Once upon a time, it was summer in a faraway land called Germany. Amidst miles and miles of green acres atop a small hill right next to a mildly polluted lake, there was a castle. In that beautiful castle, 50 Youtube stars from all over to world came together for three magical days. It was a time to get to know each other, inspire each other and just talk to each other. All of these Youtube stars are famous within and beyond their countries of origin — be it Australia, Brazil, Iran or Colombia. They are the voices of a globalized generation; all of them speak to their fans in a common language about topics that really matter, such as identity, politics and humor. But, how were they going to communicate with each other? That’s where Babbel comes in: We joined the event to help translate to and from several different languages and help keep the conversations flowing. Yes, we are the closest thing to a fairy godmother.
Being amongst our favorite social media stars 24/7 allowed us exclusive peeks behind the curtain. The truth is that we found them all to be pretty awesome!
These girls speak out and share their opinion — big time! More than that, they are fully aware of all the skills that are needed in order to do so. And guess which skill rules the top of the long list? Drumroll … languages! Oh, it’s a full circle.
Really, it all starts with a dream: Who do you want to be? And what language do you want to learn next in order to become the vision you have of yourself?
Naturally, we won’t leave you alone with such large existential questions hovering over you! Instead we’ve combined the extraordinary expertise of our Youtube stars with our very own language learning hacks. You can now lean back, connect to your inner self and open up to awesomeness. Enjoy and internalize these 5 golden steps on your way to becoming awesome!
1. Decide On A New language 😎
Oh, it’s a cold day and the bed is sooooo cozy! Enjoying a lazy Sunday morning is a wonderful thing to do, but there’s the danger of missing the right time to throw the blanket aside and get up. You’ll regret staying in — at least when you see your roomies returning red-cheeked from a day outside and getting ready for bed while you, still in your pjs, suddenly realize: You really did nada with your day.
But this isn’t really about Sunday walks in a winter wonderland, it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone. The more you explore, the more that the scary unknown becomes easy and comfortable. So stop only speaking the language you feel most secure in. Once you’ve spent some time and energy talking in a foreign language, it will become easier (we promise). And that’s progress worth celebrating!
Deciding on which new language you want to learn is pure fun! The world is your oyster, after all, so make your choice.
2. Be Your Own Coach 🎯
You are the expert of your own ambition: You know what you want better than anyone, so who should get you on the right track to achieving your dreams? It’s you! Congratulation, you’ve just hired yourself as your very own personal trainer. Now, don’t worry, there’s no need to give up your current career or cut back your knitting hours. Being your own coach isn’t so much an additional task as a change of mindset. So where to start? First, you need to realize what learning techniques best fit your goals and your personality. Do you really want to record a French Youtube tutorial for all those beret knitters out there? Then determine that you need a specific French vocabulary, plus the self confidence to hold a monologue while displaying your talent in front of a camera.
Once you’ve determined what you need in order to get your dreams realized, the coach inside you will come up with the perfect plan of how to actually get there: Which of these effective methods helps you learn best? Is an app the magic solution you’ve been looking for? Or does a trip to France revive your fossilized vocabulary?
However you decide, don’t forget that a coach shouldn’t be too big a fan of tough love: You have good days and better ones. You took the initiative, so give yourself some credit!
3. Speak, But Don’t Forget To Listen Too 🙋🏻
All of our Youtube stars have a topic that’s close to their hearts and that they strongly believe in. Be it the little things that matter, such as finding the perfect gift for your best friend, or tackling the big issues, like women’s rights.
As in every epic battle — no, this isn’t the article on Game of Thrones — the golden rule is to speak and listen: Communication is a two way street. This is true both for becoming a bright shooting star and learning a new language. Don’t give into the temptation to make it all about yourself. As much as you need to cultivate a voice, you should know when to learn by simply taking in what others have to say.
When starting to learn your new favorite language, make sure to expose yourself to native speakers. You can do this through meeting native speakers in person, watching videos or listening to music in that language or through the audio function of a language learning app. When listening, pay attention to both sentence intonation and single word units. You’ll soon see how a stream of unfamiliar sounds breaks into meaningful and manageable bits — which you are then able to reproduce. Recently, some of us took on the adventure to learn Spanish with our app. You can imagine how closely we were listening to Katie Angel speaking Spanish. And just imagine the awesome feeling of being able to then talk to her in Spanish, too.
4. Love What You Do 💖
“Awesomeness” is spelled with an A, just like “authenticity.” Once you’ve chosen a goal you want to achieve, your passion and dedication become the forces that drive you. If you truly subscribe to your ambition, and who you are reflects what you do, well, then you are on the right track to being awesome.
Don’t worry if you feel stuck from time to time — you know you are your own coach, so think about how to motivate yourself to continue the path you’re on. For instance, when learning your new favorite language — let’s say German — you might sometimes feel that German grammar is just as hard to chew as an overdone Schnitzel. But don’t worry! Getting a handle on the grammar is not the reason you embarked on this quest, it’s just a marker on the side of the road. Remember the initial spark that set you on the journey in the first place — and simply try again.
If you love what you do and believe in your goals, your motivation won’t run out.
5. Know That You’re Already Awesome ✨
Nothing comes from nothing. What might sound like a cheesy phrase from Philosophy 101 is, actually, a crystal-clear piece of wisdom, because you never start a journey with nothing. If you realize that you are already awesome, you can be sure that you will continue to be awesome.
No matter where you are from or where you are heading: Being awesome and learning a new language is a process that takes grit, bravery and inspiration. You put yourself out there in real-life conversations to share your opinions, test your skills and participate in a great multicultural experience. The simple fact that you have taken on this adventure is already pretty awesome.
So, let’s return to our first question: If you could learn any language just like this, which one would it be? What’s your answer? It’s as easy as it sounds to get started. Take a look at our Youtube stars to see how they have answered our question.