One of the main things that puts people off learning a new language is that they think it will be difficult.
It’s hard to become bilingual, isn’t it? And multilingual? Forget it! Multilingual people must be geniuses, right? Or at least smarter than me.
That may not be the case. Learning a new language is like weightlifting for your brain! The more you lift weights, the stronger your muscles become. So the more you learn languages, the better your ability to do so becomes!
If you think Twitter is all people talking about what they just had for lunch, think again.
Although food can be a feature of the social network, analysis of millions of tweets has shown that Twitter users form ‘tribes’.
These tribes have their own language, and are often based around a community of interest – whether that’s work, a hobby, or political interests.
The analysis also found the users in a community will misspell words in the same way. One example is Justin Bieber fans, who often add ‘ee’ to the end of words.
The research team hopes the data gathered from the project, which has been running since 2009, could offer a more accurate insight into the changing language used by different communities on Twitter. By learning these languages researchers hope new ways will emerge of engaging with Twitter tribes – rather simply using conventional Twitter features such as hashtags. (Source: Guardian Data Blog)
Not as hard as you’d think, according to new studies. And even easier if you’re already bilingual.
According to one study, learning a language is much like lifting weights to build muscle – the more you effort you put in, the better the results. The skills you learn whilst becoming bilingual can be applied to learning further languages.
“After learning another language, individuals can transfer language learning strategies they’ve acquired to subsequent language learning and become better language learners in general,” said Marian.
She also said that bilingual people are able to learn words at a faster rate within their own native tongue.
Apparently, these research findings confirm two separate truths: One, if you already speak a foreign language and you want to learn another one, you’ve made a big start.
And two, if you only speak one language and you were always confused about how people learn other tongues so quickly, it’s nice to know there’s really no magic to it–you just have to learn the proper strategies and apply them. (Source: Consumer Affairs)
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013: It’s time to set yourself some new language learning goals.
These goals don’t have to be your typical New Year’s resolutions – let’s face it, those never last anyway. That’s because New Year’s resolutions tend to be fairly general (“I’m going to join the gym” or “I’m going to learn Italian”. To make sure you achieve your goal, it needs to be smart.
I don’t mean your goal has to be clever, SMART is an acronym – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Take for example the goal “I’m going to learn Italian” – this is not specific (it doesn’t state how you will learn or where you will learn). It’s not measurable – what do you mean by ‘learn Italian’? It’s possibly achievable – but only when you’ve defined what level of Italian you want to achieve, making it not realistic. And it’s not timely as there is no specified period in which to learn.
A better goal would be “I will sign up for beginners Spanish classes by the end of January”. This is a specific goal – to enroll in a class. It is measurable – by the end of the month have you signed up for the class? It is achievable – you can find a class that fits around your schedule and sign up for it. It is realistic – aiming to sign up by the end of January gives you time to find a suitable class, which also makes it timely.
Once this goal has been achieved, you can set further goals for yourself. “I will attend my class every week until the end of the semester”, for example. Or “I will complete my Spanish homework every Saturday afternoon”.
Give it a try – what are your goals for the year ahead?
So you want to learn a foreign language, but don’t want to work too hard at it? Then one of these languages might be for you!
If you’re a native English speaker, then apparently these languages are the ‘easiest’ to learn.
You might be asking “Frisian? What is that??”
This language is native to Friesland in the Netherlands, and is spoken by fewer than half a million people.
Still, it is English’s closest sibling, uniquely connected in the tiny linguistic category of North Sea Germanic languages. (Source: Business Insider)
Russia is apparently not a very friendly place for the non-Russian speaker. All signs are in Cyrillic with no helpful English translation, although English is the most-spoken foreign language by its population.
This may change though, with the launch of Moscow’s first 24 hour English language radio station. The station will mostly play international music, and it is hoped that it will be listened to by visitors to the city to find out about events. Its PR director said she hoped the station would become popular amongst those learning English as well as foreign tourists and expats.
“Today we are opening the first English-language radio station in Moscow. I hope that this station will open our city towards the whole world,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a statement. (Source: Ria Novosti)