Monday, April 6, 2015

Learning the Language

A Hungarian Poster
"Study the language. The language is key to the culture. This doesn't, however, mean you have to attend class (thank goodness). Just turning on the radio is a big help - you'll become familiar with the speech patterns/intonations/dialects, the popular music, and what's going on in society. You can also watch movies in the language (especially with subtitles), take up a hobby outside the home, or get a language buddy. Then, of course, there's the Internet - podcasts, language websites, and online forums. If you enjoy classroom learning, there are classes at different language levels....."

I'm drafting my response to interview questions on an expat site. Some of my answer I've already put into my draft of DutchInLaw, the book. It's fun to think through, but I feel like I'm missing some of the answer because it has been so long ago that I first set foot on Dutch soil. And the way I look at language learning as a 29 year old woman is different than when I was a 15 year old girl. Then, I had studied some Greek, Spanish, and French. Now I've studied Dutch, Polish, Italian, and a little bit of German. I've figured out that I do not learn well in a classroom setting; I learn best by immersion, and following my interests. I've also found that I'd rather watch a movie or listen to music in the language than study the details of grammar details, which means I can quote sentences but not necessarily conjugate them.

Writing about language learning makes me wish I had a reason to learn a new one. New friends who only speak Turkish? An upcoming move to Spain? Still waiting for a big enough lure....

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