Friday, 22 July 2016

Finding the right language

Can you speak more than one language? There is that joke that did the rounds a few years ago, What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks three or more languages? Multilingual. What do you call someone who speaks one language? An American. Now I don't think that is very fair on the many bilingual families in the US but I must say that there are a lot of people in English speaking countries who can barely speak their own language let alone a foreign language.

Can you speak a foreign language? I can to an extent. I believe that I have everyday conversation ability but have never really reached that next level.

I have thought about this a lot over the last few months and I wonder if extroversion and being an extrovert means that you have an advantage when you are learning a foreign language.

The cynic in me thinks that yes there is an advantage as extroverts are natural talkers and they like to gasbag with anyone that will listen to them.

I have a friend who speaks five or six languages. I joke that there isn't enough words in the English language (his mother tongue) for him so he needs another five languages to help him say what he wants to say.

The reason that my language ability is not where I want to to be is quite frankly I haven't worked hard enough on it. I'm sure my friend above has worked ten times as hard as me and he has got the results and it has nothing to do with him being an extrovert or not.

I believe that when you study another language, a whole different world opens up to you. I live in Tokyo and the fact that I can speak Japanese means that I can do things that people who might not be able to speak Japanese may not be able to do without assistance.

I think when you learn a language you have to not worry about making mistakes. I believe that extroverts don't  worry about looking stupid and they say what is on their mind whereas I held back but that was just me as opposed to being an introvert or not.

Sometimes it can be easy to blame your introversion on things but you might have to take a look at yourself very carefully and find that isn't the case. You may just have not worked hard enough.

I would advise anyone to think about learning a foreign language. It could be the most rewarding thing that you do.

Ich spreche Deutsch.
நான் தமிழ் பேச முடியும்.

No comments:

Post a Comment