7 common mistakes language learners do and how to avoid them

By January 29, 2020Swedish language

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There are a few common mistakes language learners tend to make during the learning process. Don’t get us wrong, mistakes are a natural part of it, and so, we encourage them! With that said, we want to make sure that these mistakes aren’t holding you back. That’s why today, we’re going to point out the most common mistakes you might be making and could end up holding you back instead of helping you progress!

#1 worrying about making mistakes

Embrace them. In Swedish we have a saying “även solen har sina fläckar” which translates to “even the sun has its stains” and it means that nothing and no one is mistake free. It’s okay to stumble and fumble every now and then! There is no point in letting the fear of making mistakes hold you back and stop you! Fear will only halt your progress!

#2 Focusing on exceptions

Each language has exceptions but as a beginner, you should avoid focusing on them! For example, as a student of the Swedish language, you will have probably experienced “slight” frustrations when trying to get the pairing of nouns with their articles right. But did you know that nouns are most commonly “en” and not “ett” – about 75% to be more specific? Focus on that! The rest will come to you. And don’t forget that practice is key, so why don’t you try this free app? It can help you get your Swedish grammar straight!

#3 Obsessing about grammar

There is no point in obsessing. Focus on communication. Pronunciation and vocabulary will help you with that! Grammar is, of course, an important part of the language, but don’t forget that grammar won’t be much of a use if you don’t have the vocabulary and pronunciation to back it up!

#4 Not setting up a goal

Success is all about setting up goals. Just like in real life. You’ll end up walking around in circles if you don’t know where you want to go. To make the most out of your efforts, you need to set up goals!

For example:

  • Within a week: I would like to be able to order a coffee in the language I’m learning.
  • Within 3 months: I would like to be able to understand the morning news. 

And so on. Set a goal, and keep your eyes on the prize!

#5 Fear of speaking  

We know speaking a foreign language can make you feel insecure and self-conscious, but as we ascertained earlier, no one is perfect! Fear of speaking can become your biggest enemy if you let it. So don’t! Keep speaking, mistakes are part of learning. We’ve all fallen off the bike while learning to ride it.

#6 Comparing yourself to others

It’s hard not to, we all do it one way or another. But keep in mind that the world would be a dull place if everybody looked, walked and talked the same. Fortunately, people are different! This naturally also means that there is no point in comparing yourself to others. You’re unique! Focus on your own achievements instead of the person standing next to you. What they are doing is irrelevant to you. You’re awesome!

#7 Not studying every day

The brain is a powerful and mysterious thing. It has its funny way of prioritizing. With the massive amount of information we’re exposed to during the day, the brain has to make quick decisions and sort out what is relevant and what’s not. If you don’t expose yourself and practice the language you are trying to learn, the brain will classify the language as “less important” and actually file it away. Make sure to give your brain a daily reminder by practicing every day! We know you’re busy, but a 10-minutes session on your language learning app during your commute back home can actually make huge a difference!

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