I made this mistake, and I have seen many people making the same mistake so, I’d like all of LingoTips fans to know this.
The biggest mistake I have made when I was learning foreign language is this: I can communicate with anybody all over the world if I can speak foreign languages.
I keep saying this in many places but language is only a communication tool. It is a very useful tool but you do not need it to communicate, although there is a limitation without this tool. However, you need knowledge and communication skill to communicate more than foreign language skill.
To make my point, let me ask you this. Is there a friend, co-worker or a boss, who is difficult to talk to? He/she maybe always angry, yelling, short tempered, or not listening to you? If you are that kind of person, then people would not want to talk to you, no matter what languages you can speak. Whereas if you are a good listener, and if people feel comfortable talking to you, then you can some how communicate with them even if you do not speak their language. Furthermore, you will learn their language faster because people talk to you even if you do not speak their language.
Similarly, if you have some extensive knowledge or skills, you can guess what people are saying even in foreign language, and you can even make your point with minimum amount of language skill.
Therefore, communication skills and specialized or extensive knowledge in your field is more important than being able to speak foreign language. I encourage everyone I meet to learn foreign language but I also encourage them to work on communication skills and building special knowledge in their field.