Misc

Languages That I know and Why I know/ Study them

A while back, I wrote “Tips for Learning a Foreign Language” as a means for making learning a new language a bit easier and a joyous experience for those interested. Recently, I’ve been thinking on talking about the languages that I know/am learning and why I study them. This is to show that you can learn a language for whatever reason as long as it keeps you motivated in order to keep learning and practicing it.  I will also be mentioning some of the things I’ve gone through, which many people who also grew up speaking more than one language do as well. I have mentioned it before, but for those of you who are just now reading some of my content, I am an English major with a second major in Foreign Languages. I am currently fluent in two languages, in an intermediate level in two and in a beginner’s level in three ( I have no life).

Fluent: English and Spanish

I was born and raised up to my 13th birthday in the United States. I used to watch a lot of cartoons and anime growing up which helped me learn English as my first language. Spanish is my second language and the one I use with friends and family since I come from a Hispanic Heritage family and am currently living on an island that has Spanish as its primary language. My parents wanted me to be bilingual so bad, that my parents would try their best to surround me with both languages. In doing this, it became clear that my brain would be permanently jumbled up with both languages- especially since one of my first ever words as a baby was shoepato (a mix between shoe and “zapato” {spanish} ). This also caused me to be heavily confused not only in Spanish but with English as well (I kept on confusing free with tree and three, and bear with beer). This doesn’t mean that I was actually able to speak, write and read in Spanish, however. I would only understand some things during a conversation, but would have no way of responding because I didn’t have the vocabulary to say anything.This made things really difficult since my dad could only speak Spanish and I could only speak English; so my mom worked hard in being our translator.

When I was in third grade, my mom put me in a bilingual school which would have 70% of Spanish and 30% of English. It did help a bit, but I was still struggling in communication and reading. It wasn’t until a month after my 13th birthday where we moved to the place where I have most of my family members residing in. I was put into a private school where the only class that they speak, write and have texts in English was English class- the other classes were in full Spanish. This basically forced me to learn the language and basically cram as many vocabulary words as possible per day. It’s been almost a decade since I moved here, and though my spanish isn’t quite the best and I still tend to struggle with grammar and vocabulary; I can speak, read and write with minimal problems.

Intermediate: French and Mandarin

As my second major, I decided to go with French as my “primary language” and Mandarin as my “secondary language”. I grew up interested in the French language and there are certain shows that I used to watch in my childhood and a few that I am also currently watching (*coughs* Miraculous Ladybug *coughs*) that were originally in french. My favorite story is Beauty and the Beast which came from France. I also have a best friend -who people actually mistake us as siblings- who also studied french and has family members from Canada.

As for Mandarin, I studied it because I’ve always been interested in Asian culture (*coughs* *sarcastic* definitely wasn’t because of my mega weeb phase *coughs*) and many of my family members would talk about how Chinese would be the primary language in the world. Of course, I was excited to take the classes, but I didn’t think I would fall in love with it as much as I did and still do. I now want to go to Taiwan or Shanghai and be fluent in the language. Of course, this has its ups and downs. Since I’ve been studying both French and Chinese, I would accidently speak either in the middle of a class or during an exam. It’s still rather fun with both.

Beginner: Romanian, Tagalog, Korean

These last three languages are a rather interesting combo, but I do have my reasons for studying them.

As a teen, I was obsessed with vampires (shocking I know) and I would listen to an audiobook for Dracula. Years later, I was researching about Vlad the Impaler and, when I found out about his castle being in Romania, my fangirl came out completely. It is my dream to go to Vlad the Impaler’s castle; however, I want to do it without having the need for a translator. I also feel like this is one of those languages that isn’t really appreciated and known nowadays.

I want to learn Korean mostly because I want to go to Korea, but I also wish to read manhwas the day it comes out in Korean rather than just  wait for the English translation- which would make writing reviews for specific manhwas a lot easier because I wouldn’t have to wait that long.

I have quite a few friends in the Philippines so I want to learn Tagalog to speak to them (yes, they speak English, but I still want to learn). I also want to travel to the Philippines someday- not only to have the experience and go sightseeing, but also to get to meet my friends from there. It’s also because I love memes too much and there are so many in tagalog, but I don’t understand them, sadly.

This was a bit longer than what I usually write, but I hope you guys enjoyed it nonetheless. If you’re studying a language and you think your reasons to study are stupid, don’t. As you can see I have some pretty stupid reasons such as reading memes as a means to learn a language. I feel like as long as you have a reason to learn it, use that as motivation. Every language has a beautiful history and amazing people who speak it. What language(s) do you know? Are you learning one or a few currently and what are your reasons for it? I would love to know since languages and culture make me an incredibly excited and happy person. Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾

10 thoughts on “Languages That I know and Why I know/ Study them

    1. All of them are fun to learn, but I think the most difficult one for me was Mandarin not because it’s grammatically complicated (because it really isn’t), but because I sometimes would get the tones wrong which would make a certain phrase come out horribly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, I totally get it! Mandarin is my first language. The initial learning process is difficult, but once you’re over that, there’s a very limited amount of mistakes that you can make in terms of grammar.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Also, looking for vocabulary words when you’re reading or playing a game in Mandarin takes a really long time because you have to constantly look up words in a dictionary (I normally use the app “Pleco”).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I am ^^ I obviously try not to overwhelm myself with too much information per day so I just study each of them for at least 15 minutes of reviewing and 5-10 minutes of learning new material such as vocabulary or grammar.

      Like

      1. I never heard of Anki actually. I actually have separate notebooks/journals for each language. I also have a textbooks for each language and use YouTube videos as a secondary resource. As for apps, I use Duolingo and Drops for practicing multiple languages along with dictionaries.

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