By Nikita Tomar
Learning a foreign language not only adds a skill to your resume but also makes you confident, expressive and smarter. Language is one such thing that boosts your creativity and improves your ability to think logically and solve the problems. The most interesting thing that language teaches you is how to reach for alternate words when you cannot recall the original word. Confident and positive people are much more interesting than those who are unsure of themselves. And, confidence increases when a new skill has been mastered and I believe language is no different. A multilingual person can interact with multiple communities and hence, recruiters get attracted towards such multilingual people. Also, it improves memory and attention span.
But, all these benefits would need hard work. Beginner’s luck is always there to motivate but gradually it becomes difficult for people to face the challenges and cross the hurdles. Every challenge comes with a solution, all we need to discover is the key to success and willingness to learn.
Nowadays, language is not just a medium to interact and express your views but also a medium of earning money. For that matter, language is needed to be inculcated into and that’s where a language learner needs to work.
It is said that language learning is not an uphill task, and that’s true also. But, the real obstacles arise when a person lacks curiosity. Innovation is the first and foremost step of language learning. Sometimes, lack of curiosity makes learning very difficult and it is not just applicable for languages but for every other subject. Even “3 idiots” a Rajkumar Hirani Film teaches us the same lesson. Do what makes you happy and for what you are curious about. Don’t fear learning as it limits you. There are many people who are curious to learn and are innovative as well, but the fear of loosing the game and fear of being left behind will surely prove to be a hindrance in your learning process. So, the first step of learning language is being innovative and curious. And, one should not fear learning and needs to be ready to accept the challenges.
INNOVATION, what does this word means?
Thinking out of the box?
Creating something new and different?
Yes, but what does it mean when we talk about it with reference to learning language. Innovation here means trying to learn with the help of different ways so as to understand better. Also, it means finding out alternate ways to express you views when you can’t find the original words.
For example: The person wants to say:- My parents are not allowing me for the night stay. And instead the person says:- My parents are not ready to send me for the night stay. Here, the person was unable to recall the exact word “allow” and hence, he used “ready to send” for expressing his views.
Fear or lack of self-confidence is one such hindrance that will limit the growth of a language learner. Every language learner should be extrovert, self-confident and outspoken. Many a times, the person is an introvert and feels shy of expressing his/her views because of the fear of committing mistake, which will act as a hurdle. A person should always learn from the mistakes done.
How do we learn language?
First method is to use your books and practice on and on. But, how did we learn our mother tongue? Reading and practicing through books is not the answer. We learnt our mother tongue by listening, repeating and communicating with the natives. And, here we find another challenge because of rare or no communication with the natives in the learner’s ambience. The rectification of grammatical errors would help them to grow but it seems impossible for a single native professor to correct every student.
To avoid such challenges, every learner should regularly watch movies and listen to radio in the target language. Also nowadays social media is so active that we can easily find out friends on platforms like Skype, Facebook, Twitter etc. for conversation. With a help of such natives, we can work upon our pronunciation. The slangs and colloquialism are important part and can be easily understood and we’ll develop our skills. Slangs and good pronunciation make us sound like native people.
Vocabulary is the main part of language and development in your vocab signifies development of your language skills. Without sufficient vocabulary, a student cannot understand others or express their own ideas. Developing a great vocabulary is one of the most overlooked ways to improve our lives. It is often believed that learning many words is only useful for writers and speakers, but the truth is that everyone benefits from it, both professionally and personally. Good Vocabulary often makes communication simpler and helps you to choose words with great precision.
Wilkins wrote, “While without Grammar very little will be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing could be conveyed.”
Be sure to pay attention to vocabulary as you read. Jot down the words you are not familiar with and look them up. Try to find them elsewhere and write down the sentences you find. Also try to frame sentences to memorize them.
The pressure of being successful is accelerating at a rapid pace that students are running in a race without any specific goals. So, every time we start learning we should be clear about the goals. GOALS, being such a heavy word, can be replaced by using short-term objective. We need to be clear about what we want to achieve in the coming week. Also, whenever we start a new activity, we must decide what is the objective of starting this activity, only then we can work towards our goal and achieve it. Or else, we will end up gaining nothing after running like crazies.
To measure our growth in our target language, we should set goals. For example, in one week we’ll able to introduce ourselves or communicate with the sellers in the market. Such goals motivate us to work hard and accomplishment of goals brings self-confidence in the speaking skills.
Is learning language difficult? The answer of this question varies but learning language will be difficult for those who will consider it as homework. It is as easy and fun as learning a new game and then reaching different levels of the game. Learning a language should be seen as an enjoyable process open up to a world of opportunities and reach a clear goal. Anything you enjoy doing in your mother tongue, now onwards should be done in the target language like watching movies, listening songs, reading novels, playing games and even making friends on Facebook.
People tend to listen less and write more but language learners should listen to radio so as to improve the intonation, pronunciation, vocab & grammar listening solves many problems.
I, myself being a language learner can understand the challenges and grammar being the most difficult challenges creates ambiguity, frustration and low self-confidence among students.
Many a times, we are introduced with similar types of tenses. It brings confusion in the mind of student when they are unable to differentiate between the tenses.
Also, paying attention and listening carefully to the things taught decreases the amount of ambiguity. But, there are students who attack dictionary whenever they come across a new word instead of guessing it. This behavior distracts them and they are left behind in the class. It leads to frustration, stress and at times they quit.
So, it is necessary to guess the meaning of the word from its content and later on reflecting it not understood.
The last but not the least difficult challenge arises due to cultural differences. Cultural Differences may cause confusion and cultural miss understanding. Also, learners encounter problems communicating with native speakers because of cultural differences.
I am a Spanish learner, so I can give some examples of cultural differences. In India, addressing a girl as a cow is considered as a compliment whereas in Spain, addressing a girl as a cow is equal to abusing her.
In India, drinking wine & beer is not done on a daily basis and also it is considered hazardous for health whereas in Spain, red wine & beer are consumed on daily basis like we consume tea or coffee.
Many such differences act as hindrances while communicating with the natives.
So, learning language is a beautiful and rejuvenating experience. It improves your personality and makes you self-confident. It makes you learn from your mistakes. Fear can hinder your growth so one should be extrovert, so as to know the errors and work on it. The best part about learning a new language is that you don’t need to stick to your books but explore TV series, movies, radio and novels to learn and enjoy at the same time. Comic Books in the target language also works out well. Don’t forget trying new things keep innovating, guessing and memorizing the vocabs. Making friends can also help in your language learning. Do Skype calls with your new friends (of target language) and enjoy gossiping. Keep making goals and accomplishing them. Gradually, your fun language will open tremendous opportunities for you to earn, learn and travel.
Nikita Tomar was Spanish Language and Translation Intern for the summer of 2016 at Modlingua, India's No1. certified translation service providers in New Delhi, India
By Disha Bharti
It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together. And for a linguistic his language is his passion. The field of linguistics is extremely diverse, intersecting with many areas such as anthropology, computer science, engineering, foreign language study, neurology, philosophy, psychology, sociology. As a result, a degree in linguistics can provide the foundation for a wide range of jobs and careers As a student of linguistics you will become familiar with many different languages and cultures and, as a result, also develop cross-cultural skills. Each of these skills are useful in many careers that may not otherwise seem related to linguistics.
Students with an undergraduate linguistics degree have a variety of options to choose from, both within and outside of the field. Students pursuing graduate degrees in theoretical linguistics are likely to find jobs working at universities or research labs. Graduate degrees in applied linguistics can lead to jobs in education: teaching foreign languages, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), working in a bilingualism program at elementary or high school level. Or it may lead to jobs in other areas, such as translation, research and documentation of endangered languages, or working for religious organizations to research lesser-known languages, for the purpose of developing grammar books, teaching materials and Bible translation.
Linguistic knowledge and skills are an asset in many jobs. Some jobs require additional training or skills. There are many career options open to students without a graduate degree as well. For example, several students become lab coordinators at large research labs. Others have decided to work abroad teaching English in countries like France or Brazil. Several have gone to work for publishing companies, either in editing, or developing educational materials such as textbooks and classroom materials for language arts and foreign language texts. Still others decide to become teachers, and earn their certification to teach at the elementary school or high school levels.
Linguists study structural and stylistic differences between languages, which is helpful in developing translation skills. Thus, wecan adopt the field of translation and interpretation which is becoming very demanding these days. As tourists and affluent people very often require such translators.
Marketing is one such area where a person from any field can be engaged. Thus, linguistics being people of special importance due to their skills of communicating in different languages and conveying company’s message. Companies such as Lexicon Branding, Strategic Name Development, Nomen, and Igor use linguistics to create brand or product names, and test how these work across different languages. Linguists can also work on market research, international marketing, and other aspects of corporate communications.
Linguists with a theatre background may do voice coaching in the entertainment industry, helping actors with the phonetics of particular languages, dialects, and foreign accents. Others may offer accent reduction lessons for professionals. Thus, getting employment opportunity in linguistic voice coaching which signified its importance because of increasing bollywood influence and craze among our newer generations. Teaching and imparting their knowledge is one of the greatest arts of language experts. More than half of the people learning language is of the aim of becoming a professor or teacher in that language. Thus either becoming a primary school teacher or a professor in a university is opted by most of the people.
In short, with a degree in linguistics, students gain the basic skills and experience needed to prepare their entry into a variety of professional opportunities. The career choices of students pursuing a degree in linguistics are numerous, and are only limited by the student’s imagination.
Disha Bharti was French Language and Translation Intern for the summer of 2016 at Modlingua, India's No1. certified translation service providers in New Delhi, India
Being an intern at Modlingua is definitely not what I thought it would be when I first applied to work here. It is much more than an internship. It is a place to gain experience, a unified voice, and a group of friends working together. It was a one month long (15th June-15th July) internship program. We were divided into three groups with each group having 7-8 members. Each group was given 4 blogs to write and had a different project to work upon. Ours was a project titled Market Research on challenges faced by Teachers and Professors while imparting foreign language training to students. I would like to thank Modlingua as they gave me bunch of friends who are really helpful. We all helped each other and were able to submit all our tasks before the deadline.
I did not know at all about how to write a blog, but when I started doing this internship, I had to submit 4 blogs. The title of the blogs was:-1) Challenges of learning a foreign Language. 2) Options and avenues for linguists 3) Cultural Communication and the last one I am doing now. So I watched some you tube videos and goggled about some of the famous bloggers and read their blogs. Those blogs were really fascinating and I learnt a lot from those blogs. Those ideas which I gained from reading some famous blogs made me enthusiastic to write my own blog. If I would not have been selected for this internship, I don’t think I would have ever given a thought of writing any blog.
As an intern, it felt great to gain marketing experience with this company and have the opportunity to network with established professionals. I had pre-conceived notions about my day-to-day responsibilities when I first started, but each day was different. Consistency is something that should be implementedwhile working. The main thing which matter most is the punctuality of the work, so I tried submitting all my blogs on time. Next on the line was to carry out the market research work on the given topic. For this, firstly each one of us has to make a set of basic 10 questions, which we were going to ask from various foreign language teachers. Then we mailed it to our internship in charge. Thereafter they made a set of 10 best questions and here we were ready..!! Next we roamed around Delhi and have to ask foreign language teachers from various universities and institutions to ask them to fill the questionnaire. It was such a great experience to meet all such nice teachers and got to learn so many things from them.
In the meantime of Internship, if we were facing any kind of issues then we were having a Skype group made by our mentors to solve it then and there. Our mentors were so much active that we put a question and we get the reply within minutes.
Although the internship has ended, I cannot thank Modlingua Learning Pvt. Ltd. enough for having me on board. It was great to be a part of such a well-known and revered brand name. I can frankly say I came into the summer with a good amount of marketing knowledge and experience, but I came away with much more. One final takeaway from my experience here was learning and experiencing the core values of interns.I know that an internship can be difficult, and that it requires a lot of work and dedication.The experience that you gain and the friends that you make while interning at Modlingua are some of the greatest moments I’ve had. I hope that the camaraderie that I’ve been a part of within Modlingua can remain strong for years to come.
I would like to give some suggestions for the future interns:-
• Be focussed to the given task. Take advantage of any and all opportunities that you can.
• Take advantage of all the opportunities, which are provided to you.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is what you are here for anyways; to learn.Also, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
The more you do during your internship, the more prepared you will be when you graduate from college and get a job out in the real world.
Cultural communication is a field of study that takes a gander at how individuals from contrasting social foundations impart, in comparative and diverse routes among themselves, and how they attempt to convey crosswise over societies.
Given distinctive social settings, this conveys new correspondence difficulties to the work environment. Notwithstanding when workers situated in various areas or workplaces talk the same dialect (for example, correspondences between English-speakers in the U.S. what's more, English-speakers in the UK), there are some social contrasts that ought to be considered with an end goal to improve correspondences between the two gatherings.
Without getting into societies and sub-societies, it is maybe most critical for individuals to understand that an essential comprehension of social assorted qualities is the way to compelling multifaceted correspondences. Without fundamentally examining singular societies and dialects in point of interest, we should all figure out how to better speak with people and gatherings whose first dialect, or dialect of decision, does not coordinate our own.
Culture communication supports global group working which is a key to the advancement of the standards of formal associations. For instance, it advances the sharing of data and encounters and additionally helping with the scattering of strategies received by the associations. Besides, the heterogeneity of diverse groups had been found to energize development.
Every organization for its betterment has a good team and every team needs cross culture training. So they can easily communicate with other organizations. Cross-cultural training is very useful for an organization as they can help us in many aspects such as:
Unlike children, youngsters and adults have a harder time picking up foreign languages. They initially put high demand on themselves but tend to lose their patience quite easily if they do not understand something in a short period of time. Most of them are not ready to accept the fact that the task of mastering a language takes years of study, persistence and patience. If they do not understand a few words or grammar structures they give up on the entire concept. They focus more on the words that they do not know, although the meaning of the text is understood. They usually do not realize that the understanding is much more important than knowing every single word.
Their high standards focus on perfectionism and performance is often an obstacle in effective and motivated learning of a foreign language. The greatest difficulty while learning a foreign language by adults is to get used to the learning process again and devote high time in practicing the language. If they are not used to the learning process since a long period then it might take them some time to grab the stuff until the brain adapts itself to the learning process again.
The psychological component also plays a crucial role in the learner-trainer relationship. Of course, language trainers should always teach with a positive quality and vitality. But a learner with a positive aura also affects the trainer. An unmotivated or unenthusiastic learner fights and struggles more with the subject matter. Attending a language school alone is usually not enough. Learners need to devote their time in doing their homework, because in order to master the grammar of a language one must regularly practice but due to other priorities and busy schedules most learners struggle with keeping up regular practice. Once learned a foreign language one must consistently use it in day-to-day life otherwise chances are that he will gradually forget it. So it important to constantly challenge one's memory. Moreover, the grammatical structures are the basis for speech comprehension regardless of the vocabulary, because without it, one will always speak a broken English, French, Italian or any other language.
Two main points control the difficulty of learning a foreign language. One, the linguistic talent itself. Fact is, that some people have more sense of language than others. i.e. they are more familiar than others with regard to linguistic expression. Some people have strong vocabulary that stays in their mind at disposal and can be used in the formation of sentences when necessary while others internalize the language i.e. they have mastered the grammar rules but often lack the vocabulary and when it comes to usage of the language they simply fall short of everything. It is important that one gets constantly motivated as to why he wants to have a grasp of a particular foreign language in order to be successful in mastering it. A distinction is however to be made between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation because sometimes pressure is exerted by others on the language learners.
For some it is difficult to learn a foreign language because of the reason that he would have to learn it alone. Therefore, many people often give up learning the language in frustration because they cannot cope up with the learning process alone. Hence, anybody who wants to learn a foreign language must be aware of what type of learner he is and also his aim of learning that particular language. One's attitude towards a particular foreign language culture is of equal importance because it significantly belongs to the language.
One's ability to learn a foreign language also depends on one’s own linguistic background. For example, if one speaks Hindi then it would not be hard for him to learn Urdu because both Hindi and Urdu share the same grammar and most of the basic vocabulary of everyday speech but on the other hand Hindi, Urdu and also the English speakers have a hard time learning the German language because of end number of reasons. In addition to numerous exceptions, there are several rules that are to be followed to learn perfect German. With learning German as a foreign language, the learners remain unfamiliar with its peculiar concepts and it makes them groan with frustration for almost forever. But learning any foreign language has its highs and lows.
Following are the challenges that every language learner goes through -
1. One may have perfect vocabulary and grammar but speaking a foreign language fluently remains always a challenge for language learners.
2. One may speak fluently a foreign language but he hardly understands what the native speakers speak. For some learners, formulating thoughts in a foreign language is easier than to understand what a native speaker is speaking. It is quite harder to understand all the possible combinations of words and phrases that the native uses and it is also because they often speak quickly.
3. The more vocabulary one learns, the more difficult it is to keep all the vocabulary. This problem often occurs by learners if they do not use their vocabulary while framing sentences or revise the vocabulary on a regular basis. One must attempt to incorporate the foreign words in daily conversations and use them in many different contexts in order to never forget them again.
4. For some learners, the progress stops at a particular stage while learning. The reason may also be that after a certain period of time, one does not learn enough or put in major efforts to have strong hold over a language. The more advanced one is, the more one needs to learn in order to make further progress.
5. Some learners often fear to make mistakes. They see mistakes as a disgrace. But the fact is that the one, who does not commit any mistake, is unable to develop his ideas. It is only possible to not commit a mistake if one never tries anything new. But one should not fear to use the language and try new sentence combinations in order to improve the language skills.
6. Most language learners mix up the languages that they know. That happens when one knows two languages, which are the similar to each other. For example, Spanish and French. It also happens when one intensively learns one particular language one day and then suddenly begins to use another language the other day that he has not yet perfectly mastered. Then the words of another language falls in the mind all the time and one have difficulty in formulating a clear thought. For the same reason it is inadvisable to learn multiple languages simultaneously, especially the languages which are similar to each other.
Everyone has some or the other issue while learning a foreign language but for each problem there is a solution. The most important thing is not to give up and keep going. Knowing a foreign language, gives a sense of pride and satisfaction.
Niharika Kohli was an Intern for the summer of 2016 at Modlingua, India's No1. certified translation service providers in New Delhi, India