Monday, June 4, 2007

Parlez-vous Francais?

Marunon kang mag Tagalog? Habla espanol? The value of knowing a second, third or even fourth language is immeasurable.

Why would you want to learn another language? Well, for starters, a white guy being able to bust out a karaoke song in Japanese in a Tokyo bar is guaranteed to get you free drinks for the rest of the evening. More importantly, it allows you to communicate with a whole new community of people. Also, if you travel regularly in foreign countries, the ability to at least know a bit of the language will allow you to get around more easily, build rapport with people who may be able to help you, and possibly save your skin in certain dicey situations.

How do you learn a foreign language? Simple, community college classes, finding a native speaker to tutor you one-on-one, even language lessons on CD will work. It's important to practice every day, maybe even twice a day, and it is also important to find someone to practice with since you need to both practice speaking as well as listening with your new language.

Want to really get fluent? Intensive language schools will work, however the very best way to become expertly fluent is a combination of classes then immersing yourself for a period of time in a foreign country where there is no English to be heard. The need to communicate will outweigh any embarrassment you may have about stumbling over your beginning language skills.

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