For the Love of Languages

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Travellers, who I know or met either speak more than one language or are learning a new language. I’m born to a very multicultural family. Let me try to explain my background, I’m born and raised in United Arab Emirates, my grandfather is Palestinian and my grandmother is an American of Austrian and Hungarian heritage which makes my dad a fruit salad and in addition he is born in Lebanon. My mum on the other hand is a Filipina with Spanish ancestry (aren’t we all)*.

*Referring to the Filipinos ( my Kabayans)

So where do I consider home? Honestly! I have no clue…. I just belong to this world. After meeting my British husband, we planned to create our own culture; a culture that suits both of our principles.

A valuable asset for being a multi-racial person is to be able to speak more than one language and be able to understand and relate to a culture even if you do not agree with it. I speak English and Arabic fluently but little Spanish and Tagalog however I do understand. I JUST NEED TO PRACTICE.

To learn a language is simple actually, it is never too late to say ‘Ohhh I’m too old to learn’ or ‘Ohhh I do not have the time’. OH PLEASE…..EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES….Yes, children learn quicker, nevertheless consider it to be a brain exercise. To learn a language you should have a purpose or passion for it. For example, Tim is learning Arabic to be able to converse with my family and also because it is a great advantage to be able to speak to Arab clients in the Middle East.

So my fellow bloggers and readers, here are my 10 ways to learn a new language 🙂

  1. Pick a language you are interested in (a perfect example would be, my husband picked Arabic because he lives in the Middle East or pick French because it sounds romantic OR Mandarin because it’s challenging)
  2. Keep a phrase book in your pocket or bag and read it on the bus, train or while sitting and having coffee.
  3. Listen to songs with clear words  (For Example, If you are learning Spanish, don’t listen to Pit-bull)
  4. Find a Speak Dating/ Language Exchange club. I joined one before where you exchange languages with fluent speakers. For example if your mother tongue is English and you are learning French. You sit with a person who speaks French but wants to learn English.
  5. Once you feel you’ve reached an intermediate level of conversing then travel to a country that speaks that language and practice.
  6. Watch movies with NO SUBTITLES
  7. Think in that language (Translate things in your head)
  8. Buy children books in the language you’ve selected and and by time, you’ll advance to reading novels.
  9. If driving, listen to an audio CD and always repeat after it OUT LOUD.
  10. Dedicate a day or two to sit and focus on language study books.(Dedicate 2 hours)

The key to speaking a language is Practice, Practice and Practice.

I know some people who are not considerate that I’m learning a new language, there are times where I stutter and stop to think what the right word is and they either continue my sentence or mock me. I’m still learning to overcome such behaviours so when a native speaker does that to you, don’t ever let them put you down. Believe in yourself

Good Luck! حظا طيبا! Buena suerte! Suwerte

 

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