Be multilingual in a year, is it possible? It may be if you learned one language in three months! There’s a way, as Ted in the video I’m linking here would say. He gives us a bit of background on how he struggled to speak different languages, how he once thought he did not have the ‘language gene’ or the natural ability to become multi-lingual. From this video, we learn that the real secret is to just start speaking. I know this doesn’t make sense to someone who felt the way he felt when he couldn’t learn a single thing from the ‘usual’ methods. But hear him out…
Languages are expressions of self, and it’s the verbal address stamp of where you’re from. Let’s take English for example. Americans and British people speak English, but the way they talk would give clues to where they come from. The same goes for the British and Australians, with similar ways of speaking, but different ways of expressing.
But what if you’re American and you speak French fluently? Can it be that you are French as well? Not necessarily. The thing is that you can speak another language even if you weren’t from the country where it is natively spoken.
Saying greetings in many languages is fun, and I am glad to know that celebrities think so, too. Being fascinated with Korean as well as other languages, I found this video of Jang Geun Seuk extremely adorable. To those who know him, he’s a prince in the Asian entertainment world and one of the most lovable Korean stars.
His bio at wikipedia tells us he is a language buff, too; learning Japanese on his own before formally going to school in NZ to study the Japanese language as well as English. He has been acting since the 90s, as a child actor, before finally breaking into the mainstream korean drama genre that we love so much. He’s been around for a long time, and have tackled many projects. This talented guy’s most popular dramas include You’re Beautiful and Mary Stayed Out All Night. I’m looking forward to his drama to be released in 2012, Love Rain.
I was looking for material for my post on new year greetings when I stumbled on Jang Geun Seuk and his greeting video. Check out the video:
He’s speaking in a casual way here, which figures because he’s talking to his fans. His voice is melodic, especially his accent when he says ‘Happy New Year’. I love how the Korean language make it seem like the speaker is saying his lines in a sing-song voice, especially towards the end of the sentence.
My generation was probably very lucky to have IYS, or international youth service. It’s a penpal service in Finland that connected young people all over the world. The former site was iys.fi. It’s gone now. The last message on the site was so sad.
IYS will be closing down this summer, by 30th June 2008
The International Youth Service (IYS) has been operating since 1952, over 56 years now. We have arranged foreign pen friends for school children and students aged 10 – 20 years in over 100 different countries.
The internet has lead to a situation where sending ordinary letters is old-fashioned. Letter writing, once very popular, is now a hobby of a few.
We have come to the end of a certain period. As we can not find enough young people interested in penfriendship any more, we have decided to close down this firm by 30th June 2008.
The site’s customers were mostly elementary and high school kids who saved up to afford the dollar-per-penfriend-address fee that the service charged. Many parents and teachers supported the service, trusting IYS to send addresses of other kids to their wards. Happy times, indeed, with no fear of meeting shady people.
The last line on the site read: Don’t stop learning different languages and cultures and keep up those penfriendships you have managed to build up. – The staff of INTERNATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE
To which we say, will do!
I met several friends, including a girl from Austria and a boy from Korea. They sent photos and told me about their dreams in life. My Korean penfriend wanted to explore North Korea after the unification, and my Austrian penfriend tried to teach me how to pronounce her name.
My love for languages started at that moment, when I wondered why my Korean friend shares the same last name with a lot of people in his country, and why most western European names are barely pronounceable in English. And my obsession with languages was born.
Isn’t it wonderful to stand around and hug everyone else when the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s eve knowing that nearly every person around the world is doing the exact same thing in his or her own country? Before the fireworks start, find out how people around the world exchange New Year greetings!
In Korean say ” 새해 복 많이 받으세요 ” pronounced “seh heh bok mahn ee bahd euh sae yo”
In French, say “bonne annee” pronounced “bohn-aney”
In Italians, say “Buon anno”
In Arabic, say “kul am wa antum bikhair”
In Filipino say “manigong bagong taon”
In Vietnamese, say “chuc mung nam moi”
In Japanese, say “akemashite omedetou gozaimasu” (the e at the end of the first word is pronounced, while the u in the second and end words, respectively, is not pronounced)
French is one of the old world languages that are still enduring up until now. Surely, you know of a few French words like eau de toilette, pour homme, pour femme and hors d’oeuvres. There are many French speaking countries, one of which is Canada, a special destination for those who want to find employment and a better life as immigrants.
Those who know French wouldn’t miss the opportunity to speak the language whenever and wherever. It’s a beautiful language, filled with flowery expressions that can be used for expressing happiness and anger. As the Merovingian (of the Matrix movie) would say, it’s the best language to curse with because it’s like wiping the arse with silk. So, why learn French?
1. To Read the Labels of Different Personal Care Products
I don’t think I am the only one who got fascinated with the French Language simply by reading the label of my favorite body lotion. Labels of brand name products always include a French part, and that’s what I always (tried to) read.
2. For Work
Not everyone can speak it, and this means lots of money for those who can. Translating French is difficult if you’re not familiar with the way the verbs as well as the pronouns are changed. It can be complicated to translate directly from English, like when the French say ‘je t’aime’, the direct English translation is ‘I You Love’.
3. For a Challenge
You want to challenge yourself? You want bragging rights that you can speak one of the world’s most classy and sophisticated languages? Learn French now, I dare you! Yes, French is just one of the things that are hard to master but when you do, you can get [non-French speaking] people to stare at you in awe.
Seriously now, French is one of the best languages to master, and you’ll absolutely enjoy the nuances of speaking it. Try rolling those “r” sounds near your soft pallet or pushing those “n” sounds out of the way and you will know what I mean.
The traditional way of learning a new language is attending classes in a real school, with a teacher in front and classmates beside you. Sure, you can supplement your language learning by using the tools you find online. However, there are some benefits to trying the ‘old-school’ route first.
1. A professional translator certification may be available at the end of the course.
Many serious learners are looking to find work as translators in the near future. Offering translation services can be lucrative, and you can reach various markets. Businesses want translators to mediate transactions with foreign companies. High end clubs and hotels pay guides who can speak with native speakers and tourists alike. At the very least, you can get hired as a freelance translator online.
2. You have classmates
Practicing with others can lead to instant feedback and interaction, which makes learning a new language more fun! You can create made up stories and use conversation skills you’ve already learned. Memorizing each phrase can be better if you have someone else giving you feedback while you try to pronounce the words the right way. They can help you tremendously.
3. A professional is teaching you
Linguistics schools pay their best teachers top dollar to keep them happy. This means your teachers will probably be among the best around. You can trust the things they teach you, which is crucial for learning a language you will soon use in another country for work or for migration.
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to jump in and feel right at home. Comfort with the way the language goes and how the words roll around your tongue can be the key to becoming fluent in any language you want to learn quickly.
This is probably one of the best ways to learn a new language. If you live with someone who knows how to speak the language, daily conversation is possible. This is the case for those who already live in the locale where the language is spoken by everyone. If you’re not in the country where native speakers abound, you can still learn on your own and find conversation partners elsewhere. You can try chatting with people online via skype, making friends in various communities, and attending a cultural event in your locality.
Watch Foreign Movies
God bless the internet, watching foreign movies has become so easy! Watching movies in the language of your choice can be tough, but the thing is you can get an illustration of how a particular phrase is used and in what context. Here’s the thing: remove the subtitles or simply ignore them. Watching a foreign film ‘raw’ can get you acquainted with the nuances of the language, which you might miss if you keep on depending on subtitles.
If you keep practicing, you can soon communicate with other people as well as understand everything that’s being shown in your favorite foreign television channel.
When you have a basic understanding of how the language is spoken, you can start getting some reading references like books, magazines, and my favorite, comic books.
Make it fun! Whatever reference you choose, here’s the most important thing… get something you will absolutely adore reading!
Entertainment Magazines In Your Target Language
If you’re a Korean Pop fan, for instance, you will never get tired of browsing some entertainment magazines. Get these and view them often. As you progress in your language course, the words on your magazine will make more sense to you, and that can be the measure of your progress.
At the very least, you can start by deciphering the names of your favorite idol groups. Koreans and Japanese, as well as the Chinese put the surname first before the primary name of the person. And, the name of a person has a specific meaning in the language.
Comics and Manga
Comics are great for matching facial expressions with words. For example, Japanese manga can be very useful for learning very basic Japanese. Manga is the Asian version of comics, and they are written/drawn by very talented artists who attract so many fans. Many manga stories have been translated and made into anime or television shows.
Keep It Fun and Simple
No matter what your target language is, you can find references that are written in a simple way so that a newbie learner like you can understand. You can pick up words and phrases much quicker when you have reading materials written in your target language.
Building your vocabulary for a foreign language can be the first step to being fluent. Some languages make it difficult to memorize vocabulary, like those that use special characters (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). However, by using flashcards to remind yourself of the words you already know, you can enrich and enhance your vocabulary wherever you are!
Phrases, Not Just Words
Flashcards are the best tools when trying to learn words that are crucial to daily living. Words like hello, and phrases that wish a person good tidings during the day, are extremely useful. The good news is that these common words and phrases can easily be memorized by using flashcards. Write the phrase you want to learn on one side of the card, and the meaning in English on the other side. It’s that simple.
Use Your Free Time to Study
Whenever you have free time, give yourself a quick quiz using the flashcards you’ve prepared. You can do this two minutes into your break time, and it serves as your major review.
Don’t ever say that there is no time to learn a new language. You can use your time wisely using prompts that enhance and challenge your willingness to learn the language.