For humanity, being able to fly was impossible five hundred years ago. Imagine if a person from that time traveled to 2017 and saw that man flies thousands of miles every day -“impossible”- would he say?
Do you limit yourself? Are you one of those who has the word “impossible” in your everyday vocabulary? If so, let me tell you that you need to reset your beliefs and start believing in the impossible.
I did some research on several forums about making Spanish your first language, and all of them had several people saying things like “No, it’s impossible to change your first language”, or “your mother language will always be your mother language”.
Certainly, I want to clarify that I am not an expert in linguistics or about the science of the brain, or anything like that, but I strongly believe that you are the only one who limits yourself.
If you say it’s impossible to make a foreign language your first language, you are conditioning yourself before even starting. You are tying yourself to your mother language, and this will slow down your Spanish learning because you will always make a comparison between Spanish and your mother language.
Forget about a second language
When I was in my teens, I decided to learn to speak English as a native speaker and I wanted to make English my first language because I believed I could do it, and I did it.
Today, I’m still learning English, and I’m still learning Spanish too, language is creative, it is constantly changing; go back to the 60’s and ask a person to google for spanishtomind.com, his answer would probably be: “what the heck does google mean?”
Stay in the 60’s and ask another person to take a selfie with you, he’d probably say, “How do you eat that?”
Spanish, English, Japanese, Portuguese, German, French, they are all creative, constantly changing, leaving old expressions and words behind to create new ones, just ask your grandparents about words they used to say that nobody else pronounces today.
Languages are just our natural means of communication, we should stop categorizing languages, creating a list of which is your first or second language will only tie your brain to one language, making you believe that your most effective way of communicating is using your mother language.
Consider Spanish and every other language that you want to learn as an extension to your current vocabulary and an improvement of your communication skills: language.
Get the native speaker mindset
For you to start making Spanish an extension of your first language, you need to start thinking like a native speaker and this requires time and effort, that’s where the process of learning begins. Now you need to take action, I recommend the following eight tips:
1- Listen to lots of Spanish: Listening will be the foundation for any language speaking, spend a great deal of time listening to interesting and fun things in Spanish.
2-Think in Spanish: Start thinking in Spanish with the amount of vocabulary you have, ask yourself how would you say things in Spanish during daily situations like driving, commuting, eating, talking to your family, etc.
3-Talk to yourself: We all have an eternal conversation with ourselves, take advantage of this and speak Spanish to yourself, no matter if it’s out loud or in your mind, but do it.
4-Pick your movies in Spanish: A regular person prefers movies in their “first language” because for them it’s easier to understand. Now, because you want to make Spanish your native language, you will switch the language of the movies to Spanish.
5- Pick TV and even music in Spanish: Watch the news, your daily TV shows, listen to Spanish music, audiobooks, podcasts, there are tons of great Spanish artists out there waiting for you to discover them.
7-Learn idioms: Idioms can be confusing for those who stick to standard Spanish because, what they mean is totally different from what they seem at first sight, and often only native speakers can explain the exact meaning of an idiom.
If you want to make Spanish your first language, you need to use idioms to understand native speakers and why not? Explain them just like a native speaker.
8-Learn an accent: Stop talking Spanish like a foreigner, if you are reading this article, it means you are interested in getting serious about making Spanish, “an extension of your first language” you need to get an accent and sound more natural.
After reading this, you are not allowed to say: “It’s too difficult”, “may be one day”, “this is great stuff, I’ll start tomorrow” no! Remember: there are no limits, and language is not an exception, you can make Spanish your fist language if want to, there is plenty of people who speak more than one language, what is holding you back from learning Spanish effectively?