#1 Language learning tip: The most important principle for mastering a language is practicing your target skills directly. If you want to get better at speaking Japanese, for example, you have to actually speak Nihongo. A lot. If you want to get good at reading Chinese, you need to actually read authentic Chinese or Taiwanese books, blogs, social media, etc. So many learners waste their time on indirect, peripheral activities that feel like learning, but are in truth just busywork distractions that won’t lead to progress or mastery. The challenge is that the habits and daily processes that truly lead to fluency also happen to be the most intimidating and least comfortable. Tapping in an app feels safe and fun, but it won’t get you very far. On the other hand, practicing communicating with native speakers will help advance far more quickly, but it entails making mountains of mistakes, enduring ambiguity, and suddenly going from an articulate adult to a bumbling infant. But as I always say, “You can’t skip the suck.” If you want to get fluent, you have to push through the discomfort and fear, practice skills directly, and put in the time. Trust me: the long-term rewards are well worth the upfront investment. Foreign language fluency will open doors you never even knew existed, unlock new facets of the culture unavailable to monolinguals, better your brain, and increase your professional opportunities and income potential. The climb up "Language Mountain" can be steep at times, but if you go about it in the right way and have a strong enough WHY for the journey, you will succeed. Happy trails!