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It’s okay to suck when you start something new

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It’s important to be patient with beginners

This can be hard when they are driving you crazy because you think “this isn’t this hard”.

Remember how you felt when you didn’t know a thing?
A total beginner, not after being promoted or doing something similar in a different company.

You probably can’t, we tend to forget these things.

All the information you have to remember can make you feel excited, worried, frustrated, stressed or overwhelmed.

We forget what it was like when everything was gibberish and we didn’t even know where to look on the screen.

If you ever trained a new colleague, you know that nothing is obvious or easy.

We no longer read – we recognize words

Formal hello in Russian

I’m learning Russian and this impressive word on the left (a formal “Hello”), was my very first word a few years back.

It makes you instantly regret your decision to take that class. Just kidding, but let’s agree that Russian is not easy.

This blog is called Learning Ninja for a reason, so I don’t give up that easily.

Why am I telling you this?

Because my Russian class made me realize that we don’t read words, we recognize them.

That’s why you can “read” certain words with jumbled letters “The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid! or with numbers in them. 

When you learn a very foreign language, you painstakingly read letter by letter, with no idea which syllable to stress, which in turn changes the pronunciation – especially in Russian.

Kids reading books

So, if your first-grader is driving you crazy, remember that you don’t actually read!

Math with a Russian twist

8+6=14 beginners maths as an example for patience

Calculating 8+6 in your head also takes a while, once you do it in an unfamiliar language.

You hear “eight” and your brain needs to make the connection with “8”. Plus “six” – again you are looking for the “6” in your head. You are proud to know that the answer is “14” but you still have to find the word “fourteen”. It feels like it’s taking forever, and that’s because it is.

I mean, you are calculating 8+6 and not √19.86 × π, after all.

So now what?

We often forget how complicated or overwhelming it was to learn something new. Large parts of a beginner’s brainpower is occupied with tasks we can do in our sleep. Once you know something, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to imagine what it would feel like if you didn’t.
So, be kind! Beginners deserve a bit of patience. We are quick to think that things are obvious, just because they are to us!


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