Saturday, November 28, 2009

How Languages Touched My Life...!

Una Mexcla de Idiomas y Ideas, Parte I
A Mixture of Language and Ideas Part 1

A Rough Draft

There is nothing more beautiful and amazing to me than learning a new language! This opens the door to communication and more important, culture and better understanding to a way of life. New vocabulary provides building blocks and give insight into what is valued. I love to discover how words fit together to make a sentence! What words are emphasized? How intricate is a language? How do you pronounce it? How is it used? These are all adventures to me … and no matter how imperfect I am in repeating or writing what I hear and see, it still fills me with wonder when I learn a foreign language…

Probably the focal point of motivation for me when I learn a new language is “immediacy.” That means I can try it out right away – put what I’m learning to the test. I think it’s the same for everyone. Do I need this language to be understood right now? Is it necessary in my life? If so, why and how? Then, go to it!

I studied Spanish in high school for four years but that immediacy was not there. So the vitality didn’t exist. Like most students who study a language without putting it to use, it felt separate from my real life. Divorced, you might even say. The words sounded beautiful and I still loved how my thoughts came together, but it missed that extra leap to become an integral part of my life.

In college, I adapted my Spanish to a hands-on class of Portuguese. I used it on a mission campaign and to this day, I still remember memorized phrases. It opened the door to my communication with Brazilians for one month. What joy I felt in drinking “tinto” ( small cups of very strong coffee, similar to expresso) and eating “bocadillos!” (appetizers). Language and culture are inseparable.

When I moved to South America, Spanish danced in my head. The relevancy came back. Spanish took on a deeper beauty and sound to my ears. Although everyone could hear that my Spanish was imperfect, I still communicated and made friends. I couldn’t roll my rrrs, but the mastery of other parts of the language excited me. I started to absorb culture through my study, and when I traveled through the country, or countries that spoke Spanish I became confident.

Tomorrow, a mixture of languages and countries ...

1 comment:

  1. Firstly studying a language teaches you the importance of culture as well as it improve your communication skills. Knowing a language immersion is a social activity and language learning leads to encounters with people from many backgrounds. You will also develop your verbal, written.Today, more than ever, knowledge of at least one foreign language is essential for both business-related and pleasure pursuits.