Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Future of Languages

Everything changes. There are cultural changes brought about by discovery, invention, diffusion, colonization and rebellion. If language is said to be rooted or transmitted in culture, therefore, it would be safe to say that language also changes. Languages change when its phonetic, morphological, semantic, syntactic and other features also change. All languages change. Linguists have examined that the existing languages are based or derived from the older languages. This would show how society and social changes would have impact or influence on language.

For example, before Latin was part of the National Curriculum. But as of the present, nobody spoke it since it was perceived to be old and archaic. But linguists cannot deny its major influence on present languages. Before, there was a prevailing idea that English would emerge as a world language. But according to language British experts, people are more likely to learn not only English but other languages, as well. English has become not the leading language, but a second language, according to the Journal Science. What we are heading to is not a monolingual culture but into a multilingual one. Language diversity is something which can be waiting for us in the future. Let’s take the internet for example. It has become multilingual.

In 1995, 90% of it was in English. When 2000 arrived, 75% was in English. When 2003 arrived, English was not only the language visible on the internet. Chinese and Africans were already online. This simple example could reflect that the world in becoming more multilingual. Some linguists like Stephen Anderson from Yale recognizes that multilingualism is something normal or natural. This is the normal condition of the people since culture and society is also diversified. However it is not correct to say that because society is multilingual in nature, then we should avoid learning other languages and stay with what language we know.

Actually, learning other languages has become an advantage in an era of globalization. This would be an advantage when you are after a better education and career opportunity. Another interesting future that language would face would be the development of technology. There are different translation programs that are able to translate documents in 6 major languages. Although, it is not a hundred percent perfect, the versions being released commercially are improving. These programs would soon pave the future where it is possible to talk into different languages where computer programs would help in translations and conversations. Although, computers where programs like these could be installed may not be portable enough, it would eventually be in a few years time. But these programs would not be replacing translators, they would still be needed to learn and create the programs. There are experts who say that identifying the dominant language in the future is difficult. Since everybody has its biases. Even the claim that multilingual would be the language of the future, is being disputed. Some still claim that English would be the dominant language. The bottom line is that world language is changing and nothing can stop that. Changes in communication are happening nowadays. All of these because of the changing demographic trends, technology and international communication. These changes are manifesting not only what we are speaking but also in what we are writing. Languages would not stop developing because society is undergoing change. Some languages may go extinct but this is to give birth to new ones.   ********************************************************************************

Reasons For Learning Foreign Languages

Studying and learning foreign languages is no longer about having a better travelling experience. Before it pays to learn to speak the local or native language of a country you will be visiting to avoid any embarrassing and even sometimes insulting situations. Learning foreign languages is not just about getting the right directions, it is about making connections with people that have different languages, culture and history. Some people think that learning how to speak English would be enough, but actually the CIA World Fact Book cited that only 5.6 % of the global population speak English. The rest of the world speaks differently.

Speaking English can no longer suffice the increasing demand for global communications and understanding. Research showed that learning another language would actually boost the knowledge of your own language. This would mean an increase in literacy, vocabulary, and better comprehension. There are studies showing that high school students who learned a different language have relatively better scores in their college entrance exams that those who do not study a second language. Learning a foreign language also gives an opportunity for an individual to broaden his educational horizons. There are many educational opportunities abroad than we can explore. It would not only help us transcend cultural boundaries, but it will also help us understand subjects and concepts associated with the language.

 Whenever we are learning a different language, it is part of being knowledgeable in it to also understand the underlying cultural values and structures of the people. In addition to that, most literary, music and other artistic milestones are not written in English. To fully appreciate and understand a literary work, it needs to be read and understood on its original form. Language becomes a window where we could see and understand the context of a country’s culture. This is important, especially if your have some business deals with foreigners. You would need to understand their culture, so you could build trust, cooperate and compromise with them. Another good reason for you to start learning foreign language will be the career opportunities for a multilingual professional. Here are some fields where speaking anther language could give you a head start: • Social services – work as a social worker, criminology and law enforcement, school counsellor, drug abuse counsellor, occupational health care, income maintenance counsellor. • Business and Finance – work as an accountant, administration, economist • Communications – work as reporter, journalist, publisher, editor • Education – work as a teacher whether it is in elementary, secondary or college level • Government- work as a translator or interpreter especially for diplomatic foreign services Learning a foreign language became a great advantage in looking for a career in this period of globalization.

 In business transactions, we cannot avoid the need of communicating in the language of the foreign business partners. Learning about foreign languages would help you promote your business in other countries effectively. If you want to build long and solid business ties and relationships in other countries, then you would need to be familiar with their language. In this era of globalization, countries and people are forging closer connections. Learning foreign languages would help you build a global understanding. But learning how to speak in a foreign language should not be just to brag about it. Learning and mastering a foreign language should manifest when we start thinking in it and embracing the culture and history that comes with it.   ************************************

Learning Foreign Languages: A Cultural Immersion

There are some studies conducted showing that children, from birth until they reach seven, are in the stage that they could acquire language easier. The ability of an individual to acquire languages will slowly decrease as they surpass puberty. How can adults learn language effectively and faster? We are now living in am era of globalization, every country and culture has become connected whether it is in business, education and other fields. There is a need to be knowledgeable, not in just our local tongue, but also in other languages. It has be come a necessity to be able to be a part of the community, get better career opportunities, and therefore succeed.

 There are different methods on how we can improve our skills of acquiring languages. Different aides like CDs, DVSs, books, dictionaries and magazines can be bought easily in bookstores. But experts have agreed that the most important method is by submerging ourselves of the language’s culture. There are numerous experts who agree that the best way and most efficient method of teaching language would be what is called as “language immersion.” Reading grammar and vocabulary books are indeed important in order to increase language knowledge. But it is practice and exposure that you would find most helpful when learning a new language. For example, if you would go abroad and live there, then it would be inevitable that you would pick up the language. You are exposed to different aspects of culture that uses the language, like television, movies, radio, restaurants, museums, transportation and other public places. Language immersion will keep learning language balanced. Language is something reflected by the people’s culture, thus, to understand the language it would be best to understand the ideas and concepts behind it by immersing in the culture. Aside from that, it keeps learning interactive and fun.

You do not have to pour over boring texts for hours and still unable to retain anything. Language immersion does not mean you would have to Spain to learn Spanish and go to France and fluently speak French. There are different ways to immerse ourselves in other cultures without spending too much on the airfare. • You could start by renting foreign films and listening to different radio programmes using the language of your interest.
For example, if you want to learn how to speak Spanish, then telenovelas would be a great way to get acquainted with the language. Telenovelas play a major role in Latin America’s pop culture. There are teachers who would testify that students would get involved in the dramas that they do not even realize that they are slowly improving their Spanish skills.

 • Foreign films are also great avenues for language immersion. They are interesting, easy to access and of course in the language that you would like to learn.

 • If you are not a big fan of foreign dramas and films, then you could certainly learn a lot from foreign sports. You could learn from the announcers and fans, just like in drama, you get involved with the sports that you keep track of it and gradually understanding what those announcers are actually reporting.

 • Radio has played a major role in language acquisition. There are online radios from different parts of the globe which you can listen to. You may find it difficult in the beginning but later on, you will start to identify more and more words and eventually learn the language.

 • Eating in foreign restaurants would also allow you to get acquainted to foreign dishes and how they were pronounced. Some restaurants would even include foreign performances while dining.

 Learning different languages could be done in ways that you do not have to spend too much or leave the country. But if you feel that travelling will boost your experience and education, then go ahead. There are many options that you could choose from, make sure that you will be picking out the most practical. ******************************  

Children Learning And Speaking Two Languages

We are now living in a very diversified culture and society. It is natural to find people who are speaking at least two language, these people are bilingual. But there are some bilingual parents or even those who are not, that are afraid that their teaching their children two languages would make them confused. Is learning two languages beneficial to our kids? Most of the times, these children who have learn two languages find it as a necessity in their environment and community (Houwer, 1999). There are some cases that children would grow up in communities where most of the people who speak in two languages on their everyday tasks. This would have impact on how children would acquire and later on, speak these languages. Not all parents are happy with their children learning to speak two languages.

There are speech therapists who believe that learning two languages could actually cause language delays. They would say that children would end up confused. In some cases, they would even suggest that parents make way for the dominant or major language, and drop speaking secondary languages. They believed that acquiring the main language of the environment will be better if there are no other languages to compete with. On the contrary, these claims by speech therapists still remain to be unproved and without any supporting scientific evidence. There are many children who have grown up in bilingual even multilingual family and community, and they did not develop any language disorders or delays. Some linguists and child development experts would even recommend children to be taught with foreign language between birth and age 7. There are studies showing that children can say about 50 words, whether they are monolingual or bilingual, by the time they reach 18 months. Apparently, according to Italian researches, a baby or child that learns how to speak two languages could actually make the brain more flexible. Experts also discovered that the ability of children to acquire language easily would decline when they reach puberty.

 If you are a parent who wants to have a bilingual child then there are something that you can do. • You can make your children exposed as much as possible to the language you would like them to hear. But make sure that they would be given time to hear both language. You could start reading them books. Tapes and CDs will also help in language learning. Children can be very enthusiastic with music, so try singing too. Watching television, video tapes and DVDs are also great ways to introduce them to the language.

Some parents would even enrol or encourage their children to be a part of language programs like language camps.

 • Remember that languages are closely linked to emotions and identity. There are some children who develop a sort of trauma whenever their parents would stop responding to them just because they use a different language. So be conscious when talking to your children too. Do not use language exclusive with just one child, the others may feel excluded and later on develop problems with their behaviour.

 • Some parents tend to be too strict when teaching their children to learn other languages. Do not punish, humiliate and rebuke you children just for using a different language when talking to you or to other people. If you feel that you kid is not catching up with the speech milestones a child should meet, then do not hesitate to consult profe

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Looking Back at Your Marriage

Can you look back through all of the hurt and pain of a difficult marriage and then divorce, and see any of what you have learned in the situation?

 I saw a quote that reads,
" Sometimes God doesn't change your situation because he is trying to change your heart." I am convinced that this is more powerful that what you were enduring  in  that difficult marriage."
Nothing in life is all bad, sometimes it just appears that way.  Once time heals some of the hurt we can go back and look at the lessons that was there for us. but what are some of the things that you learned other than the hard lessons of merging two very different lives together. Besides the facts that you both had two different value systems, or maybe it was the moral issues that ripped you apart. I would definitely hope that you have learned a great deal from those hard lessons. What else did you learn? Tonight I had fleeting thoughts of what little habits have change with me since I met this man that I committed my life to. They are very small things but they are things that I didn't do or consider before. I now cook my rice with coconut milk and cinnamon sticks. It is the tastiest white rice that I have ever had. I now use only basmati rice instead of the long grain rice that I grew up with. I now love the taste of avocado, however I still don't like the guacamole that I have come across so far. I have been told though if I ever eat some good guacamole in Mexico, I would change my mind. Now I can slice an avocado and eat it alone. It is amazingly good for you; the good oils. I have learned to make my own guacamole, and it is quite good. I love Indian and Mediterranean food, introduced to both by my spouse. I am aware of Bollywood, and love the movies. I can now differentiate between Swahili and other African languages when I hear it spoken on the streets. My husband spoke both Swahili and Luganda fluently, so I know those two when I hear them.   Unfortunately I also learned to be a bit prejudice, which I am not going to divulge because I pray that God removes that from my heart.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Adopt and Adapt

It has been wonderful traveling this month visiting family and friends. Seeing how those you love from a distance, live in their everyday lives.  Noticing their habits, the traditions they are  creating and  just watching them carve out a life for themselves is quite interesting. The way people live has always been fascinating to me.  I love seeing how we are similar as well as seeing how we are different.
I have always been one to adopt the habits of others that I admire. It was something that I started to do many years ago. You often find people who are jealous of others because of the way  they live, better yet their perception of how they live. I have always been one to adopt the habits or traditions that I find pleasing and adapt it to my life. Jealousy is such a waste of time and energy. My mother taught me years ago to never desire and definitely not covet what you see in others, because you have no idea what they do or have to go through to maintain. My method has always been to adopt and adapt, and most of all compliment.

The New Santa Monica Mall - Fall 2010

The Santa Monica Mall is now re-opened after closing for reconstruction two years ago. Of course I was anxious to see it and I did just that. It was impressively designed, but I still think the Promenade is my favorite. This new mall is three stories high and is an open air design. The concern I have with that is the fact that it gets pretty cool out there as it was yesterday after five, and what happens when it rains? However it is beautiful. My favorite store is going to be there, Nordstrom, but it was not opened as of yesterday. I love shopping in Santa Monica and now there is somewhere else to go and hangout.