A few years ago on the course in the business school I was studying with one girl who for some time lived abroad and later returned to Russia. Naturally, she spoke English very well, I’m at the time was not able to say two words in English and only planned to fix it.
Frequently this girl was answered to the teacher by English phrases are often used in everyday speech.
Then I thought, “Oh, here everybody understands that you know English, not necessarily demonstrate this once again!” How wrong I was at that time, she used two languages in a speech in English just because it was easier and more familiar for her to communicate.
How could I know that in 2 years I will experience similar difficulty, participating in the Russian-language dialogues?
It happened like that: before, I just wanted to speak English and Italian. Why Italian? It was the impulse of the soul.
My friends and I signed up for courses, bought books, talked a lot about that “it would be necessary to know English,” but it always ends the same “tomorrow” to which great hopes.
At one moment my life changed. I was in a situation in which either I speak in English, or I speak in English! And I begun speak! My base was the standard for the majority: school course + year of university. And then a few years, during which knowledge of English I just did not need in everyday life.
One day I went for a vacation to another country, where around me were only English-speaking people. And I had to find a common language with them. It was cool! In the beginning I knew very little, and tried to recall a set of standard phrases. Then became better, but still I continued to make mistakes in the sentences. And now getting better and better. Reading my first correspondence in English, I can only speculate about how people understand me ?! I guess I was lucky, because I have been around a good and educated person who was so kind to me. I am currently working on pronunciation and spelling. There is always something to learn!
Having dealt with the English to the level of: “I can easily communicate and correspond with anyone in the world”, I began studying Italian. Here it was more difficult. If I had studied English for at least 9 years in total (School + University), the Italian never.
In Italian language is very complicated grammar, reading the letters of the alphabet is fundamentally different from the English. All the “upside down”! I just did not know where to start. But one of my friend suggested me the video tutorials of the Italian language – “Polyglot». And I was had one of the books that I have ever bought in times of the “dream” learn Italian.
And step by step, word by word, I was close to the desired knowledge. Some things I just do not understand. And all the time I was plagued by the same question: “Why?”. Why so constructed suggestions? Why is it so necessary to speak? Why is like that? Why is that? Why? Why? Why? … A few months later I realized that I was no longer important, “Why?”, I just want to know, “HOW TO”. The learning process was very fun! And it was a big job! After the first listen of course “Polyglot” I went to Italy and fell in love with this country again! I re-opened it! I began to understand what is written on the doors, windows, billboards. I could understand that they asked, I could even answer them, something primitive, but still!
It was a inside! I’ve never been so happy and proud of myself.
And then came the period when all around me there was not one person who would talk to me in Italian. In this regard, I began to forget the knowledge received after the course. It is important in any language, not to be forgotten – to communicate with the native speakers.
Some time later, I restarted my Italian class, because fortunately, I had the opportunity a couple of months to live next door to an Italian family. And I could do both thing together: teach and practice the Italian language.
Funny, but when I began to talk in English, I began to experience difficulty in communicating in Russian. All because I’m beginning to think in English, talking to myself, also in English. Therefore, meeting with someone else, the first thing that comes to my mind – the phrase in English. I had to translate them in the mind from English to Russian. It sounds crazy, but the one who have had similar experiences understand me. Sometimes even so, that at times I knew what I wanted to say in English, but could not remember how to say it in Russian. Important consider that, my Russian is rich enough. It was fun, my friends looked at me like I was crazy, and then accustomed.
Now I spend more time on the Italian and of course I think on it, so now in my mind I translate from Italian to Russian.
I continue to learn both languages, is a fascinating and interesting journey. English is very important in our world, it opens millions of doors! The Italian also for the soul, but believe me, it opens quite a few doors!
I recommend to you to learn languages and actively practice them! It’s great to understand any person, to be able to navigate easily in foreign countries, at airports, reading newspapers, magazines and books in the original language, but even just to chat and make new friends! And it increases the loyalty of foreigners when they meeting with you, because we are also very pleased when a citizen of another country can once at least say us, “Hi!”.