Learning = “being okay with mistakes while making progress”

To start learning a language takes courage: the courage to put yourself in a situation where you are okay with making a million mistakes. Think about it for one second. You know basically nothing about the language. Take my case: I’m learning Turkish for the first time. Turkish is not a Latin language. What’s more, the order of the words in a sentence differ from what I’m used to. Also, there are a few suffixes that alter the meaning of words. For example, sınıf means “the class”, and sınıfta means “in the class”. Simple, but new. The point is I won’t learn everything in one day: the non-latin roots of words, the awkward order of words in a sentence and the meaning-altering suffixes.

So, at the beginning, I should be okay to “approximate” sınıf and sınıfta because in the meantime, I’m learning the basics like “hello, thank you, congrats, how are you, bless you” etc.

At the same time, I should be honest when I don’t understand something because if I’m not honest, I could end up being mistaken for ever instead of having had the simple humility to recognize and understand my mistakes.

That’s why I should allow myself some leeway in terms of making mistakes, almost like a thin line to navigate from between the in-comfort of “being okay to make mistakes” and the comfort of making progress one mistake at a time!

Besides, my coach obviously knows better how to guide me through that journey. I’m climbing a mountain. I’m blind. I can fall on one side where I will be mistaken. I can take a step forward and make progress. I’m not on the top of the mountain. I still make many mistakes. She has a rope. She can pull me. She can show me where to take my steps, but little by little my vision becomes less and less blurry and I can grab that rope with all of my strength and pull myself up and even on my own: all the way up! Does it make any sense? 😛

All of the above reminds me of a motto I love that goes like that: making mistakes is not important, understanding why is.

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