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View Diary: How We Do It Over Here: Iceland vs. America (129 comments)

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  •  It's no different here. (8+ / 0-)

    I'd say it's harder because people are so darned proficient in English here (as noted, you have to be, or you can't live a normal life here, since we can't make all our own products, TV, movies, etc).  It's something you have to decide, "this is important to me", then pick up a book to learn the basics, then always use the language.  That means, speak it even when people switch languages.  Try to make them switch back.  Don't take the easy route.  Don't make excuses, like "oh this thing is important..." because everything is important, and also, if you exclude a particular field (medical, legal, whatnot) then you'll never practice it.  And write it, all the bloody time.  I do Facebook and I write every post at least both Icelandic and English if not only Icelandic (the English is for my family and US friends).  And every time you don't know how to say something or don't understand what was said, you're being given homework.  Write down the word/phrase or look it up on the spot with your smartphone.  If you can't figure it out on your own ask on a language forum or ask someone in person.  And meet with people who will give you feedback - a teacher or otherwise - to work on your pronunciation.

    Yes, learning languages is hard, which is why you have to take it seriously, like you'd take doing almost any other major endeavor in life.  :)

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