What else have you learned while learning a language or two?

Who would have thought that language learning – a solitary exercise – could evolve in such a way? Thanks to the internet and the pioneering work of people like Steve and Mark, and the later generation of innovators, language learning has become a world-wide game. No longer the domain of the ‘gifted’, foreign languages are seen as more of a skill to be acquired, a passion to be shared, something to do together in Google hang-outs or on Skype. Polyglots are becoming on-line stars, some more for their personality than their skill, but who cares? Their enthusiasm encourages others to learn and that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

While some of us still blanch at the thought of having to use the camera on Skype, preferring to make our mistakes without eye contact, others are already putting up their own videos on YouTube so that they may monitor their progress and have it assessed by others.

While learning to learn a language other fields open up and suddenly we find ourselves students forever. Not bad.

What is it that you have learned through learning a language?

I certainly know now that learning is a fantastic activity and it really does not mean sitting in the classroom. And I now that we can learn in any age. Happy language learning !

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One of the most fascinating things that I learned while studying French in a university class was the story of the “ice railway” that was used in Montreal in the 1800’s as a way to shuttle people cheaply across the Saint Lawrence river. Growing up and learning French in Canadian elementary schools and high schools, I was blown away that this little gem of a story had never been told by any of my French teachers.

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How much time do you have, Sanne ? Grab a chair ! :wink:
I have learned so much about neurolinguistics and memory for starters. Because of what I have learned, I am trying to plan a way to keep technology from wiping out my attention span, it survived tv it can survive this!
I am learning to do one thing at a time again !
I have learned how each language highlights, brings out a different side of my character, taps into hidden resources.

I lose count of all the facts I have learned. I have learned so much more than I thought was possible about how to exploit the Internet and technology to further my goals. I am going to study some programming in 2015. As you said students forever and it doesn’t get any better than this does it ?

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One of the coolest things for me, and bear in mind - I am a geek, was learning about my own native language while studying a foreign language. Not only did I learn things from a different cultural perspective but I actually learnt new knowledge on a subject I thought I already knew. This is an example of what I am talking about; http://openv.chaoxing.com/detail.jhtml?vcid=1052&vid=19834&pn=1

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Thanks so much for that link. I could listen to that guy for hours! He is so pleasant to listen to. Reminds me of grandparents, and my Chinese professor (who’s not so elderly). Such a lovely personality.

I’ve been learning a lot of amazing things too through my English study.

I realized that I love anything related to Astronomy (I’ve been learning a lot about that subject).

A fact that I learned and really surprised me was that most of the languages spoken by Europe, America, West Asia and few from Africa may have come from a single language source called “Proto-Indo-European” which was spoken by people 5.000 years ago!

And more than anything, I just realized that through my language learning, that it’s not just language, if we put the necessary effort and seek for the knowledge we can really learn anything we want, we have that great potential and it’s the most amazing feeling that I’m experiencing at this moment!

About the origin of languages:

http://elms.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/lexical-distance-among-languages-of-europe/

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Thanks for the links.

There is a lot of information about that subject in this website as well: http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/
It’s a podcast about the History of English Language, but also tells the history of other languages too, including the Proto-Indo-European one.

I wanna learn english can you help me please

To be much more flexible, not to treat language learning as a serious activity to be done from A to Z but to play with the language and to change methods whenever you I want to do. For me some kind of a big puzzle and with every step I do in my target language, I proceed on my way to the big goal.

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I can’t open that link.

I have just re-read your comment, it is so motivating!

Sometimes it feels like doing a puzzle without looking at the picture on the front of the box, and then suddenly an image emerges :slight_smile:

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What a wonderful image you picked ! How true too !

I tested here, it’s working.

If you still can’t, try to type on google: “History of English Podcast”

It´s opening now, thanks. Some temporary problem, I guess.

A great deal of my learning in the last 8 years has come via languages other than English. Thus my knowledge has grown, but not only that. My way of viewing the world, or participating in this world that I share with others, not just other speakers of my own language, has changed, and has grown richer, more varied. It sometimes makes me feel giddy and always gives me great satisfaction. On the other hand, it is often tedious hard work, working my way through material in another language until I gain enough traction, and then it picks up speed, although gradually.

Consistency is everything. What you do isn’t really that important so long as you keep at it. Every expert has there method and every one is different. Do what works for you and you will find success. Keep at it and sometimes the obvious is what you need to do. Want to hear better, listen more. Wish to speak with more confidence, have conversations. It really is all about showing up everyday.

A good side-effect of listening is, besides understanding better, to be able to speak better. Words and phrases come in mind and if you dare to use them, it can work to have better conversations.