Saturday, 6 February 2010

Falling in love with a language

I received a long mail this morning from one of my former students who is now studying Chinese! Here is here experience in the initial stages of this herculean task:
these days i am more busy because i have lot of home works to do. you know i began to learn the characters and so i have to practice more so they give more practice sheets. i am trying to finish it but still not finishing. when i finish one full page and look back and see some flowers.. yes seems to be flowers in the garden. i learned to write my name. it was very difficult. but then the sounds shows good meaning... every week i have exams.. speech practice..each word has got six sound up, down, middle, law, falling, and rising. you know first days when we began to say the speech our whole body was moving according to the sounds..it was really interesting. no one laughs because all are in the same boat..if the tones are not correct the meaning changes only teacher understands and so not much laugh during everything will be when the teacher explains.. for example instead of God if we are not attentive the word can sound as pig... oh horrible..right?
From my little experience of learning a new language, I've learnt that whatever be the initial difficulty, there comes a point when we really fall in love with the language. We suddenly develop a strong attachment to the language... all the more at a very deeper level once we start talking to the native people in their own language. My stay in Shillong and learning Khasi has been a great experience which I still cherish.

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