Learning a New Language
February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
I can speak both Japanese and English, but my first language is Japanese.
I do not remember how I learned English much, and now I am trying to learn new language by myself (I did learn some Spanish and Indonesian from a lecture and my friends), I found it very difficult.
Learning English was just part of my life. Except learning ABC (just letters and a few vocabularies), I started late. I learned ABC from my mother’s American friend. I went to see him every Sat and just kept repeating what he said. I was probably 5-6 years old. He corrected me if my pronunciation was wrong. Now I know that there is some limitation of child motor controls (and child cannot make all English sounds), I know he was not a linguist. He was just a guy spoke English. However, I learn so much from him. I always get happy when somebody tells me I have less accent. I quit going there after I started my elementary school and got busy with other lessons (piano, gymnastics, calligraphy, swimming, tennis, etc). After that, I learned some grammar at Kumon for a year or so in 5th grade, but other than that, all I had was jr. and high school education. If you think of high school spanish here, that is pretty much what I had. You study for the exams, but after them, you forget materials and are far from talking with natives. So, I learned a lot when I came here for Senior year of high school. Nobody at high school speaks properly either; so, that made me harder to understand them. I did not get much “formal lecture,” I do not feel I learned English and how I did it.
Now, go back to the main story —learning a new language. I do not think that I am good at it, but I do enjoy learning a new language. Learning a new language means more people to communicate with and respect to the people who speaks that language. Many English speakers assumes/expects everyone to speak in English even they travel around, but to me that kind of trip is fabricated. Unless you speak what natives speak, I doubt that you can understand/appreciate the country you traveled and see what it is like to be in a foreign country. Easy to say it, but it is hard to do it… but I think at least you tried and that little effort shows some respect and appreciation.
I had a worst morning ever in the last couple years, but I wanted to talk about this.