Difficulties, in picking up new languages one is learning, and, I suppose, learning a new language, takes some form of predisposed “talent”, if you will, translated…
The discussion of the language barrier, I’d usually, describe it as the tower of Babel. And, in order, to bring down that tower, for the sake of communication, people need to, learn a different language than their own mother tongue, to learn the language of another country, and, as you pick up a brand new language, it’s, an impact!
yeah, it’s, like that…NOT my picture…
When I was, given the chance, to learn a second language, I’d chosen German. The reason was very clear, for an overly concentrated Capricorn like me, the German culture’s down-to-the-t mannerisms fitted me well. And, there’s another reason: the syllables in German were very clear cut and precise, it’d sounded, very, powerful.
And, there’s, really, NO reasoning, but as I’d started picking up German, I’d realized, that “German and English, are from the same ‘families’”. I’d selected another language, because I was, bad in English, but, I’d, bumped into, English’s twin brother, and, it was, the downfall of my fate, in picking up another language. All though, everything is wasted and too late, my English became, unsalvageable, but, my German can still improve, I’d placed ALL of my focus on it, and, in the six months I’d learned it, my over-a-decade’s worth of English skills was shaken up, and it became, that I couldn’t differentiate English and German, I’d started having difficulties, having simple conversations in English too.
For example, the conversation in class, “Was machst du? (What are you doing?)”, I’d replied, “Ich lerne ‘German’.” My instructor laughed loudly, asked again, “Wie bitte? (What?)”, I’d replied back using the same words. She’d laughed and said, that I couldn’t differentiate between German and English, “You spoke English well enough, but German, not so much!”
Afterwards, the German instructor, always commented after I’d spoken German in class, “You must be excellent in picking up English!”
“Why is that?”
“Because when you’d talked, you’d sounded like an American, speaking German!”
This sort of mistaken tone, not only showed up in my taking up German, but also, later, as I’d picked up on Japanese too, my instructor from Tokyo just couldn’t figure out, why I’d spoken, in the dialect of Kansai. And, I couldn’t help, but wondered sorrowfully, even as I spoke Chinese in Taiwan, people would mistaken me for being from abroad. What, is up, with my tongue anyway?
a world, of different tongues here, not my photo…
And my realm for learning a brand new language had been, limited too. Once as I’d returned to Taiwan from France, there were, huge amounts of French stored inside my memories, so, when I’d spoken in English, “merci” (French for “thank you”) would slip out, and for good morning, I’d stated, “Bon jour!”
I am however, NOT the only one with this problem, with this entanglement in my language cortex. As a fellow classmate in my German course was pressed by the instructor, he’d blurted words, not in English, nor German, but Japanese. And this situation, surfaced quite a number of times, as I’d picked up Japanese later on too. This sort of defeats to my language learning processes, became a wound that just, won’t heal or go away, it’d caused me, to give up on taking Spanish, after I had, mastered all the alphabets, I knew, that my English, is bound, to get affected. Several years later, I’d, learned to speak Filipino, after that very first session in class, I’d, asked myself, “This, IS Spanish, are you willing, to continue it?”
So, how did those, who are, multi-lingual manage so many different languages well? Without an ounce of confidence left in picking up another language, I can say, “Well, at least, I can speak in Taiwanese, well enough!”
This would be, quite common, in learning to speak a brand new language, that very first foreign language away from your own Is the key, for you, to pick up more language later, and, if you don’t learn to speak in a second language after you’d started to, then, there’s, very little chance, you will, EVER be able to speak it well, and this article, is the support of the Critical Period Hypothesis of Language Acquisition!