Thoughtful Thursday – The Power of Language

Raul Ramos y SanchezMy friend Raul Ramos y Sanchez (who will be visiting us on August 14th) talked a little about learning his first English word yesterday at Mama Latina Tips.

I remember learning my first English words from television:

Doublemint adds to your fun
Double pleasures all in one
So refreshing, great taste, too
Chew Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint gum!

LOL! Had to look up the lyrics to that classic commercial.

Actually, we had the television on constantly. It was how my sister and I started to learn English before I was plopped into kindergarten with barely any understanding of the language (I had only been in America for a short time at that point). There were no ESL classes back then. You learned by immersion which is much the same way most people effectively learn a foreign language today.

In no time I was speaking and reading English and eventually I learned Italian, some French and because all the Romance languages have their roots in Latin (which I took in high school), I realized I was able to read Portuguese as well.

Being able to speak and/or read all those languages has really been a blessing. Whenever a project came up at work that required someone who was bilingual, I was the one handed the assignment which means that I’ve been able to visit over a dozen countries for an assortment of projects and conferences.

Learning other languages opens up new worlds and not just because you can visit somewhere else. When you take the time to learn even a few words, it opens doors of communication. If you learn a little more, you’ll also come to know more about other cultures.

For those who don’t speak English, learning it is important because it is the lingua franca of the business world. Get ten people together in any country and chances are, a large number of them (if not all) will speak English.

For those who only speak English, learning another language gives you new opportunities for growth. Many companies are global now and need people who can communicate with those in other countries. Even though these people may speak English, conversing with them in their own language makes them feel more comfortable and establishes an immediate bond. With another language under your belt you are that much more marketable in today’s economy.

Do you speak another language? Did your parents or grandparents?

Want to visit some more with Raul? Check him out on one of these other stops on his virtual blog tour:

WEEK ONE
August 3: “Musings” by Nilki Benitez http://Nilkibenitez.blogspot.com
August 4: “Chasing Heroes” http://chasingheroes.com
August 5: “Mama Latina” http://www.mamalatinatips.com
August 6: “Efrain’s Corner” by Efrain Ortiz, Jr. http://efrainortizjr.blogspot.com
August 7: “Writing to Insanity” by Icess Fernandez http://www.locacrazywriter.blogspot.com

WEEK TWO
The AMERICA LIBRE “Virtual Book Tour” continues…
August 10: “Sofrito for Your Soul” by George Torres http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/sofrito-for-your-soul
August 11: “Author Terri Molina” http://terrimolina.com
August 12: “Latino Books Examiner Mayra Calvani” http://www.examiner.com/x-6309-Latino-Books-Examiner
August 13: “Unloaded” by Ricardo Lori http://www.un-loaded.com
August 14: “Author Caridad Piñeiro” http://www.caridad.com

WEEK THREE
The AMERICA LIBRE “Virtual Book Tour” continues…
August 17: “Author Julia Amante” http://juliaamante.blogspot.com
August 18: “Author Charlie Vazquez” http://charlievazquez.wordpress.com

0 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday – The Power of Language”

  1. I have trouble learning and speaking my own language lol. although i would love to learn a new one. But i always find it amazing how some learn a new language just by watching others. My husband has a friend from India and he didn’t know a bit of English until he was watching sesame street.

  2. I wish I paid more attention in Spanish class in high school and college. I did well in those classes, but I haven’t retained much. I do know how to say a few phrases. My parents and grandparents don’t speak English and my mom told me it was hard for her learn the language.

  3. I wish I spoke another language. I know so many people who speak two and I’m jealous of them. I can only speak a few words/ phrases in other languages including Spanish and Japanese. When we visited Okinawa last year, it was difficult communicating (when our friends/ translators weren’t with us) but the Okinawans were patient with us and between them knowing a little English, us knowing a little Japanese and using sign language and pointing, we were able to communicant.

  4. This was a very interesting post.
    It has been said that English is the most difficult language to learn. It has also been said that the English language has more words than any other language in the world. So, considering that, it is amazing that anybody learns how to speak English!

    You can’t learn a language by submersion unless you allow it. Venturing out into the world where others speak it is the best way, but staying with only those who speak the same language you speak won’t get anybody anywhere.
    (Neither of my parents spoke English as their first language.) 🙄

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