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Do You Understand What I Mean?
by vickylass in Social Sciences, January 23, 2012
The world is an oyster, but one can be its pearl!
Any road will do, as long as one can say it in the locals language.
An English colleague who was a good traveller and who seemed to have counted all the countries in the world, told me that he felt sorry for these people who have never been anywhere outside from their own countries. I agreed with him, but I also added up and for not knowing any other language apart from their own.
Knowing a second or third language is an asset that not many people have. What I mean by knowing is being able to have a fluent conversation, writing and reading.
In some countries, people find it easier to speak foreign languages than in others. It all depends on whether their mother tongue is a rich one in sounds or not Spanish speaking people, for instance, will be betrayed when they speak a foreign language because of their j, which has a strong sound. Therefore, when it comes to order for a ham sandwich, they are likely to say jam as if it were the ham they are going to have at home. The sound is similar to the English ha, ha, ha. Not without mentioning, the fact that they speak way too fast without considering rhythm and tone.
Arabs can find it easier, because their language is rich in different sounds, but again they make the same mistakes as Spanish speaking people.
The French, even if they have a sound education, seem to speak French even if they are speaking in English, Spanish or any other language. Their mouth is always as if they are saying mushroom in French.
Do You… speak English? French…? Spanish…? What language do you speak?
As I say, a person who can express in another language besides his own, has an extra asset. This person will able to travel around without much of a language problem. They will be to able to communicate with people and mingle with locals. Therefore, their journey will be more interesting and less an isolated one. They will be able to read in the original language, without having to rely on translators, because and even when a book can be well translated, there is always something impossible to translate. I think of the Spanish translation of Oscar Wilde’s famed play The Importance Of Being Earnest. One the translators did a good job, but he was unable to save (and spared us of the joy) the word game Oscar Wilde had used in his title. It was lost in translation, as we’d say.
Knowing a second language well, and even better three, is always useful as far as jobs is concerned. Languages can be applied on many fields and knowledgeable people in foreign languages will be in demand while our world still stays as Babel Tower. I hope it does.
“COIF… Rashida speaking… How can I help?”
As the year is still new and fresh, it could be something interesting to aim to.
This is planned as a series in foreign languages and learning them. Next time, I will share all what I know on how to learn one in an efficient and enjoyable way. Cheers and until then!
* Job Reading
On January 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm
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