(Monday Reflection) : Language Learning needs Togetherness and Motivation


DSC01120Language learning needs togetherness. There are so many aspects to support us learning any languages and I think you have already known about it. Let me share about my experiences for learning new languages here. I am a lazy learner, as I used to take a course for months (the best was two years), but then I didn’t continue it as youngster, I still needed a new thing for my live and see…I have no any language certificates at all but for me language needs more than just certification. Certificate is a legal recognition, and this is what makes me ‘regret’ for not taking it in the past. The problem is the native speaker, I have very rarely native speakers for language I wanna learn. I just get it from podcast which I downloaded it from internet and tried to mimick the pronunciation as close as possible, and then watch the movies many times. Now I have got ‘Frozen’ in Brazilian Portuguese and its clips in 44 languages. I watch and learn the pronunciations after teaching in my break times.

But the most important thing for me is native speakers’s support. In Indonesia, many people (not all) always trick someone who wants to learn their language (or vernaculars), and usually they teach the profanities, however, they don’t tell the real meaning, and play a trick by changing the meaning.
This is the real example I ever see by myself:
Setting : Surabaya, East Java
A (a new student from Jakarta)
B (his tricky local friend)

A heard someone said : sorry “Jancuk” and asked his friend what the meaning was.
A : What is “Jancuk”?
B : Oooh, “Jancuk” is good, great and magnificent! *grin*
A : Ooo, I see

Then he practiced it to one of his friends and the result???? His friend got mad and almost hit him. While his tricky friend just laughed.

I don’t know about the motivation, but many people do the same thing as the situation. Tricking and having fun on somebody’s ridiculousness who wanted to learn their language and then, the person gets lazy to learn it and prefer speaking Bahasa Indonesia. Motivation from native speakers is also important for somebody’s language master because they should respect that someone wants to learn their language and culture. It is advantageous for the language and its native speakers. First, the language will be survived and the second, it is free promotion to the speakers, especially for getting know each other, exchange culture and tie up the brotherhood for world peace.

Why I learn languages is motivated by The Noble Quran from Sura Al-Hujurat verse 13 :

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

For me plurality is real (I don’t talk about religion right now, okay) and learning languages is also fun as you will know what they feel, see and share in their language. I just want to be better person and I have no anything but learning new languages.

Now, in my workplace (a trilingual national school in Tangerang), I am learning Mandarin and additionally Cantonese. I was surprised when one of zhungguo laoshi here helped me much for knowing and pronuncing Cantonese. Yeah, Cantonese sounds more melodious than Mandarin, but the tones are six! After school, usually I open my Cantonese and Mandarin podcasts and try to practice some words. And you know, one of Mandarin teacher asked me to record myself speaking some Cantonese. What happened to me? The videos? no! I cannot show it right now..it’s still ridiculous hahahaha!

This is only part of togetherness and motivation. Luckily, my environment has many Mandarin and Cantonese native speakers, so that’s why I can learn everyday. I hope in one year or yeach two years I’ll master in those languages. Spoken first, the written? later on the way.

If someone speaks in your language and he or she makes mistakes, just help them..do not switch the language.
If someone wants to learn your language, welcome and support them!

Of if you want me to teach you my language (national or local ones), just feel free and I’ll help you then.

Let’s exchange language!

Jia you! Ga jauw!

Bambang Priantono

14 Komentar

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14 responses to “(Monday Reflection) : Language Learning needs Togetherness and Motivation

  1. Aku nulis Basa Jawa ki malah ra bar-bar…. Saiki malih nginggris soale mbendinane ngecowos ae ndhik kantor.

    Anyway…. I don’t think native speakers will help. Do you remember what Pak Shihab and Bu Sudijah said? Native speakers won’t always be the best interlocutor. I know an auditor – a real Englishman: tall, blond hair, pointed nose, just bule deh pokoknya – but he writes reports like “bolah ruwet”. So, just maximise any tools you have: Podcast, CD, movie, songs, etc….

  2. totally agree mas. tricking someone when learning language will only just discourage them from learning.

  3. true, learning partner is essential in language learning, I used to utilise sharedtalk to find native speakers to exercise with.

  4. Muhammad Amin

    This is definitly awe-inspiring! And that verse from The Qur’an which motivates me to learn languanges too. I’ve got my own polyglot project, same thing as you. Good luck Mas Nono!

  5. This is a great post from you,Nono. I completely agree with you about tricky friend teaching us the bad words of a language we are learning! It’s embarrassing for us. Once someone taught me a Vietnanese bad word and I had no idea😀 I am sure you will sound better at Cantonese after you say the words 100 times🙂

    • And you see? I have to memorize and practice many Cantonese and Mandarin words at the same time. It’s lil bit hard but I enjoy it. I spend my time between 6 pm – 8 pm for learning some expressions in both languages.

      Even I found one famous Cantonese tongue twister after installing Cantonese learning in my phone. That’s great and my Cantonese friend was shocked on it!

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