Bosley, the Language Bear

What’s a Polyglot? About Joseph Caspar Mezzofanti

What is a Polyglot? A polyglot is a person who speaks many different languages. There have been many such famous people over the years. One who’s name is Joseph Caspar Mezzofanti, was an italian Cardinal, and lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. He claimed to be able to speak over 38 different languages! And people from all over the world would come to challenge him in their native tongues, and he never ceased to amaze them with his fluency.
You can read about the life of Cardinal Mezzofanti in The Life Of Cardinal Mezzofanti by Charles William Russell. There is a copy of this in the LB bookstore.
And check out this list of languages that Mezzofanti was able to speak! It’s HUGE! It indicates how well he could speak all of the languages; OVER 30 languages, perfectly! You’ve got to check this guy out if you’re a lanugage enthusiast.

Learning a Second Language as a Child

Did you know that early childhood is the best time to start learning a second language? The earlier children are exposed to a second language the easier it will be for them to pick up on it. This is partially due to their ability to retain large amounts of new information, partially due to their willingness to retain such information and also due to their vocal dexterity.
Reading multilingual books with your child or otherwise introducing them to a second language is also just a great way to broaden their horizons as well. It will inspire them; it will get them pondering the otherwise un-ponderable marvel that is communication.
Read Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language? an article by Kathleen Marcos on KidSource.com for more information

What Did you Learn Today?

Take in all that information!
In today’s fast-paced, information-based society, the folks here at the Language Bear believe there’s no reason for you to EVER stop learning something. That old phrase “You learn something new everyday” has evolved recently and we find ourselves learning a exhorbitant amounts of knowledge every day. What makes this possible today is the ability for information to travel much faster than it did 30 years ago.
Yeah, but how do I retain it all?
Your memory is like a muscle. And your ability to learn (despite what you may think) does not decline as you grow out of childhood. You just become preoccupied with other things or lose the motivation to exercise your mind and memory. It does require discipline and committment but if you don’t use it, you lose it. Find something you enjoy and learn as much as you can about it. It’s good for you!
One-Two, One-Two, Work those memory muscles!!
And find a way to have fun doing it, you’ll be glad you did. – See more at: http://www.thelanguagebear.com/news?page=10#sthash.6xgh8HpX.dpuf

Language Learning for Busy Folks – How do you do it??

So you want to learn a language, but you “don’t have time” right? Yeah yeah, join the club… But not having the time is rapidly becoming a less valid response as the speed of the world (travel, business, communication) increases. Sure, there are probably a ton of other things you could be doing too, but the trick is to set your priorities. Learn to observe your activities, and if it seems you haven’t been studying the language you’d like to be, it’s time to prioritize it a little higher. If you’re visiting a foreign country or need to learn a language for business, then there is no question that you must make time to study and practice. Here are a couple of tips to help you make the best of your time:

  1. Find a good learning method that works for you. Everyone learns differently, make sure to try a variety of different programs, teachers, books, etc. to find the method that works best (IE. Reliable, fast comprehension on your part). Spending some time upfront finding out which is best for you will save you time in the long run.
  2. Set up a schedule. Things can slip through the cracks if they do not have a timeframe allotted. Pick a time during the day and reserve it for language study. Many audio lessons can be done easily in the car during the commute to and from work which is a great time to study because you know you won’t be busy doing anything else. The morning is said to be a good time for studying because the mind is fresh and you will retain new knowledge much better than if you study on a fatigued mind.
  3. DON’T let yourself get distracted! When you’re studying… study. Commit the time to nothing else but studying. Relinquish all other thoughts of your job and your life, find a nice quiet place and put your all into it. First, it will be much more fun when you are entirely involved in it, and it will also allow you to learn new things much easier.
  4. Audiobooks can be difficult to pay attention to. Especially if you are driving or doing something else while listening. The mind can (and will) wander and you can find yourself in the most peculiar places, often, anywhere BUT paying attention to the audiobook. If you simply turn up the volume a notch or two, it can be much more difficult to ignore. So crank it up!

You can do it. And when you have done it you will be happy that you did. And you probably already know that, so just do it already!