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Learning another language

  • · Tagged: Hobbies, Me
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Today's NaBlo prompt continues on the theme of languages:

If you could instantly know any language in the world, which one would it be?

I guess... All of them? Is that greedy? :P I really feel awkward going to a country where I don't know the language. So far that's only been Germany, but I felt really bad asking people if they spoke English and then not knowing what to do when they said "nein!", heh. If I knew more languages, I'm sure I'd feel more inclined to visit other countries (providing I have the money... Haha).

Failing that, I'd really like to know Spanish. I think it's such a beautiful language :) So far though, I only know hola, donde esta el hombre and hablas Español (all of which may or may not be grammatically incorrect). Not a great start!

On languages and stuff

Do you speak more than one language? How did you learn the additional languages?, asks today's NaBloPoMo prompt.

I do. Or I did. I was brought up bilingual, learning French from my parents and English from my grandparents. At some point though I stopped actually speaking in French, even though that's the only language my parents have ever used in the house... They'd ask me something in French, I'd reply in English. Over time, I sort of lost the ability to speak French, though I still understand it. That was made worse when I moved out of my parents' house and stopped hearing French around me every day :(

I try and keep things as refreshed as I can by keeping up to date with French news sites, forums and other sites, but I really must do more - how will D be able to learn French from me if I don't speak it to him? :P I really enjoyed having two languages to work with, so to speak, so I'd really like it if he can have that too. Learning from birth is far easier than learning at school... Never did get very far with my German, hah!

Censoring myself

I came across this prompt for a previous NaBloPoMo, and thought it was an interesting one to discuss: Do you give a lot of thought to your image online?

The answer to that is yes, I do; more so now than ever before.

Once upon a time, I thought nothing of putting my full name, location, and photos online. 16-year-old me even went as far as to have a live desktop cam (see what I'm doing on my computer right now!11! How did I ever think anyone actually cared?!) and an archive of (purely innocent me-at-the-computer type stuff) webcam images up for download.

I realised that that wasn't a good idea, and it all stopped eventually. But I still continued to write openly and honestly about things online. While this isn't too bad in itself, it got me into trouble a couple of times. I started to tone that down, too, as I became aware that online presence is of massive importance these days. If you apply for a job, employers are very likely to Google you and look at your Facebook and Twitter profiles. I'm now very conscious of this, and make sure that things I post online are things I would be happy for my mum and/or employer to read. If it's not something I'd say to someone face to face, it isn't really something that needs to go on the net, is it?

That said, there's a fine line between maintaining a professional image and censoring yourself. Part of why I haven't blogged much these past few years is because I felt whatever I wrote would be held back by this - I didn't want to spend ages phrasing things like a politician, so I just... didn't post. This NaBlo thingy has been good to get things back on track and remind me that I can post things without worrying too much about what people might think about it/me. :)

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