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overcome the fear of speaking

How To Overcome Fear Of Speaking Foreign Language: 6 Simple Tips

This article about how to overcome fear of speaking foreign language may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

I totally understand that you might be afraid of speaking in a group of friends who speak a foreign language. I suppose everybody has faced these situations when you feel embarrassed or feel like your language skills are insufficient to communicate. It’s time to change it and face this fear.

This article will support you and give you 6 simple steps to overcome fear of speaking a foreign language. So let’s dive into it.



6 Tips To Overcome Fear Of Speaking Foreign Language

  1. Put yourself into the shoes of others
  2. Find non-native speakers to practice the language
  3. Think positively
  4. Don’t care about the mistakes
  5. Make fun of yourself & smile
  6. Practice leads to improvement



1.Put Yourself Into The Shoes Of Others

You have probably already met a person in your life whose native language was different than that of yours. You chatted, and the person was talking to you in your native language so that you could understand each other. So he was speaking in a foreign language.

How did you feel at that moment? Maybe you told yourself that the person is cool because he can talk to you in your native language. And perhaps it was the first thing you even told him that his language skills are amazing. You immediately acknowledged the person because he was speaking to you in your native language. And it might be the person who was nervous talking to you in a foreign language.

I bet this is in everybody’s mind when they hear a foreigner speaking the local language to the people. That is the reason why you should never be afraid of speaking in a foreign language. Just think about that – people acknowledge it. They aren’t looking at the mistakes you might make while talking. Instead, they appreciate the afford you are making. When you keep this in mind, the magic will happen, and you will overcome your fear of speaking foreign language.

how to overcome fear of speaking foreign language
How to overcome fear of speaking foreign language: Put yourself into the shoes of others



2.Find Non-Native Speakers To Practice The Language

Don’t get me wrong, practicing with native speakers is always better because you hear the natural language without mistakes. But speaking to a non-native speaker is often very encouraging.

It can help you to become confident when speaking. Especially if you are both approximately on the same language level. That’s a perfect match because you will understand each other, encourage each othercorrect mistakes, and make improvements.

Although native speakers appreciate your effort to speak their language, they might indicate with their body language that you are too slow. This might discourage you from speaking the language.

Especially if you are chatting in a group full of native speakers. They talk so fast, and you might feel so little among them. But suppose you find someone who also learns the language. In that case, you can chat together. You will perfectly understand each other’s feelings and frustrations when learning a language.

So my advice is to speak to non-natives just because you are on the same board, which eliminates your fear of speaking a lot. You’ll gain so much confidence in speaking.

I highly recommend you sign up for one of the top 4 online platforms and practice your speaking skills.

 how to overcome fear of speaking foreign language speak with non-native speakers
Me speaking Spanish with my friends from Azerbaijan & Germany



3.Think Positively

As I mentioned in my article about ‘How to learn a language for travel,’ it is all in your mind. When you program it before and tell yourself that you will speak no matter what and believe that people will understand you, it’s really going to happen.

It just works like that in our lives. When you say that something is going to go wrong, then it really will. Only because you programmed it that way in your mind before. But if you say this will end up great, it will be a fantastic experience, it will be so.

It is the same with language speaking. Before talking to someone, even if you just want to order something and say a few sentences, tell yourself you’ll master it.

Don’t walk into the shop or restaurant with the mindset ‘what if.’ What if the people won’t understand me? What if I get stuck in the middle of the sentence… what if I keep forgetting words when speaking… ‘What if ‘… no, never say that. Instead, say that you’ll speak in a foreign language no matter what. Positive thinking significantly helps you to overcome fear of speaking a foreign language.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. People will understand.

how to overcome fear of speaking foreign language
How to overcome fear of speaking foreign language: Think Positively



4.Don’t Care About The Mistakes

Don’t care about the mistakes you make in the conversation because nobody else cares. Instead, see it from the other point of view. Mistakes help you to improve your language skills. When you make mistakes, you’ll realize them and remember the correct version of the sentence or word.

Next time, you won’t make the same mistake anymore because you learned a lesson from the past. So you again made a small improvement. Therefore, you should never be disappointed when you make mistakes in a conversation.

Just keep talking. You don’t even have to correct yourself while speaking. What is good, however, is to remember those mistakes. Then, after you have time, you can write the sentences into your language travel notebook. This will make you remember the correct version even more.


How to overcome fear of speaking foreign language
How to overcome fear of speaking foreign language: Don’t care about the mistakes



5.Make Fun Of Yourself & Smile

We all come through embarrassing situations in life. That also happens when you speak to someone in a foreign language. You might say something totally ridiculous or something that doesn’t make any sense. And the person just stares at you with this strange face and thinks, “what on earth is that crazy person saying.”

That’s another part of your language learning process. In these kinds of situations, don’t get scared. Instead, make fun of yourself. Laugh at what you said, maybe apologize if that’s appropriate, but don’t feel ashamed. There is no reason to feel embarrassed. Laugh, and if you don’t know how else you could express yourself, say it in English, or let it go completely. Again, people will appreciate that you at least tried. It’s an easy approach for how to become confident in speaking.



6.Practice Leads To Improvement

You have set up the goal of learning and mastering a new foreign language to travel. Keep that in mind. You have to do everything possible to achieve it. If you are afraid of speaking a foreign language, it results in zero improvements.

You can only improve your language skill when you talk and have a conversation. It doesn’t even have to be a native person. Remember, you have to practice repeatedly to reach your goal of speaking a new language. That fear only restricts you from doing so. So get rid of it. You have to overcome the fear of speaking in a foreign language to practice and improve. So just keep in mind your goal, and it’ll push you to go out there and speak.

how to overcome fear of speaking foreign language
How to overcome fear of speaking foreign language: Me speaking in a foreign language in Spain during my Erasmus studies


I hope you will take some of my tips and implement them when you speak foreign language and travel next time. Because speaking will eventually make you love the language and will also improve your travel experience. Try them out, and let me know if it worked for you. Also, let me know below in the comments if you can relate to any of these feelings of frustration and fear and how you tackle them.



Overcome Fear Of Speaking With iTalki

If you feel like you want to start practicing speaking, you can register on iTalki. It is my favorite language platform, which has already helped me improve my speaking skills in the 3 languages I have learned (German, Spanish, and French). Tutors will definitely not judge you for how you speak. Instead, they will really encourage you and help you overcome your fear of speaking in a foreign language. So try it out. It works. 

In addition, I have negotiated a 10$ credit for you if you create an account on iTalki. So just register, find your tutor, book a lesson with him. After your first lesson, you will automatically get the 10$ credit.


Overcome fear of speaking on iTalki



More Tips For Language Learning

If you’re interested in learning a language for travel, check out my article. It’ll guide you to do so in 7 simple steps. Also, get my Language Travel Notebook for free. It’ll make the learning process more efficient and help you keep track of the vocabulary you want to learn. Learn how to use your language travel notebook.

Go to my language blog for more inspiration on learning languages. It will motivate you on your language journey and perhaps help you overcome your fear even more.

Check out my article about the benefits of learning foreign language for travel. I’ll give you more inspiration and encouragement to get started.

I wish you a happy learning. 




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