how i study languages

решил перевести свою вступительную статью на другие языки, которые я изучаю. начнем с английского.

маленькое уточнение: со времени публикации этой статьи прошло три года и моих аппетитов прибыло: теперь я хочу знать не 4 дополнительных языка, а 6..


i’m often said that i want to seize immense. getting to study 6 languages at once, i have a chance to learn none.

however what does it mean, to learn a language? to master perfectly? and what does “perfectly” mean? however one knew a language, there are the words he does not know. and not just words – sentences, even grammar rules. it’s related even to the “native speakers”. thus it’s impossible to know a language 100%. and if so, where’s the border, after which one knows a “language” already, and before which he “does not”?

i know what the word “bonjour” means in french. i even know how to write it and how to pronounce it. does it mean i know french? no? how about ten words? not yet? a thousand? five thousand? i know what the japanese word “日” means, i know what this hieroglyph means and how it’s read. do i know japanese? what if i know ten such hieroglyphs? a hundred? a thousand?

does a japanese graduated student know japanese? a weird question? not at all. school provides base knowledge to a student – like 2000 hieroglyphs. it’s enough to be able to read a daily newspaper. although according some sources there are about 50,000 hieroglyphs in the language. can we say that a graduated student in japan knows japanese?

in short i like to study foreign languages. i love to do it. about the result.. no doubt a certain result must take place.

so.. my mother tongue is russian. my ukrainian is not bad at all – i have no problem to perceive it (i understand it both verbal and written), though i started to forget it without practice – to form a sentence i must think a moment.

i feel myself ok with english. i read almost without translation, and i need to translate a word pretty rarely. also i have no problem to write. i perceive by ear a little bit worse. the worst is my verbal english – i spent a lot of time to form a sentence and i often hardly find a appropriate word.

actually i have a possibility constantly to polish these two languages – russian and english – up. i have a russian speaking family, russian relatives and lots of russian friends. english is hanging round. it comes sounds from all the corners, and today you must speak any english, if you want to be called an intelligent person.

but i want to know more. as much as possible! the truth is i cannot know every language in the world. so i have decided to focus on 6 additional languages: french, italian, japanese, czech, spanish and portuguese.

i’m going to talk about them in this blog.

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