Polyglot in Training: My Experience Learning Foreign Languages, in Six Languages

Uploaded by gaoyoude1 on 06.10.2011

Hello everybody, this is Chris,
and I wanted to make a video to share
one of my biggest passions with everybody,
which is learning foreign languages.
I should probably say that my purpose
of this video isn¡¯t to show off
so I hope people won¡¯t take it that way.
I am making this video in order to connect
with other language learners and
also to encourage others to learn languages
obviously which I spend a lot of time doing,
especially Chinese dialects, which I¡¯m particularly interested in.
Ok so the first language I¡¯m going to speak in this video will be Russian.
Hello. My name is Chris, I¡¯m British, I¡¯m 23 years old.
I can speak a little Russian but very badly
Next will be Mandarin Chinese.
The language that I speak best, apart from my mother tongue is probably Mandarin.
I¡¯ve been learning Mandarin for about 5 years now.
I studied Chinese at university in the U.K
I¡¯ve also studied as an overseas student
at NTNU in Taipei and then at OUC in Qingdao.
I¡¯ve been interested in foreign languages from a very early age.
When I was young there was a Dutch family living next door
and when I went over there I was intrigued by the Dutch they spoke.
Also when I was about six or seven years old
I happened to see a piece of paper on the ground
which had Chinese characters written on it.
Actually, I still don¡¯t know whether it was Chinese or Japanese
But either way, it made a big impression on me.
At school my best marks were always in foreign languages,
and so later a language degree was a natural choice for me.
In the process of studying Chinese I¡¯ve been to
many places to travel and study,
such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Guilin
Shenzhen, and Hong Kong and Taiwan.
I¡¯ve also taught English for a year in China
so I¡¯ve made a lot of friends there.
I think that if you don¡¯t speak Chinese there is no way
to fully understand the modern culture and society,
and I believe that those who study Chinese will get a lot from it
especially if you go to China to study or work.
Therefore I think Chinese is a language worth studying.
Ok next language (or dialect) will be Cantonese.
Apart from Mandarin I can also speak Cantonese.
So why do I want to learn Cantonese?
Because after I started learning Mandarin I went to HK many times
to travel and on exchanges.
But at that time I couldn¡¯t speak Cantonese,
and I could only understand it a little.
I¡¯ve seen a lot of Hong Kong films
and I¡¯m interested in the culture and the place
so I decided to start learning Cantonese.
As I¡¯d learnt Mandarin for a long time it wasn¡¯t too difficult.
I bought a lot of books in China with both Mandarin and Cantonese
and studied Cantonese that way.
Then I listened to the radio to improve my level.
Now I can understand Cantonese well but don¡¯t speak it very fluently.
Ok next I¡¯ll try French.
I¡¯ve been studying French for a long time
when I was at primary school my mother realised
that I was interested in foreign languages
and so she signed my up for an after school class
where I learnt vocabulary but not a lot else.
After that I went to France a lot
during the school holidays with my parents
I really liked being able to order food in restaurants
and meeting new people.
Later at school I continued my French studies
and took exams in French (and passed!).
Recently I haven¡¯t had many opportunities to practise my French
and I think that my French is a bit rusty,
but I still like to watch the news on the TV
and listen to French radio as well.
And finally will be Spanish.
Another language that I studied at school is Spanish
I passed my Spanish exams without difficulty,
but after leaving school I didn¡¯t use it
and I almost forgot how to speak Spanish.
So, however, a little while ago when I was in China
I realised that I couldn¡¯t speak Spanish and it was a shame
so I decided to start speaking Spanish again.
I bought a lot of textbooks and listened to all the CDs
to improve my Spanish level.
It was very hard at the beginning
because it was very difficult not to think in Chinese
as I was in China.
Also it was difficult to conjugate the verbs and things like that
but I started speaking Spanish more fluently
and in a short space of time.
Now even though I¡¯ve only been to Spain once,
I hope I will have the chance to get to know this language better
and to travel for example in Spain
or South America in the future.
Ok. So, there you go.
I¡¯ve talked a little bit about my language learning experiences
and talked in the various languages
and I hope that I¡¯m going to be able to keep up these languages
in the future and to use them in my work and to travel as well.
That¡¯s it from me for now.
If you¡¯re interested in knowing anything else
then feel free to leave me a comment or something.
Ok, bye for now!
Ok, bye for now!