When I was 28, I made a New Years resolution that I will be fluent in Igbo by 30. I gave myself two years to reach this goal just to be safe.
I’m 30 now and I can’t speak Igbo. Well, actually, that’s not exactly true. A na m asụ ntakiri Igbo. A na m amụta! (“I can speak a little Igbo. I’m learning!”)
I’m just not fluent … yet.
Why did I not take this goal seriously for two years until now?
Something about turning 30 made me finally take this goal seriously. What was it about turning 30 exactly?
I don’t know if it’s because I’m married now and the possibility of having kids is getting closer to becoming a reality.
And watching videos like the one below have me afraid of what my household may be like if I don’t learn Igbo now.
if you can understand igbo..lol. pic.twitter.com/etpJGx1cuF
— blackGirlHacker(); (@blackgirlhacker) May 17, 2016
By the way…
Nke a agaghị abụ ụmụaka m n’aha Jesu. (“This will not be my kids in Jesus’ name.”) Amen!
Whatever has caused my sudden interest in taking my Igbo studies seriously, I’m glad it took this long.
Why is that? I’ll give you 3 reasons why below.
Take Control of Your Igbo Studies
I think many of us who don’t know Igbo hold grudges against our parents for not teaching us Igbo when we were kids.
But you know what? It’s okay that they didn’t.
Let it go!
We’re adults now. And we have to take responsibility for learning Igbo ourselves. To me, being active instead of being reactive and letting things just happen in your life feels so good!
Being intentional with your Igbo studies is so rewarding.
As adults, we can choose to learn Igbo. And that is a very powerful decision. We are taking the responsibility of keeping our language alive.
As adults, we can focus on learning only the Igbo we actually are interested in learning and choose methods to learn that suit your personality the best.
As an adult, learning Igbo is in our hands…it’s in our control. And this is an exciting destiny that I look forward to being part of creating as I go throughout my 30s.
Appreciate the Igbo language more
Sometimes when you are forced to learn Igbo as a kid you don’t appreciate it as much. Personally, I remember the few Igbo sessions I was forced to attend as a child to learn Igbo numbers and body parts. I thought, this is so boring! Why do I have to learn this?
Or I know that some of us who were forced to learn Igbo as children, stopped speaking it as they got older and have forgotten most of what they learned. Or they can understand Igbo but can’t speak it or write it since they always respond back in English now.
But I feel like with learning Igbo in adulthood, I’m going to appreciate the language more than I could if I learned it as a child. I just know better!
I know now the importance of why we must learn Igbo.
I’m going to appreciate all of the Igbo lessons I come across and be grateful that they are available to help me learn. And no more sitting through boring classes because with my new perspective on learning languages, I’m less likely to find learning Igbo boring. I’m excited to actually learn now!
And with all of the effort I’m putting in to teach myself Igbo, you best believe I will not be forgetting it. I’m going to work too hard to let my Igbo just go like that! I’m not only going to start responding more and more in English when people talk to me in Igbo so that I forget how to speak it. Nope!
As a an adult, I am definitely more committed to making my Igbo studies a lifelong journey. And I truly appreciate that I have this opportunity now more than ever.
Technology is Making It Easier to Learn!
Ok, I’m about to really show my age here.
When I was a kid, there were no smart phones, no apps, and no mp3 players.
Heck, I didn’t even have a computer in my house until I was almost a teenager. This means no social media, no YouTube, and definitely no Google.
My Igbo lessons were limited to my parents calling me Ada, a few boring non-interactive Igbo lessons in a church basement with some random guy and a bunch of bad kids, and going to Nigerian parties where the adults all spoke Igbo and I had no idea what they were saying.
Very productive way to learn Igbo right? Lol.
Technology has made it so much easier to learn Igbo nowadays. The options are very limitless. And as adults, we have the ability to create an immersive Igbo environments using our favorite technology for ourselves that cater to our learning needs! Isn’t that amazing?
None of your friends want to speak Igbo with you? Find a study buddy in my Igbo Language Learners Club on Facebook!
Want to practice with your Igbo with cousins in Nigeria? Hit them up with a text on WhatsApp!
Need to improve your listening skills in your Igbo dialect? Set up weekly Igbo video chats with your Igbo relatives!
Prefer to learn Igbo on your own at your own pace? Check out the resources in my Igbo Language Resources Library!
Are you extremely busy? Download these Igbo mobile apps so you can learn Igbo on the go!
Looking for videos to watch to help you learn Igbo? Subscribe to my Igbo Video Playlists on YouTube!
There has never been a time with so many interactive tools available for us to learn Igbo like there is now! I’m so glad I waited to learn Igbo for this to occur. It’s going to be so fun learning Igbo now. And technology is only going to get better.
With all of this technology literally in our hands, there is no excuse for us to not be able to learn Igbo as an adult. So pick up your favorite tech tool and get to learning! Have fun! 🙂
What are your thoughts?
Did you wait to learn Igbo at a later age? Do you regret that decision and wished you learned as a child? Or do you embrace the opportunities of learning a new language as an adult?
Need help staying consistent with your Igbo studies? Sign up for my Igbo Accountability Email Series today!
Thank you soo much for your blog, it’s such a blessing. For me I’m 22 and I understand Igbo very well but i just can’t speak fluently. So it’s up to me now really to learn the language and that’s so exciting for me because now I’m actually soo super interested. I’m glad my own learning is happening now and this way.
Munachim, very excited that you are taking control of your Igbo language learning journey! Your enthusiasm will definitely take you far with your Igbo speaking skils! Keep it up nwanne! 🙂
Great! Please, how do I get a software for PCs that let’s me type in Igbo?
Jisi ike, O diro ofele.
I love the zeal
I’m fortunate to have learnt as a child
I am also trying to provide learning resources, similar to yours, though at the beginning stages.
Yes, I think I have seen your videos on YouTube. Thanks for sharing them with the world! I find them helpful. I like how you have them in simple, bite sized chunks. Let me know when your site is up! Looking forward to seeing it!
I agree that learning Igbo later in life (as opposed to being forced into it as a child) has many benefits. Especially the part about appreciating it more. It’s kind of like being a non-traditional college student (or as they are sometimes called “curve-busters”). They enjoy it more and excel, when they believe in what they are doing.
Daalu Udochi! 🙂 I agree and never thought of it that way. I like that way of framing it… I’m a non-traditional Igbo student! lol
Buy yea, when I had non-trad students in my college courses, they always stood out and usually did better than us traditional students.
Lovely post…by working towards your goal, you’re helping myself and several others to work towards ours as well. Igbo is a lovely language. I’m glad I have this opportunity to learn it.
Daalu for the kind words! Yes, Igbo is a great language and I love the challenge of trying to learn it. Good luck on your Igbo learning journey as well and keep me updated on how it’s going for you! 🙂