Finding Your Second Language

Finding your second language: An invitation to compare yourself to…yourself


There is a wonderful article in the New Yorker about hyperpolyglots (those who speak at least 6 languages) that is worth a look-see. Hyperpolyglots are basically the Olympic-level champions of language acquisition. A fascinating world to say the least! And just like their athletic counterparts, they have a natural disposition for languages that most of us do not possess.

As we all know, we do not have to play tennis like Serena Williams to enjoy the sport ourselves. We can enjoy her immense talent and, at the same time, be interested in, work on and enjoy our own game. The same is true for languages.

Your Spanish, for example, does not need to be like anyone else’s Spanish to work for you. Just like Serena has her own game, even native speakers and hyperpolyglots will have their own versions of their languages. If you have an accent, so what! If you want to work on your accent, go for it! If your current version of the language has a few (or a ton of) mistakes, so what! It’s your language and if you want to work on that, great. If it’s enough to make yourself understood and that’s all you need, that’s great too. The only thing you need to focus on is your language and, if you want to, to keep pushing yourself to find out what you’re capable of.

Happy learning!

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