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作者:成都高中学校 来源:www.scgzxx.com 时间:2017/1/7 14:35:10

  For many of us, the start of the new year is the time we often dust off our language dictionaries and workbooks and resolve to learn a new language. We conjure up dreams of communicating seamlessly with locals during our next trip and impressing our friends with newfound skills. But most of the time, as we get caught up in work and life, our plans get shelved along with our books.


 But the truth is, learning a language shouldn’t be a chore. After all, reading, listening, and chatting with others are all great, enjoyable activities, and learning should be, too. And it also can be easy—if you approach it in a fresh way.


 1. Learn as if You’re (Really) Young


 When I start to learn languages, I often approach it through the eyes of a child. Children’s books and learning materials start with the basics and break them down into small fragments—and when you’re pressed for time, that can be much easier than getting into a dense workbook.


 When I first started learning Korean, I learned my numbers in 10 minutes with the Korean Numbers Song. Later, I used children’s books and music videos to help gauge when I was ready to move past an introductory level. When I got to Korea, I gained confidence by speaking to nieces and younger students—they understood my basic words, and I wasn’t so worried about messing up. These conversations gave me the foundation to learn “formal” Korean later.


 2. Watch Movies


 Before I left for India, I got to know the three Khans—Shurukh, Salman, and Aamir—three of the most popular Bollywood Stars of our time. I immersed myself in their movies and songs, which not only made my ear familiar with the inflection and sounds of Hindi language, but also helped me learn a few basic phrases.

 出发去印度时,我只知道三个叫“汗”的人:舒如克·汗, 萨尔曼·汗和阿米尔·汗,他们是我们这个时代宝莱坞最出名的明星。我疯狂地看他们的电影,听他们的歌,这不仅让我的耳朵对印地语的发音无比熟悉,还帮我学习了一些简单的词组。

 Of course, my first words in Hindi, “Tere naam le ke” (my heart takes your name) didn’t really help me order food or get around Mumbai efficiently. But, because I understood how real Hindi is spoken, as I learned the language, I ended up speaking it fluidly instead of like a robot (as I might from one of those audio-lessons). I also got to bond with my host family about the movies I had seen and the music I liked.

 当然,我学会的第一句印度语“Tere naam le ke”(我的心里刻了你的名字),虽然在点菜以及孟买游玩时并没帮上什么大忙,但因为我了解真实生活中的印地语是如何说的,所以我的发音非常流畅,完全不是音频教程中那种机器般的发音。那些以前看过的这些电影和喜欢的音乐,还让我和主人家庭关系更加密切。

 In Thailand and Japan, I learned a lot of basic phrases by studying karaoke songs—and even performing them! While it was embarrassing at first, it did help me practice my language, and also prepare for business situations (where karaoke is a common networking event).


 3. Go Shopping


 Instead of reading about the local market in your language text, why not just go there? Visit the Chinatown, Koreatown, or other ethnic neighborhood in your city at home, and talk with people to practice numbers, basic words and phrases, and polite formalities. I’ve found that vendors (especially in the U.S.) are always happy to chat with me, and even happier to help correct my language mistakes. It’s a great place to practice a lot of conversation in a short amount of time.


 4. Use Technology to Learn Like a Local


 There’s no need to invest in expensive software when there are so many free resources and apps out there. With a few downloads and apps, you can get daily updates and lessons, speak with a native over Skype, or have Google hangouts with people who are also learning. You can also get one-on-one attention with teachers and tutors on some of these sites. In addition, the BBC has great language learning guides, which offer insight into culture and everyday life in other countries.


 5. Speak as Much as You Can


 The only way language will stick is by speaking and listening often, so take any opportunity you can find to use another language. Talk to friends from other countries, try out an ethnic restaurant and speak to the owners in their language, or join meet-ups of like-minded language learners. Even when I’m at home, I try to speak new words and ask about how things are pronounced correctly in a different language. Remember to work on your accent and tones—one of the best compliments to receive is “your accent is really good!”


 Learning a language doesn’t have to be a resolution that gets tabled again—it can be something to embrace in a fun new way. So as you prepare to travel to a new country this year, don’t be afraid to dive into the language. You may not become fluent, but knowing a little bit will go a long way.