Wednesday, 13 January 2016

13 truths about studying modern languages | Janu-Blog Day 13

I study French at university and there are many aspects of the course that people who don't study a language just don't seem to get.

1. It's a constant battle trying to explain that we speak some of the language but we aren't actually anywhere near fluent.

2. But when we've had a bit too much to drink, we're convinced we're fluent and we will talk loudly in broken Franglais to the whole pub.

3. We buy very bulky, extensive dictionaries and never actually use them. Between the efficiency of Word Reference, Collins Dictionary online and Google Translate, why would we need to go through the effort of flicking through pages to find the word we're looking for?

4. Speaking of Google Translate, it's awful. We know it's awful. Yet, we continue to use it for all last-minute translations.

5. When we can't remember which of the 20 different past tenses to use, we will always resort to the most basic form.

6. Fitting a subjunctive phrase into an essay makes us feel incredible.

7. The phrase "oral class" is as second nature to us as the terms "tutorial" and "lecture", so it sometimes takes us a few seconds to realise why you're laughing at us when we talk about our uni classes.

8. Some words don't have a direct translation and nothing is more frustrating.

9. When something is said in any other language in a film or TV show, everyone will ask us what it means, even if we don't speak a word of that language.

10. Yet, when we voluntarily offer a translation, people assume we're just showing off.

11. We will never know every idiom that exists in our learned language, and we're kind of alright with that.

12. Netflix counts as revision (as long as we're in the International section).

13. As much as we complain about our course, languages can really be enjoyable and most of the time, we're glad we chose to study it.

I'm blogging every day in January! Check back at 6pm GMT every day for a new Janu-Blog post!

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