I've always been fascinated by people who seem to effortlessly pick up languages and can converse so easily with others from other cultures.
When chatting to the team from a Language for Fun recently, it was so obvious that they were really passionate about passing on their knowledge and why they believe it's the start of a never ending journey.
You have to start somewhere and understanding why and your reasons for learning whatever that may be, will enhance your journey along the way.
Maria suggested us to read this article from Amanda Soeleiman, which sums up really well what they mean:
"1. A journey of understanding other cultures and its people.
When we learn a new language, we will practice the different words or the alphabets. Soon after, we will be exposed to the culture as well as the people behind the existence of that language.
2. A journey of being as open-minded as you can, and aware of new ways of thinking that come into your mind.
Being exposed to a different culture might be exciting or unnerving in the first place. We try to get accustomed to a certain tradition that unusual to what we have in our native country. That might be unacceptable, but the key here is we need to be unprejudiced, seize down the barriers, stay tolerant and be understanding
3. A journey of honoring your own culture, that you should embrace who you truly are, accept where you come from, and still holding your own value
I have met countless of people in my life where they slowly leaving their own cultural value in order to fully blend into the new culture (I too experienced the same thing). Self-praising and boasting my English was my mistake, and the result was unpleasant. The key here is to not leaving a value of own language and moving on to another language but to acknowledge your true identity and embrace your cultural origin.
4. A journey of witnessing a language as a tool to penetrate to different traditions, cultures and seize down the Stereotypes.
Have you ever encountered a misunderstood conversation with the people from different nationalities, that awkward joke you try to pull off but failed to dust? or worst, it insults them?
We need to keep in mind that nowadays millions and millions of people traveling and moving around the world. Tourists, Foreign workers, Students, migrants and so many people from different nationalities are learning or using the same language in a host country. Language is a communication and we do not just communicate with the local people, but also with the other people too. The bottom line is to speak with clarity and confidence.
At this point, Language should also be used to promote tolerance and empathy towards any differences.
5. A journey of understanding yourself to allow a new way of communication, this include gesture, pronunciation, etc., come into your life.
In order to understand the others you need to know yourself
One of the best ways to understand yourself is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Often times, too many people try to show their Language skill by forcing themselves too hard to speak fluently and perfectly. If you are aiming at fluency just like the native speaker, please think again. Language fluency will eventually develop as you progress. Moreover, communication is all about clarity and confidence. And also, try not to use vague gesture to avoid misunderstanding."
Read the full article here.
Why not start your journey this Autumn? Classes are available locally in Italian, French or Spanish from a Language for Fun. With other like minded individuals in a relaxed environment.
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