Tag. I’m IT!
The hype for language tag posts may have already died down in my reader, but I am here to give it one last shot. But first, I would like to thank Koen from Koen Speaks for tagging me in this bandwagon! In case you haven’t read yet, HERE is her awesome language tag post.
So, let’s get right into it, shall we?
What would you consider your native language?
My native language is Filipino (the national language of the Philippines). It is also known as Tagalog by locals and foreigners alike. In case you haven’t heard any Tagalog, it is closely related to Malay languages when it comes to syntax (and overall look and feel), and Spanish (for the vocabulary). When you already know Spanish, picking up Tagalog will be easier because of similarities in the words.
What was your first language learning experience?
I think my first language learning experience was with my parents and other family members. Here in the Philippines, it is normal for people to speak in Taglish (Tagalog + English). And babies are not exempted from learning this. Pinoy babies are taught with different English words / rhymes like “Close, Open, Close, Open” (referring to the hands) and “Appear” or “Align”. As the kids grow old, they will be taught basic English sentences like “What is your name?”, “How old are you?”, “Where do you live?”, among others. I can say that I already have basic English sentences when I started kindergarten at 4 years old.
What languages have you studied and why did you learn them?
Aside from Filipino, English is one of the official languages of the Philippines. When I was in grade school, some subjects have English as their mode of instruction. With this, basic understanding of English is necessary. But few years back, there were some changes made, and schools are required to use the Lingua Franca of the students when teaching Kinder – Grade 3 pupils.
Growing up, I already knew that I have an extraordinary love for languages. I always excel in my language classes (and other subjects as well 😝). In Grade 5, I started writing for the school paper and joined Campus Journalism contests as an English News writer, and Editorial writer in Grade 6.
As I reached high school, I have improved a lot because of my then English teachers. Their accents felt like music to my ears. I also started watching English news like CNN and BBC during these times, and I often found myself imitating how the broadcasters would relay their stories. And up until today, I still try to imitate newscasters in English broadcasts.
During my last year in high school, my friend introduced me to Japanese language. We do not have access to the Internet back then, so we only relied on his sister’s dictionary and CDs to learn Japanese. I remember learning the Katakana and Hiragana, but due to lack of materials, eventually, I lost this.
Then I came across Spanish workbooks, and I’m instantly in love! I tried to pick up some Spanish thru the books, but they were not enough. I lost interest then, but I will certainly learn it in the coming years.
It was in college when I met Korean girl group 2NE1, especially Dara, who is a Filipino-at-heart. I became a fan after watching their MV “Fire”, and then started loving KPOP. However, it was not until last year that I started pursuing Korean language for real. Before, I am already contented with memorizing foreign words with beautiful melody. But then came a time that I wanted to understand what I was singing and humming all the time. Thanks to the full internet access, studying Korean became easier for me, compared to the other languages I tried learning before.
How does your personality affect your language learning?
I am stubborn. So before, because of my stubbornness, I don’t care if I do not know the meaning of a foreign word in a song. As long as the song is good, I will sing it. Now, I’m still stubborn. But the good thing is, when I wanted to know what a word means, I will quickly search in the net for the answer.
Do you prefer learning a language in a class or on your own?
On my own, 100%. I have tried learning in classes, and it is so boring when the pace is very slow. When you are all alone, you control the pace, and the materials that you use.
What are your favorite language learning materials?
Definitely the TTMIK materials! The TTMIK team members are awesome! Their free materials are enough for someone to learn basic Korean. Now, I started buying some products from them and I can say that I love them all! My most favorite is the Story Time! I wish they release new versions soon!
How much time do you spend learning a language per day?
Now, this would be hard. Due to the nature of my work, I spend at least 12 hours outside for working and commuting. Sometimes, I sneak in some time listening to Iyagi while working… but my KPOP playlist from Spotify is always there for me. I just make sure I learn something new daily (whether it’s a new word, sentence or grammar point).
What are your short-term and long-term language goals?
Short Term Goals:
– Learn up until level 3 Korean by this year.
– Join the Korean Speech contest next year (and hopefully win the free trip to Korea). Now this would need super hard work!
Long Term Goals:
– Make lots of language exchange friends
– Learn other languages and be a polyglot (currently have my eyes for Japanese and Spanish)
– Further improve my Korean just like my English
What is your favorite language?
It’s a battle between English and Korean. I am torn. Everything I do involves English, but I want to do the same for Korean.
What is the next language you want to learn?
Japanese, then Spanish
What advice could you give new language learners?
Being a polyglot is hard work. But do not be too hard on your self. Remember why you wanted to learn the language, and always have fun! I believe speaking more languages will bring extraordinary experiences (meeting new friends, learning other culture). Learning takes time and patience, but it will be worth it.
As for the tags, I think all the blogs I follow have already been tagged. I will update this post once I have someone in mind already!
‘Till next time! 🙂