IWTYAL 157: Keeping a language alive after returning home

Libby asks: “I’ve recently returned home after a year in Germany. How can I keep up my German?”

In this episode:

  • It’s normal for your language to go through “seasons”
  • My Thailand experience, how I feel about it now, and why I’m not worried
  • How I learnt Spanish and Portuguese… and didn’t use them for years!
  • The maturing of my Japanese
  • Having lived abroad and experienced what it’s like to live a language, going back to studying might feel wrong to you
  • You’re doing all the right things… reading, speaking etc
  • So try to answer the question: “What role does German play in my life now?”
  • A new language ultimately exists to use it
  • Personally, I don’t study my older languages much (if at all). I just use them.

What I do to keep my languages alive:

  • Actively search out friends using language exchange sites
  • Attend meetups
  • Sign up to cultural activities
  • Travel to the country
  • Invent language-related projects to keep the language in my attention
  • Run my own Meetup in London

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Today’s Quote:

“The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they’re always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.” – Norman Rockwell

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