The relevance of swimming with a language

Can you remember the first time you tried swimming? I can vaguely remember it, I remember that it was at a small club called “los delfines” (translated it means "the dolphins" -

how original) in Lima, Peru, with about 10 other students of different ages. I still remember that indoor pool smell, and the smell of the inner-tubes & floaters that we would use. Watching our teacher demonstrate how to do the crawl, and then trying it out in pool with about 20 inches of water. Learning the theory of swimming was important but I really only started learning once I was in the water, and especially when I was in a situation where I had to stay afloat. We’re a lot more capable than we think we are, and when put in a situation where we need to develop a skill or use one that we subconsciously have we somehow find a way to adapt and grow/learn. Countless times when I was working as a full time volunteer doing humanitarian projects throughout the world, I found myself in situation where I needed to communicate in a language that I knew about 4 words in….at first in order to make myself understood I would use the few words I knew with a combination of infantile hand motions and facial movements that I can only image how embarrassing that would be if someone had a hidden camera, then I would learn a few more words, then I would learn a few phrases, then I’d figure out how to combine them to form conversations. Within weeks I was already communicating in a language, of course not perfectly, but I was making myself understood and I was understanding most what someone was saying. I was in a situation where I was forced to learn otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get anything done. I didn’t have the time or finances to go to a course, it was before internet was as accesible & in most cases I was in locations where there wasn’t internet anyways. I learned a few basic phrases that most people out of common sense will learn first like: •My name is Manuel •I don’t speak …. very good •Nice to meet you…etc And from there I’d just build little by little through just applying and using what I observed, and the reactions I’d get with the people I’d communicate with. My advice: start speaking! Doesn’t matter how silly you sound, this is your life, your personal development. Believe it or not most people are far less judgmental when it comes to foreigners-trying speak-their-language than you think, most likely they’ll be delighted at the opportunity to be able to impart their knowledge in some way. So…Jump into the pool (language)…even better without the floaters :)

#immersion #mistakes

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