December 20, 2010

Language Learning (tip #1)

Learning languages can be an interesting thing, but sometimes it may turn to be very challenging. As a person who is learning different languages during recent years, my experience can be very useful, that’s why I want to share it.

While searching for ways to improve my knowledge of languages I found an advice in Internet: “If you want to learn Italian, forget your native tongue.” Is it fare? Should you really forget one to learn another one?

Absolutely not! Just the exact contrary!

If you forget one language when you learn another one you’ll never be able to increase the number of languages you know. It will always stay the same. But when you compare one language to the other one, it’s much easier. For example, in Italian and English there are a lot of common words. I made my list of those words and found out that I know more than 200 words in Italian, I didn’t even know about. Some examples of those words are:

in Italian – in English

agente – agent

ambizione – ambition

animale –animal

pacifico – pacific

There are also other words that are common with Russian words:

in Italian – in Russian

ballerina – балерина

macchina - машина

telegramma –телеграмма

So, without making any extra effort you can remember hundreds of words if you already know their equivalents in other languages and compare them.

Let me tell you another example from my life, which shows that comparing languages can be interesting. Once an Italian friend of mine showed me a link to a film in Italian about demolition of an airplane. Though I wasn’t good at Italian at that time and the film was full of professional terms but I understood most of the words in the film. But how? The fact was that some words had their equivalents in English, like:

in Italian – in English

motore – motor

carburante – carburant

condizione – condition

impossibile – impossible

pilota – pilot

cabina – cabin

strumento – instrument

So, summarizing this tip 1, I can say that while learning languages, it is very important to compare words of similar languages (languages that belong to the same language group).

… to be continued … (click on the Lable of the post to see also other language learning tips)

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