I have just realized something recently in the middle of my shower. Yes, shower! Unbelievably, I got a lot of inspirations and ideas during the shower. That is quite funny! Anyway, I have just realized that I am using several languages simultaneously every day! Let me break them down.
My computer platform language is English. Therefore, whenever I use my computer, it means I also use English. I always have my Facebook online whenever I am on the Internet. I set my Facebook language into Spanish. Most of the time, I chat through Facebook with Taiwanese friend, and of course, we chat in Mandarin Chinese. Being far away from home does not mean that I cannot follow on my home-country news update. I always read an Indonesian online newspaper every morning. Furthermore, the time difference between my place and home is only 1 hour. It gives my family easiness whenever they want to call me on Skype, and we use Fujianese (Hokkien) within the family. Besides, I love listening to songs through YouTube. I have got several other foreign language songs in my playlist that I listen everyday randomly.
Imagine it! How many languages that I have been using? English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Fujianese (Hokkien), and many more (although I understand a little bit of the songs in my YouTube playlist)
I realized that one biggest problem in learning a language is whether the target language will be used in the future. This is one main reason why people think that learning a language is useless. However, thanks to the Internet, no matter where you are, you can get any languages as long as you are connected to the Internet. Several activities like reading the newspaper, watch online TV, or listening songs in target languages will be quite fun! Therefore, it is not necessary to go to a country in order to learn the language, although going to the country does help much in learning the language through immersion with the locals. However, the fact is, not everybody can go to another country, or even to live for several years experiencing the language and culture.
One of many easy solutions is to get online friends. There are several websites where you can get language partners, for example, Mixxer, Livemocha, and iTalki. You always need to remember not to share any important data, such as credit card number, or any other personal data on the Internet. Another solution is to join international groups, such as a language school, multinational company, international festival, or anywhere you can find native speakers of your target language and befriend with them! You can show them around your place, your culture, and at the same time practicing your target language. Do you think that is a good idea? I shall call it "Mutual Symbiosis."
Thanks for reading. Share with us how you use your languages. Are you also a multitask? Feel free to share this article if you like. If you have any opinions, leave comments or send me an email. Thanks again, and remember to subscribe to this blog.