Having Fun is More Important Than You Think to Learn a Language

by Angela Efros on November 18, 2014

The quickest way to do anything, is to have fun doing it.  To learn a language, I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to have fun while learning a language!

Stacks and stacks of books, lessons, and homework are not only boring, they are also significantly less effective in learning a language than doing something you enjoy.

Take Tim Ferriss (author of the 4-Hour Work Week) for example.

On his blog he explains how anyone can learn a language quickly. He believes there are three necessary parts to the process:

1. Effectiveness (Priority)
2. Adherence (Interest)
3. Efficiency (Process)

He explains that studying with material that you have interest in is the best way to progress quickly. He exemplified this himself by taking Karate classes in Japanese while he was learning the language. Here’s Tim going into further detail from his blog:

“Review, and multiple exposures to the same material, will always present an element of monotony, which must be countered by an interest in the material. Even if you select the most effective material and efficient method, if you don’t adhere with repeated study, effectiveness and efficiency mean nothing. In other words: can you persist with the material and method you’ve chosen?

If you have no interest in politics, will you adhere to a language course that focuses on this material? Ask yourself: Can I study this material every day and adhere until I reach my fluency goals? If you have any doubt, change your selection. Oftentimes, it is best to select content that matches your interests in your native language. Do not read about something that you would not read about in English. Use the target language as a vehicle for learning more about a subject, skill, or cultural area of interest.

Do not use material in-congruent with your interests as a vehicle for learning a language – it will not work.”

In my language learning experience, the best method for learning was singing. In fact I wasn’t even trying to learn to speak Chinese! I just wanted to sing in Chinese! Speaking came on its own.

Benny Lewis, a polyglot who speaks over 12 languages says this:

I’m not passionate about learning languages but I am passionate about using them.

On his blog, Benny explains that studying is useless, if you aren’t actually using the language for something you enjoy!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you have to Enjoy the Process!!

My friends in China recently released a Music Video for a song we performed on this exact topic. In the video we are all students learning Chinese, but we don’t want to study Chinese!! We want to play a Chinese card game called Three Kingdoms Kill, and that’s how we learn to speak Chinese.

I hope you enjoy the video!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Darin November 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Angela I like what you are doing with this blog! It’s very informative.


kally November 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

Angela went to China in August and had so much fun singing in Chinese that she learned the language. By December she was on TV singing in Chinese.


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