Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Foreign languages and how to remember them.

So,one day I was thinking about what were my talents.Not what were my skills,but what were my talents.Most of the skills I have acquired were not acquired by talent,they were acquired through tough practice.However,I am not a talentless person,I just never really got motivated to develop the talents I got.

My computer skills were gained purely by practice.I even think that a lot of my college friends have a better learning curve than I have.

However,let's go back to my talents now.I think I have two pretty good talents(maybe more,but those are the only ones I can think of right now).The first one is that I am great with foreign languages.I mean If I had tried I am sure that by now I could have learned at least 10 languages.I didn't because of laziness.The other one is my ability to surprise people,even myself,even if I don't try.I mean seriously there is nobody in my life whom I haven't surprised.Intentionally or not.Luckily right now I am more or less successful at limiting my surprises to positive or neutral surprises.I am filled with surprises.

Now,let's go back to foreign languages.The context being that I am in the process of learning Japanese.I have actually written the next parts a week ago on a forum,but the forum post was so good that I thought I could expand it into a blog post:

The good:My Japanese is good enough that if I started learning it intensively now that I could speak it pretty good in less than a year.Or watch raw anime.
The bad:If I continue with this speed it might take half a decade or even a whole decade.

I have tried watching an episode of hellsing the dawn raw,and I think I at least partly understood half of it.It was a few months ago.The truth is you can really learn a language just by consuming a lot of media in a certain language.I learned German when I was six just by watching German TV.Even without translated subtitles.I also think I learned more English by using it on the Internet or watching movies in English,and guess what I almost qualified for my country's national English competition.I was second in the Zagreb county and I will always regret the fact that I did not score 2 more points to qualify.And my German used to be even better than my English a few years ago.Yeah I guess I got my point across.Even children learn their mother tongue by listening to people around them.There is no such thing as genetic knowledge.At least that is what science says.You learn languages by using them,not by well "learning them manually".

The problem with that is that you also forget languages by not using them.College has proven that my English is not at its best.Because for some reason or another I am just not using it as much as I did before.Maybe I could switch to dubbed anime,but then I would have to quit on my Japanese so I won't.And my German is even worse off.I haven't had a proper chance to use it ever since they stopped airing German dubbed anime on German TV.But I am planning to enter a student exchange program,and I plan to go to Germany trough that program next year,so I guess I will have a good chance to renew both my English and my German then.

Another problem with this method is that it is not very good for learning grammar,unless you really stick to it.

That's it.Hope you had a good time reading this.
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