Learning English Changed The Course of My Life
Language is more than just a way of communication.
It is a form of identity. It is a wire that shapes your thoughts and helps you to express yourself to the world.
Language is a DNA print that gives you all the historical power and weakness of its formation.
It is the past of your generation as much as of its future.
I was born in Russia and Russian language has formed my personality way more than I give it the credit to.
It made me the way I am with all the challenging things in the pocket.
But learning a second language was a life changer for me.
Why I started learning English language?
It has been 10 years now—a whole life I must say.
Back then I did not understand the sudden need (almost craving) to learn English and become an English-speaking writer but now so many things are way clearer to me.
I did not feel like a part of Russian-speaking community even though I was born in it.
And it was not a problem of the community but rather my identification with it.
I was in love with English literature and the way feelings and emotions were expressed in it.
I also felt there was a missing piece to my understanding of the world and I instinctively knew that learning a second language would help me to see what previously was impossible for me to see.
But the deepest motivation for learning English language was to become a different person (a better one, hopefully) and connect to what seemed so far away—to the world beyond my country.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I had no one to help but even more so I had no idea how to ask for help. Ironically, it was the beginning of a new life for me.
What it was like to be learning English language by yourself?
It started with the cheapest grammar book that I found in the bookstore.
You will not believe it but it costed twice less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
I still think that book was a blessing because I had no spare money to afford all those expensive books language gurus recommended on their blogs.
That was easy part.
The rest—not easy at all.
I spent eight to ten hours daily learning new words and grammar, practicing speaking, watching English TV shows, reading English novels, trying to write my own stories in English and so many other things.
Did I mention oceans of tears I had spilled while doing that, because trust me, there was a lot of it back then?
And through my first year, driven by obsession of finally rewriting my first novel in English, I kept the circle of eight to ten hours of daily language learning.
But the most important thing I learned about learning a language was that you do not need anything but a wild, animalistic desire to learn.
Expensive textbooks are fun to have but, let’s be honest, if you are not willing to spend hours going back and forth through those textbooks, do not wait a miracle to happen.
How English language changed my life?
It helped me to become a better person and get a good grip on mental balance.
I discovered deeper meanings of the words we speak daily but hardly acknowledge.
Actually, learning a second language made me feel like a superhero at some point. Nothing seems impossible anymore.
And I have a ton of positive shifting in my consciousness that is the best gift I received after years of hard work I put into learning the language.
I learned that speaking your feelings aloud (something that is not as obvious in Russian language as it is in English) is not a crime.
English language opened the door to a whole new world to me because now I had a powerful tool to connect with almost any person in the world.
Thanks to English language I entered the world of freelance (I am a freelance translator, for those who did not know it), started this blog, wrote 19 novels in English (my debut novel is in the process of editing and will be published really, really soon), wrote 90 poetry pieces and poems, and a bunch of short stories (though writing short stories is not my jam really.)
I met hundreds of people all over the world, not leaving my room (turns out, a lot of people worldwide speak English.)
As a way of making extra money, I teach English language to kids and students. I also practice teaching Russian to English-speaking people through Internet.
I finished a bunch of online courses thanks to my experience in English language and learned a big deal about business in different countries as well.
The list can go on and on almost endlessly.
So many times, I was told that learning language by yourself was not possible (it was a coward way of saying that I was not smart enough to do it.)
Another great thing that I leaned while learning English language was that you are the only one who puts limits on yourself.
You need a big WHY in order to succeed in learning any language and I had that gigantic idea of becoming an English-speaking writer, so I was pretty much ready to give anything in exchange for this to happen.
The only thing I was asked of was my time.
“A different language is a different vision of life.”– Federico Fellini
I once tweeted that learning a new language is like building a golem of yourself; it is a great way to expand your knowledge about the world and people living in it, and to rewrite the programming of your consciousness planting the best possible pieces taken from another language and culture.
Is it challenging? Yes!
But you still are going to enjoy it at some point, when the first sentence goes easily out of your mouth, and when people living, what seems, a world apart start understanding you.
I am not exaggerating by saying that learning a second language is like a rebirth of some kind.
It changes you and your life, and it changes it for the better.