Language: He Speaks in Tongues!

by Nitesh Arora

I think of language culturally. There's a certain part of the culture of a place that's linked to a language. How the people speak and act and sometimes even think. You won't really be fluent in a language until you stop pushing to be an English speaker speaking in another lanuage and try to be a person that speaks the language. You'll screw up. A lot. But, even a native speaker of a language doesn't speak correctly--he just tries. 

People kind of ignore language until they need them or unless they have a specific interest in the field. A friend of mine is an Italian teacher--awesome. I'm putting off Italian for a while until I can learn it for fun, I mean where do they speak it other than Italy? That's my bullshit excuse for waiting to learn a language that I love. I'll get there.

So far, I know four langauges (English, Hindi, Punjabi, & Spanish). I don't want to stop learning. Next up is French! I thought about learning Chinese or Arabic next because they are extremely useful right now, but both languages require an entirely new set of skills --memorizing the arabic alphabet or every Chinese character. And, Arabic and Chinese are dialect based so just learning the traditional language isn't enough. It's much more time effective for me to learn French next. It's a romance language so I have a base set of skills and I know the alphabet. 

Travelling, learning lanuage, and being involved with a culture other than the one you know or that's around you can be fun. 

If you ever do decide to learn a new language then, great news, you can stay in front of the computer. Classes can be a good way to learn, sure, but they're not cheap.

Two great and free resources are:

The BBC! The BBC has a great language page to get a feel of anything from Basque to Urdu.  Free.

Another free site is duolingo. Smaller selection, but it helps you to learn the language from the basics. 

I'm using duolingo right now to learn some French. I like it. It doesn't feel like the other programs, it feels organic in how it teaches you. I might use the BBC's site in the future if I decide to learn Urdu.