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5 TIPS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING IN 2014
Weve asked successful language learners in Europe how to set and achieve language-learning goals this year. Personal success stories prove that the intention to actually speak a new language combined with achievable milestones, makes the language-learning journey exciting and fun.
1. "Cross over into a different world." (Eddie Izzard, multilingual comedian)
Great things take time. Learning a new language can be a wonderful journey for life. It is worth dedicating your time and continuously working towards your set milestones. Eddie Izzard, multilingual British comedian says: "If you do learn another language, you cross over into a different world – a world that you might have dreamed about but now you can live in." Explore new places, meet new people and learn about local customs and traditions you wouldn't have come across otherwise.
2. Nothing is impossible
Set a goal you thought you never would be able to achieve. Host a meeting in Spanish, propose to your girlfriend from Rome in Italian, move to Japan and start a new life like our blogger Daniel Tirado: "In my case, I wanted to marry a Japanese girl, Yuki Sakamoto, so I really needed to learn the language to be able to tell her father my intentions."
3. Step by step
Break your goal down in smaller, achievable milestones. Ellie Koyander, 22-year old mogul skier of the UK national team, who is learning Russian for the Winter Olympics, suggests: "Work back from your overall goal and plan how often and/or what you can do to achieve it. The way Rosetta Stone is set up makes hitting milestones fun and achievable and it is great to move up level by level to see how far you've gone!
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STEPHEN FRY ON THE JOYS OF LANGUAGE
I recently stumbled across a wonderful account of language from Stephen Fry and it got me thinking. It's about time we all just relaxed about language a little, be it foreign or our own. Language isn't about perfection. It's about passion, expression and culture.
Let's imagine a person, visiting your country for the first time, approaches you in the street and says, "Please the supermarket where is?" Yes, the words are in the wrong order, but does that matter as long you understand it? Who in their right mind wouldn't point to the nearest shop?! We get very protective over using our language ‘properly', but in the grand scheme of things, why do we let it bother us?
Similarly, we turn our nose up at people for using phrases such as ‘lol' and ‘chillax', but I certainly can't remember anybody saying that the Oxford English Dictionary is full and no new words are allowed. As Stephen Fry says, we often forget that Shakespeare, whose work is pivotal to our language today, made words up. The world didn't start with an already constructed dictionary, so why stop tomorrow's people from expressing just how totes amazeballs their day was?
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