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  • Judy Schulten

16. Follow this rule about mistakes.

If you say something incorrectly and realize it immediately, you can correct yourself right then and go on. This will help you learn and won’t impede the flow. Self-correct or ignore; don’t apologize. Just do the best you can. Always use the best Spanish you have right now. Don’t let The Best get in the way of The Good. Tell yourself, “You’re doing fine. Keep going.”

Meet “mi amiga venturosa” Betty.

Betty learned Spanish so she could hunt bromeliads in Ecuador. Whether it’s recovering

lost luggage in the Quito airport or traveling a jungle river in a dugout canoe, Betty can

communicate. She’ll speak Spanish with anyone, anytime. I have never heard her apologize

for mistakes or for what she doesn’t know.

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53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

It's fun to read about other people's struggles with a second language. Fun, and somehow comforting. I just read Monsieur Mediocre, by John von Sothen, an American married to a French woman, living in


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