How a Foreign Husband of a Filipina Can Learn Tagalog

If you are married to a Filipina you might want to explore the possibility of learning Tagalog, as I did.

Tagalog is one of those languages that appears impossible at first but, if you commit to it, you can learn it much faster than you may anticipate.

If you are doubtful about embarking on this project let me offer you some tips from the book “Mastery” by George Leonard:

He defines mastery as the mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.

Here are some meaningful quotes from Leonard that definitely apply to learning a seemingly difficult language like Tagalog (as much as they apply to mastering any other skill):

All significant learning is composed of brief spurts of progress followed by long periods of work where if feels as if you’re going nowhere.

On the path to improvement: the general progression is always the same. To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so, you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere.

Rewards will always come to someone who commits to the practice, but the rewards are not the goal. The practice is the goal

Masters love the practice and because they love it, they get better. And the better they get, the more they enjoy the practice. It’s an upward spiral

And this is really what learning a language like Tagalog is all about: long plateaus where you don’t seem to be making much progress but, eventually, by practicing day in and day out despite your apparent lack of progress, your Tagalog starts getting better and you start loving the practice and find yourself going on an upward spiral until you become so fluent that you are no longer satisfied with just being fluent but you want to get the edge over your Filipino wife herself and speak her native language better than she does!

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