Interview: Anita (Belize)
Let's meet Anita from Belize
Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?Hi, I am a Belizean student that recently graduated from university in Taiwan. My native languages are English and Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy playing with online language games. My third language that I am able to speak is Mandarin since I got a scholarship to study in Taiwan.
Why do you think languages are important to you?Having the opportunity to study abroad where the language is not English, I realized that speaking to the locals in their native language is of great importance. Things can be easily misunderstood when one cannot speak a common language. It is also important when traveling abroad and gives the opportunity to socialize with other expats. Yet another importance is when applying for jobs, it is easier to know about job opportunities. Reading is made easier whenever browsing the internet which makes you aware of the global situation in other places.
Which language are you learning and how do you learn?Recently, I started to learn Indonesian. I mostly do reading as it is quite easy to pronounce since they use ABC. Sometimes, I also watch Indonesian shows like The Voice or listen to online TV news. Other than that, I also speak with friends to correct my mistakes.
Portuguese is also in my learning list as I found out that it's quite similar to Spanish, except for some pronunciations. For Portuguese, most of the time I play online games that have reading, listening and writing. I also take the opportunity to have Skype chat with native speakers and listen to Portuguese songs.
Could you tell us which language is the most challenging to learn and why?The most challenging language I encountered was Mandarin as there is no English alphabet. Apart from that, the four types of tones were quite challenging to me and the Chinese culture is not direct. Therefore, having to deal with persons that are not direct took a while to adapt.
Which language is the least challenging to learn and why?The least challenging language so far has been Portuguese. Being able to speak Spanish, I didn't have to put too much effort to, at least, be able to understand the basics whenever I read.
What is the next language for you to learn and why?My upcoming language to learn is French. I want to find out if the language is really romantic. I also would like to travel to France and would like to better understand French culture by reading.
What is your advice to other language learners?Lastly, I would like to say to all of you language learners not to be shy like me to speak when there is an opportunity, and most important try listening and reading articles online. This will help you to be a better person in achieving your goal.
If you have any questions or opinions for Anita, leave your comments below.