Monday, January 15, 2007

Language Acquisition

I watched part of a movie in my soon-to-be (if I study lots) new language this evening.

I can say with (very little) authority that no one in the movie counted slowly to ten or asked where the bank is.

I understood the word for "yes" at one point, and took that as a small victory. (Though I'd guess that most English speakers my age recognize the word for "yes" in this language and a number of others, and even I didn't learn it from the language CDs.)

Listening to the language CDs, I get a small sense every so often of how differently speakers of Language D conceptualize numbers and word order. I have my linguist friends to thank for caring about such things, but it's darned interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Do people anywhere behave the way they do in language-learning programs? I used a computer program once to try to learn just enough of a foreign language to survive a brief vacation, and the program kept trying to teach me useful skills like how to ask for a size 4 dress or how to respond when a handsome young man bumps into me in the library and invites me out for pizza. Apparently these programs are not intended for middle-aged academics traveling with their teen children!