Hola, Hi, Bonjour, Salut. So… Let’s talk about languages. We know there are several languages in India, and there are numerous languages in the Whole Wide World. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities”, how very apt. Now, we all believe knowing more than two languages is cool, you have your mother tongue, and then you have English, and as if that wasn’t torturous enough, we all feel that knowing another language is so much cooler. Well, being a student of foreign language, my bubble popped pretty early. It’s not easy, and if you think English helps you, you were never more mistaken.
Here are some troubles faced by students trying to ace a foreign language:
1. The Obvious Grammar Issues:
Grammar, no matter which language is scary as shit and very disturbing. Confused, as we are always while tackling the grammar of the languages we do know, it is nightmarish to tackle the grammar of another language at the same time. Not only are there different rules and regulations, there are different meanings of words (sometimes several meanings of the same word) and usages which look similar to that of English but are not. It is pretty frustrating to handle all those grammar issues and then remember when to use what and that too for all the different languages.
2. The Mix and Match:
This happens when the languages screw up your head and then play puzzle games with your brain. Students of foreign languages often mix up the languages they do know and the languages they are learning and create something innovative which is not accepted by their dear teachers. They create a language of their own like for example Frenglish, Gerench, Spanilian…etc.
3. The Terrible “P”s:
Processing, Pronouncing and Perfecting. From the weird pronunciations to the lack of understanding, these are the common troublemakers in the life of a Foreign language student.The brain takes a lot of time to process the meaning of a certain word and when you think you handled it exactly and that you understand the language well now, you’ll be woken up with a kick to see that you interpreted it wrong because apparently the word has several meanings and can be used in different ways.Then comes the “jhol” of pronunciation. You try to ace it like the foreigners, but you forget that it is their language and that they”ve been speaking it since they were able to speak. It’s a harsh truth, but you got to accept it, your accent, your pronunciation can never be as perfect as theirs.And perfecting? Dream on… It’ll happen one day.
4. High expectations:
From mom and dad, to “pados ke Khanna uncle” everyone will be damn happy to see you learning a new language, but with this happiness will come another request, “Beta kuch bol ke sunao us language mein” -( beta speak something in that language). Now, this application is not only weird but tough to keep. You are unable to think of something to say, and once you do say something, they hardly understand and then you have to explain it to them and then finally they’ll lose interest. “Expectations Hurt”.
5. Mr. Google Translator:
Your best friend, ’nuff said. While learning a new language you make Google Translator your everything. But unfortunately, Google Translator doesn’t always give you the right translation or the right meaning. It Sometimes it makes no sense and other times it’s plain hilarious. It gives a literal translation or direct translation and fails to assess the significance at times. It can misguide you at times, so it’s best to avoid Google Translator when translating paragraphs and essays.
However learning a foreign language though difficult, bears some sweet fruits. From job opportunities to visiting new places, this extra piece knowledge of another language can come as sweeteners, a hard earned reward for your labor. Good luck!