I started learning a new language a few years ago. Lithuanian was the language of choice and I might say, not the easiest one to pick for a monolingual English speaker! I did manage to learn enough Irish and French in school to pass the exams, but I’m not at all able to hold any kind of conversation in either language, so I didn’t hold out much hope for Lithuanian either!

I have struggled my way through app after app and nearly choked myself trying to string together sentences that would be comprehensible to the Lithuanian speakers I know, much to their amusement! Now here we are, 5 years later and I’m not by any means proficient, but I haven’t given up. I have visited Lithuania 3 times in those 5 years and have been totally overjoyed to be able to use even the smallest of sentences and be understood! Then I would stand there trying to decipher the long, fast answer that inevitably came, only to reply back with what has to be my most used Lithuania phrase, “Aš nesuprantu” – I don’t understand. But! I was understood!!!

A Lithuanian friend of mine sent me a link to a TED talk given by Angela Lee Duckworth (Phychologist) entitled “The Strongest Predictor For Success”


in which she talks about what seems to be the greatest factor in someone being successful in whatever endeavour they undertake and her research points to one critical quality … grit! yes, sticking power. No matter what your ability, the thing that will bring you success is your determination to stick with the task over a long and/or hard period of time until you have reached your goal.

With that firmly in mind I am determined to keep going with my Lithuanian language learning and not only that! I’ve decided to add learning Spanish to the pot just to keep it interesting!!