. And we need more people like you in the world.

This is for you. For all that time and ink you spent on word lists and verb tables. The one who hears that there's no point in learning a language "because everyone speaks English". But you do it anyway, because you hate being that tourist. To the young and middle aged men and women, doctors, lawyers, teachers, CEOs and pensioners. Well-spoken in your native language, yet willing to sound like a 2 year old in your new one. Because it means that much to connect with someone outside your little corner of the world. For every time you forget a word or grammar point and think: "I should have known that". For the chances you had to speak, but chose not to. And beat yourself up for not being brave enough. Or the times you did speak, but it came out wrong. And beat yourself up for not being clever enough. The ones who want to get closer to people with different skin colours and religions. Because speaking their language - even if it's only a few words - is your way of showing them that they matter. We're all here with you, forgetting that word 27 times, making awkward mistakes and worrying that we don't have the time, the motivation, the organisation, or the talent to learn a language either. And we're still going. Whether you're multilingual or learning your first few words. We see you. And we need more people like you in the world. Thank you. Merci. Grazie. Gracias. Danke. 谢谢。 p.s. If you'd like to thank someone you know who's learning a language, send this their way or share it with your friends on social ❤️

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