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Why the Reason for Learning a Language is as Important as the Method

Growing up in Puerto Rico allowed me the privilege to become fluent in both Spanish and English, arguably the 2 of best languages to become fluent in. Early in my teenage years, I became obsessed with Japan, it was a mix of video games, animation, film and cuisine.  Then a Japanese family transferred to my school, and I became even more enthralled with the customs, culture and gestures of Japanese society.

I started learning Japanese. I was easily putting in 5+ hrs a day into learning Japanese, albeit at the time, I was learning it highly inefficiently, using bad books, long podcast and overall taking baby steps instead of immersion. I took a break for a while, after progress seemed to slow and hard, and then took a class in Japanese that introduced me to some new books and ways of learning. Suddenly my knowledge in Japanese increased threefold in half the time. But little did I know even class was not the most efficient way to learn.

Due to a lack of Japanese people in my college, and also a waning interest in Japan due to their economic problems, the strong Yen, and the work culture there, I started learning Chinese. Chinese is a completely different languages: multiple tones, simple, short words, and a completely different grammar system. But Chinese didn't click with me. I am not particularly fond of anything Chinese, although I do wish to the travel the country some day,  I am not interested in working in China. Furthermore, China’s English education is leagues above Japan ( Japan, even tough arguably the most advanced and developed nation in Eastern Asia, scores really weak on English) with many of my Chinese friends learning conversational English at public schools. Needless to say, I dropped the class.

The day after I dropped the class, I started learning German. being only exposed to Asian languages for so long, I found German to be a breeze in comparison. Not only that, but my reasons for learning German are more solidly founded. For one, I've been to Germany and liked it, I like the young feel of Berlin, how close it is to home and elsewhere, and the lively people and atmosphere. Secondly, Germany is very economically sound and its political system is rock solid, albeit their income tax is insane,  making it a place I would consider staying in for an extended period of time. Last but not least, Germany offers probably the easiest, or at least most practical visa in the EU for staying longer in the Schengen area, a self employment visa.

In only a week I've made insane progress, putting in 4+ hrs a day, buying 2-3 books for reference and constantly etching in patterns into my brain. I am constantly setting goals and trying to reach them. Whether it be do X amount of anki cards or write 100 sentences in 20 minutes I've been churning out German.

Why and How to Learn German Incredibly Quickly

On Ideas in the Making

On my first Trip to Europe Germany was the country that most surprised me. I had expected it to be overwhelmingly industrial and cold, with the people having a penchant for systematic and logical problem solving.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Berlin was teeming with young, exciting life, the rural areas were filled with trees and beautiful vistas, and the people were endearing and happy. Most of all I was even more surprised at how well Germany was doing economically, politically and socially compared to other European nations. Even in the midst of the recession, Germany managed to pay off it World War 1 debt, keep unemployment flat, and keep its GDP to debt ratio in a good standing. Germany's infrastructure and social policy were equally impressive, with clean parks, water, good health care, and amazing roads being widely available. Germany seemed like a dream world.

But what really drove me over the edge? The real reason I started learning German?

Oneword: Startups

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