Understanding Cultures & Their Languages

Understanding Cultures Through Language

Discover Your Inner Polyglot

Babel No More
By Michael Erard

One important way to understand any culture is to study its language. Once you start speaking the language, you get a feel for how one thinks in that culture.

Many of you probably have taken a course or two in a foreign language either in public or private school, or at the university. I started Spanish courses in seventh grade and continued through high school and college.

A common experience to many, after all was said and done, was that you probably still could not speak fluently. Maybe you remembered the odd phrase here or there.

I was no exception. It was only after I found myself surrounded by the culture and the language being spoken daily, that I started to pick up it up easier. Why is that?

In Michael Erard’s book entitled, Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners, the author explores the idea of what makes a polyglot and hyper-polyglot.

He begins by tracing the steps of an early 19th century priest who wanders the world looking into monastery and church libraries to research language.  The priest eventually becomes a professor of oriental languages at the University of Bologna and later becomes a cardinal in the Vatican in Rome.

So learning a facility for languages in not impossible, on the contrary it’s easier than most people realize.

One explanation is that learning a language is not a complete “left brain” experience. In other words, very few persons learn a language simply by rote memorization. They have to make a connection. It must be meaningful, or at the very least, essential for survival.

That’s when I finally got it. I still am not as fluent as I wish, but I get better from day to day as I use the language.

There are many techniques and programs out there that are helping people learn foreign languages in very short periods of time. Some of the more popular ones being Rosetta Stone or the Pimsleur Method.

As neuroscientists continue their research, I’m sure we’ll discover more efficient and successful ways of learning foreign languages. Which brings me to share with you a technology that is not really new, but has been around for some time. It’s a relaxed learning technique.

You no longer have to travel to a foreign country to develop a faculty with the language.

If you would like to learn more about how you can learn to speak in a functional way in a very short time, please click SuperThinkingSpanish to learn more about it.

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