Monday, February 18, 2008

A passport to the world

When people ask me what the best way for learning a language is, I always say: live in a country where the language is spoken. However, for most people that is not possible. They can spend their holidays there at most. Then my answer is: practice the language you want to learn, if so that you do not have the feeling that you are studying, but that using it has become a part of your life. And so it is for me. I learn languages, because it is better to read a book in the original language. I learn them by watching foreign TV channels for the news, since I want to know what is happening from the first hand, but also since it is an interesting way to learn about a country. I learn them by writing letters and e-mails to people in others countries. I learn them, because I use them on holiday abroad. It is true, I learn them, because I like them and because I am interested in languages. But the most positive of all this is that now I do not know only a good couple of languages, but that every day new worlds are opened to me. Languages give me a direct entrance to areas that were once closed to me because they are means of communication, but in addition they give me new experiences because they are reflexions of other ways of life: Learning languages has given me a passport to new cultural worlds. And that’s the most important what language learning means to me.

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