“I’m scared of speaking Spanish. I’m scared of saying something wrong!”
I hear this from people that are learning Spanish. They know some words but tell me that they felt scared to use them when they ordered their food at their resort restaurant in Cancún, Mexico.
They were scared of messing up when they were talking.
I’ve been learning a lot about the role that fear plays in our lives.
As I read more about how we look at things, I learn more about how thinking positively can make all the difference in pushing past what we are scared of.
It got me thinking about the fear that we can have when thinking of learning a language. It’s normal to feel fear or a bit anxious when learning something new and going outside of our comfort zone.
The problem can be when we allow this fear to be a reason to not pursue our goals and work towards making changes in our lives.
The important thing to remember is that we need to keep going forward or else we won’t achieve the goals that we want.
3 Common Language Learning Fears
When learning a language, our main fear centres around being scared of looking foolish or being embarrassed by our pronunciation. We may feel that we may forget a word or say it all wrong.
All language learners will experience this at one time or many times while learning!
It’s understandable that we will make mistakes since we are going through the learning process. I’m sure it’s happened to all of us, even when speaking English!
I sometimes can’t think of the word I need either in Spanish or English. Sometimes I can think of it in one language or the other but it’s the wrong language at the moment.
Fear #1 – Will people be annoyed or act impatient with me??
The main thing that we are scared of is that people may get annoyed or impatient with us as we try to speak the language. The majority of the time this won’t happen.
But honestly, at times it can happen.
We have to remember that it’s not a big deal in the end since we are learning and we’re going to make mistakes.
I’m sure that person will also feel unsure of themselves with something in their lives when they are doing something new.
Fear #2 – Will someone make fun of me??
Another thought we often have when learning something new is whether we’ll get made fun of by someone.
At times it can happen. Somehow we have to put caring about this aside.
Usually though, it’s forgotten about moments later as their attention goes elsewhere.
We also have to remember to laugh at ourselves sometimes too.
Fear #3 – Will I say something wrong that might mean something else??
Another thing we are scared of is that we may mispronounce a word and say something else that is funny, embarrassing or even rude if the word sounds similar to another.
Other than to keep practicing and learning about these differences, there isn’t much we can do to prevent this.
Just remember, it can happen.
But if does, the other person will know that you are learning the language and it’ll make a funny travel story to tell when you get back home.
Have you felt scared of any of these when you think of learning Spanish?