Want to Speak Another Language?

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When I was still a small kid, my parents took me to Hawaii. I don’t remember much about the trip, but there is one moment that I can vividly recall.

I was trying to get into a mall alone for some reason. The mall was busy that day, and there was a bunch of people coming out of there. As a small kid, I thought all I could do was to wait until people finish coming out. But the flow of people never stopped. So I tried to come in when it got less busy. Then I almost bumped into a woman coming out of there. Then she said “Excuse me.” with a flooding smile on her face as she opened the door for me. I completed a mission of getting into the mall but I immediately went back to my mom and told her what happened with excitement.

At that moment, I somehow associated the friendliness and kindness of this woman with English. Looking back, it was an irrational association. But since then I could enjoy learning English. When other people were studying English for an exam, I was learning it for fun.

It takes ten years to learn a language. You are going to give up if don’t have fun doing it. So start from falling in love with it. Find a book you love. Find a movie you enjoy. Find a hero you admire.

On my way back home from Hawaii to Japan, I asked my mom how to order Ginger Ale in English. When a cabin attendant came to my row, I asked in my high pitched voice, “Ginger Ale, please.” My mom praised me, as she smiled at me. I was filled with joy.

Now, some 20 years later, as I use English every day, I still enjoy communicating with it.