Learning English as a foreigner

handwrittenToday I learned a new English word, ‘Percolate‘ Learning English as foreigner can be difficult. You think you learn it in a few months but the real truth is, you never know every word there is in English. For me it has taken years and still I find words I didn’t know about. I wish I could learn some other language the way I have English but that has been too much of a task. I’ve tried to learn Italian and Germany but they’re even more difficult. I prefer English though. I’ve learned it since I was 11 years old so I’ve come far since then.

So how have I learned? I watched a lot of British and American TV shows. I’ve bought a lot of English pop magazines and read books. Most of my favorite bands and artists are English speakers so by watching their interviews without subtitles has helped a lot. There’s a lot of ways to learn the language. I haven’t talked English much but when I have, it hasn’t been a problem. First time I used it was our trip to Germany in 2008 and in Russia this summer. Last time I spoke it was in school. We have two English speakers in my web design class. It’s kind of funny. I should practise English and they should practise Finnish. So we should actually use both in conversation. If I didn’t speak and write English, this blog wouldn’t exist and it would be much harder to study web design.

Learning a new skill always takes time. Percolate slowly but safely. Nothing happens over night. Some Finns are afraid to speak English because they think their accent is bad. But that just makes it unique. Everybody can’t sound like a native English speaker. I don’t know if I have an accent but I wouldn’t care if I did. There’s nothing to be ashamed of trying to speak a language. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you pronounce something wrong, it doesn’t matter. If a person laughs at you, then you’re speaking to a wrong person. A lot of people have accents and their not afraid to use a foreign language. It’s from mistakes you learn. What’s fun about learning a language is that you’re never finished. There’s always something new to learn.

If I had stopped learning English, I wouldn’t have known what I know now. Practise makes perfect but I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be proud of what I have achieved in a foreign language so far. That’s one of the reasons why I write in English. Not everybody have a chance to learn a language from a young age and not many who can learn it fluently. I’m still not fluent but I get my message through. I don’t even need subtitles when I watch something in English. Knowing the language, searching information online makes it much easier. I’m blessed to have a skill that I can use almost anywhere in the world. If only I could learn French the same way or any other language. But my brain capacity is too small for that kind of thing. Learning is fun when you know what you’re doing. So go and learn a new language or learn to get better in a language you already know. It might feel it takes forever but believe me, it’s all worth it.




13 thoughts on “Learning English as a foreigner

  1. I like how you share your experiences with languages. English is my first language, and being born and brought up around a language is much different than learning/studying it. Every time I struggle with a new language, I remember how my non-English speaking friends face the same difficulties in English. Practice is all it takes to get better. Using blogging to get better is a beautiful idea.


  2. I can’t agree more on your thoughts. English is my second language, and even though I started using it since I was 1 year-old, it still feels challenging when it comes to check grammars before submitting important reports or uploading posts online. I do not have many chances of using English as my friends living in America since where I live right now does not use English as an official language. I always feel not fluent enough because I do not know as much slangs as my native speaker friends do. But what is quite solid, is that it becomes better and better every time I use it. I keep read books, write and express my feelings in best possible way, and try not to loose a grasp of senses that I’m already used to.

    Starting a blog in English would be one of my new challenges in near future. But I’m wondering how can I possibly know whether my expressions look natural or not without someone checking out sentences for me. How are you going through this?

    And thank you for sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love, Hannah


    • I read a lot of English fan fiction and watch English speaking TV shows without subtitles. As for grammar, I found this free app called Grammarly which checks the spelling and grammar as I go. Even when I write this blog. It’s been very useful so far. Here’s the link https://www.grammarly.com
      I have no one to talk English to. There are 2 students in my class (I study web design) who speaks the language so I do get some practise in speaking. You learn better English as the years go by. Writing this blog helps too to get better. I also use Google if I don’t know a word or the spelling. I definitely recommend writing a blog in English.


  3. I agree wholeheartedly. I have been studying Spanish intensely for the past 2 1/2 years (after a long hiatus) and I realize now that it will be a lifelong venture. That is cool though. I already know enough to get around and survive in any Spanish speaking country. I can read and write with no problems. However, as with anything, I want to keep improving.

    I also would like to learn a new language but I know how much it took me to get to my current level in Spanish and I don’t know if I have the passion for another language as much as Spanish. Without that passion I would not last long. So unless I move to another country that speaks a different language than English or French I am satisfied with two languages.


    • Spanish is a language I would like to learn too. I know a few words but I couldn’t go far with that. It’s great that you learned the language. Muchas gracias. Or something like that ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great thoughts. English, I learnt in school, but not so well. Spanish I learnt when working 4ยฝ months in Las Palmas, French by reading books using dictionary. After 10 books, I use seldom dictionary. Portuguese I learnt on two winter courses. After it, I was able to post in Portuguese also as in those previous languages, I said earlier.

    Good luck with new languages!


  5. Wow, that is so true, everyone thinks that, by living in another country, you can immediately learn to speak the language. It is SO MUCH harder than that!

    When I think of the word percolate, I think of a nice hot cup of coffee brewing through a percolator, definitely a word I don’t use very often but brings up such nice memories ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wish you lots of luck on your language learning journey, we’ll always be learning!


    Liked by 1 person

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