Hopefully, you have started to establish a language-learning routine. If you took a break this past week, now is the time to return, renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated! The challenge during this busy season will be sticking with the habit of studying your language on a regular basis, despite the myriad distractions around us. As I’ve mentioned before, try to “pair” your language-learning habit with something else you do every day; that way, you will be more likely to stick with it.
When you do this, the race has truly begun. After a few dozen times around the track (metaphorically speaking), you will begin to notice oddities, or so-called quirks in your target language. Many of these will fall in the category of syntax–the arrangement of words and phrases in language; or, how language is organized–that differs from your native tongue. “Juice of orange/jugo de naranja” instead of orange juice (Spanish); “I doctor/Я доктор”, instead of “I am a doctor” (Russian); “Electric brain/电脑“, instead of “computer” (Mandarin Chinese). You may not be here yet, but when you arrive, try to be flexible in your thinking. “We” are not any more right than “they” are. This is where the beautiful flower of language begins to blossom!
The “tip” this week is just to think about how things are organized… your physical surroundings, your thoughts, language, the world (?!). Do you think your language shapes or influences how you think? (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)
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