What about (y)our mistakes?


Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.

We’ve all made mistakes.  I have made some questionable mistakes with; relationships, hairstyles and fashion.  They can be quite painful and make you cringe when you think back, but when we make mistakes when learning languages they can be quite funny, and they are certainly unforgettable.

When I was learning Greek, the words ‘small boy’ and’ cucumber’ are very similar.  There is a saying in Greek about working with a cucumber ‘where the sun don’t shine, they use it when life is getting stressful, I was stressed, I used it, I replaced cucumber with small boy by mistake.  There was uproar of laughter and I never made that mistake again.

My dad made the best mistake in Greek when my parents came to visit me once.  He tried to tell the cleaning lady at their apartment that the light bulb had ‘blown’ and they needed a new one.  They never saw the cleaner again after his very polite request for a new light bulb.  Turns out when I asked him what he had actually said, he had asked her out on a date!  Hilarious!

When I make mistakes in languages it’s usually something to do with rude body parts.  I thought I was doing OK with my Spanish until one day the local farmer at our house asked me if I had werewolves!  Werewolves! Is this man for real?  So I said, no, no werewolves here.  Off he went and returned minutes later with a dozen eggs!  Huevos!  Of course! Silly me!  I need to start having Spanish lessons.

Mistakes aren’t negative, they are an experience you will probably never forget and that’s when it sticks.  You won’t make that same mistake again and that’s a good thing.  Making mistakes are natural and important parts of the learning process.

They provide long-term benefits; mistakes turn into challenges for triumph — just speed bumps along the way to learning and mastering your language.

I still make mistakes, all the time and I never forget them, I laugh in the face of mistakes, bring it on because I’m learning and laughing at the same time.  The other day, I told the plumber I couldn’t feel the toilet without it moving, what I wanted to say was sit on the loo but he understood me and had a little giggle and now my loo is fixed and so is my mistake. 🙂

I’m sure you have made a mistake with your language learning at some point, do you cringe or just shrug it off as a learning process and keep going regardless? We would love to see your stories in the comments below. 🙂


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