Why learning languages matter to me

Aside from the business reasons, language learning for me is to learn about other cultures, and to share these cultures to the rest of the world. It’s a way to make new friends, have fun, and experience a different sort of lifestyle that’s different from how I grew up.

I have a lot of side passions that I like to cultivate in my free time away from my work. One of my dreams is to be a freelance translator/interpreter (in addition to other hobbies) in the three East Asian languages (Chinese/Korean/Japanese) because I get excitement in being able to bridge different cultures together.

When I listen to a song or watch a television series in a different language, and see the translation in English, I am always excited in knowing that what they are talking/singing about is almost very similar to how we think. We’re really all the same people, and we all want the same things in life. The difference is the language we speak, and how people from different cultures experience those needs, or live life.

Learning a new language bridges that gap, and bridges cultures together. Bridges different people together. Especially in a planet that will be facing a lot of global climate change and sustainability problems, it’s really important that we as a society know how to be empathetic, know how to relate to each other, establish trust. By establishing that trust, we can work together to solve these problems.

It gives me true pleasure to be able to be part of bridging people together through language. I can establish friendships, trust, and eventually co-effective collaboration.


How to start/continue conversations in target languages

I found this link on making conversations flow from Anthony Lauder, i.e. conversational intimacy. To quote his style:

Conversations need to flow.

So, what is the language glue that we were missing that keeps conversations flowing?

Instead of saying “urm” I now fill the gaps (and give myself some thinking time for the next sentence) by using lots of what I call “conversational intimacy connectors”.

These connectors are small glue phrases between burst of factual information, that show you are “sharing” your thoughts with the other person.

For starters, he has a whole list in Czech. Wow, I’m excited.

Edit: Goal:

To be confident in expressing my feelings/opinions, and understanding other people’s in one month. 

말해 봐; Sketching > design software!

Two things I’ve realized today:

1) I should focus primarily on speaking a language, at this point, with building up my vocabulary and speaking it to practice.

2) I prefer sketching over doing any form of design software, although I will end up using it in the future. The first picture you see in the left, in color, took me 45 minutes. The second picture, done all on Adobe Illustrator, took approximately 8 hours.

I like the accessibility of sketching because you do not have go through moving the mouse, playing around with multiple layers, adjusting colors; it gets too complicated.

On artistic creativity and the future.

Car drawing

As I sit here, having three semesters left until I graduate, I always wonder whether whatever I am doing: language learning and sketching/drawing/illustrating, has practical value in the real world, or how can I develop it’s practical value?

According to my values, I value a creative lifestyle, which allows me to be able to produce artistic products (i.e. transportation planning visualization?) that help enhance the human experience.

As an adult now, I regret not being able to participate in a lot of arts programs when I was younger, or before the budget cuts have been taking place. Having an artistic perspective allows me to experience life that has meaning; it allows me to produce things that were not possible before through constant practice; it is the process that becomes valuable to me.

Continue reading “On artistic creativity and the future.”