May 02, 2011

Learning Languages: Selamat Pagi! Hello! Konichiwa! Ni Hao Ma! Annyeonghaseyo!

I had always think that language is the most enjoyable thing to learn. Maybe because I am a bit slow on subjects like Mathematics and Physics and Chemistry needs too much thinking, while Biology and History are subjects that I actually love but takes too much of my time for studying. 

Meanwhile, studying language never fails to keep me interested and I dare to say that I barely fell asleep in any language classes when I was in school.

"This girl is crazy!"

Most of my friends would say this to me every time I explained why I get very excited in language classes and tend to sleep in Mathematic's and Physic's classes. Even until now, in my university, I get very 'high' during classes like 'Management' or 'Tamadun Islam and Tamadun Asia' studies while during 'Statistic' and 'Math Logic' lectures, I will fell asleep.

Maybe my lack of interest in subjects that requires thinking explains my undoubted devotion towards language studies but I think there are more reasons to it .

I really think that learning about languages has a strong connection toward the culture itself. 
Taking Malay as example, even though I am a native-speakers of Malay language that doesn't really mean that I am good at it. When I was fourteen, I think that was the time when I think 'Bahasa Malaysia' classes was very exciting and enjoyable. It might partially because of my 'fierce' teacher at first but soon after that I started to look forward for her class every week. 

During that time, on weekly basis we will be given an assignment which usually involving presentation. Lots of presentations actually. Most of my friends will be whining about this because usually we need to sacrifice our money and good night sleep in order to prepare for a flawless presentation. I have no doubt that I whined too at that time. But mostly because it disturbed my sleeps. On the other hand, I actually begin to be quite fond of presentations, and up until now, I think presentations are the best activities to be done in class. 
*My classmates are going to kill me if they read this*

But what is the relation between presentations and language class cultural value? Actually, when we are learning the basic of any language, we will focus on grammar and word structures. But, it is different when we are already have a strong basic knowledge of it. Like in Malaysia, when I was in secondary school, we will learn deeper into the language, which is on literature and the best way to learn and understand the literature component of every subject or writing we are currently learning is through presentation.

This is where it relates to the culture itself. I still remember my 'Bahasa Malaysia' literature syllabus that has made quite an impression on me up until now. The tittle is 'Sehijau Warna Daun' if I am not mistaken. But, the overall content of that essay really made it easy to relates to Malaysian cultures.

Next one is a literature syllabus too but this one is for my English class. I still remember we have to learn one short novels each year but the one I love the most is 'The Phantom of The Opera'. Even though it's not the actual classic version of the book. But, I really love it. The book actually one of many reasons why I tend to read English historical romance book on top of other genres. The way they describe the Englishman society on those days were magnificent. The dances, the ballroom, the polite conversation, and most importantly the gentleman. I'm quite a romantic you know. 

But, my fondness towards learning language doesn't really stops there.

My addiction and obsession towards KPOP or Korean POP culture made me fell in love deeply with the language too. Many people might think that I turned out to like that language just because it relates with my favourite artist which is Super Junior. I bet if you guys actually read my blog, you will definitely know how obsessed I am towards them. But, for awhile, let's forget that I am a die hard fan of Super Junior.

Let's focus on the language itself. For Koreans people, the way they talk differ when they were with friends, or with someone older. The uses of formality are quite strict in their country. Addition of some prefixes for example '-yo' will differentiate your level of respect to the person you are talking to.

When I started to take interest in this language, I never realized how fast I would become addicted to it. Like Malay and English, it is really fun to start learning Korean. Even though I'm still in the early phase where I couldn't even read or write a word, but I actually proud to say that I manage to understand more than some basic words when I was listening to the conversation in those dramas I watched and even in some song lyrics.

As for the next semester in my university, we are going to be able to pick our third language studies course. So of course I wouldn't let this precious chance for me to learn Korean deeper passed by so easily. By all means, I am going to make sure that my name is listed in the student list for taking Korean as the third language. Maybe KPOP and Korean Drama started the sparks but I am really going to master the language as mush as I can. You can take my word on this.

And after that, I am going to aim for some Japanese, Mandarin, and French!
I hope during that time, I will have enough money and free time to attend language classes because I am quite sure it'll be around the time where I have start working . Whatever it is, I am not going to let my fondness towards language go to waste! For once, I want to learn something because I want it, not because of examinations because I have this feeling that I have been exam's slave since I was seven! Don't you think so too?

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