Bosley, the Language Bear

The Value of Immersion in Learning a New Language

It’s true that many schools today are already offering foreign language subjects, and this has opened doors for learning new languages. However, a classroom setting often does not cover other necessary lessons that encompass truly learning a language. In the classroom, you memorize words, write sentences, and take tests. However, there’s a possibility to forget it after finishing the subjects. Engaging in an immersion environment however, lets you learn the language in the real life setting, and this has a lasting value. Even for just a few months, being in an immersion environment makes a lot of difference. Here’s why.

Image Courtesy of Savit Keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. You learn to let go of your fears

In a classroom setting, you study the language on a step by step basis. You memorize some vocabulary words, engage in some conversational exercises, write sentences, and take tests. In an immersion environment however, it is necessary to speak the language to be able to communicate with the people there. After a while, you learn to let go of the inhibitions and the fear of making mistakes. And as you let go of that fear, you are then able to open up to authentic conversation along the way.

2. You learn the natural way, as young children do

Isn’t it amazing when toddlers learn how to speak a language or two very quickly? It makes us realize that the most effective way to learn a new language is to approach it the way a child would. Rather than just memorizing flashcards or completing homeworks, it is more potent when you listen, absorb, and speak the language naturally. In an immersion environment, you learn a specific language the natural way, just like a child.

3. You become more in tune with the language in real life

In an immersion environment, you learn how the language is actually spoken in different situations in real life, beyond just memorization of words or youth slang. You learn about idiomatic ways of speaking, the way people joke, and what types of jokes are considered as funny. These lessons cannot be found in textbooks, but can only be learned as you immerse in the language.

4. You gain a deeper understanding of the language

Yes, classroom education really does help in introducing a new language and learning about the meaning of words. But after being introduced to a language, engaging in an immersion environment opens doors to learning much more. You learn more about pronunciation, intonation, facial and vocal emotions that are appropriate for different expressions. You gain a deeper understanding of the language as you converse naturally with people.

5. You learn about a different culture

As you converse with people in an immersion environment, you learn about their culture, including their customs and traditions. You gain a deeper understanding of the place and the people. Such experiences helps you gain a wider perspective as you become more in tune with the world.

Being immersed in a language really does help in gaining a deeper senseof the language. However, not all learners have the opportunity to spend time in an immersion environment. If this is the case and you won’t be able to travel to a specific place to immerse, then you can always create an immersion environment where you’re at. You can look for native speakers in your area or maybe subscribe to tv channels that speak the language. There are actually many ways to create an immersion environment without the need to ride on a plane. Who knows? You might become fluent in the language before you know it! Happy Learning!

 

Source:

http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/languageimmersion.htm

 

Image Courtesy of Savit Keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Simple Russian Words for Toddlers

Did you know that Russian is Eurasia’s most geographically widespread language, and the most widely spoken among the Slavic languages? However, for a foreigner, Russian may seem like a tough language to learn. But like what they say: ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’.

Image Courtesy of Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.netChildren, in particular, have great capacity to learn a new language at an early age. So if you want your child to learn Russian, you don’t have to worry. There are a lot of ways to do so especially since children are able to absorb language better during this time. One of the best ways is through exploratory play, where a child is able to learn in educational yet creative activities that are both accessible and kid-friendly. This method enhances the learning experience while helping the child gain a wider perspective of things. Also, make sure to encourage your toddler and give praise when he shows progress. That way, your child has a support system along the way.

How about getting to know some Russian today? Below are some simple words to start off.

 

Greetings in Russian

1. Hi!                             Привет!                         Preevyet

2. Hello                          Здравствуйте                  Zdrastvooyte

3. Good morning              Доброе утро                  Dobraye ootro

4. Good afternoon            Добрый день                 Dobriy den’

5. Good evening               Добрый вечер               Dobriy vyecher

6. Nice to see you!            Pад тебя видеть             Rat teebya veedet’

7. How are you?               Как поживаешь?            Kak pazhivayesh?

8. Fine, thanks!                Спасибо, прекрасно!      Spaseeba preekrasna!

9. Not so bad                    Неплохо!                      Neeploha!

10. What’s your name?      Как Вас зовут?               Kak vas zavoot?

11. My name is…              Меня зовут…                  Meenya zavoot…

 

 

Saying Thank You in Russian

 

Thank you                          Спасибо                    Spaseeba

Thank you very much           Большое спасибо       Bal’shoye spaseeba

That’s all right                     Не за что                   Nyezashta

You’re welcome                    Пожалуйста                Pazhalooysta

 

 

Apologies in Russian

 

1. Sorry!                     Извините                              Eezveeneete

2. Excuse me              Простите                               Prasteete

3. That’s all right         Ничего,ничего,пожалуйста      Neechevo,neechevo,pazhaloosta

4. No harm                  Ничего страшного                 Neechevo srashnava

 

 

Saying Goodbye in Russian

 

1. Good-bye!              До свидания!                     Da sveedaneeya

2. Bye-bye!                Пока!                               Paka

3. See you                 Увидимся                           Ooveedeemsya

4. Have a nice trip!      Счастливого пути!              Schasleevava pootee

5. I’m sorry I (we)should be going –   К сожалению, мне (нам)пора идти – K sazhalyeneeyoo mnye (nam)para eettee

 

 

Speaking/Comprehension

 

1. Do you speak English?                     Vi gavareetye pa angleeskee?

2. Could you speak more slowly?          Gavareetye pazhalooysta myedleeney

3. My Russian is bad                           Ya plokha gavaryoo pa rooskee

4. I understand                                   Ya paneemayoo

5. I don’t understand                           Ya nee paneemayoo

 

 

Days, Months, Seasons

 

1. Day                Den

2. Week              Nedelya

3, Month              Mesyats

4. Year                 God

5. Monday             ponedelnik

6. Tuesday            vtornik

7. Wednesday        sreda

8. Thursday            chetverg

9. Friday                 pyatnitsa

10. Saturday            subbota

11. Sunday              voskresenie

12. January              janvar

13. February             fevral

14. March                 mart

15. April                   aprel

16. May                   mai

17. June                  iyun

18. July                   iyul

19. August               august

20. September         sentyabr

21. October              oktyabr

22. November           noyabr

23. December           dekabr

24. Spring                 Vesna

25. Summer              Leto

26. Fall, Autumn        Osen

27. Winter                 Zimá

28. Today                  Sevodnya

29. Yesterday             Vchera

30. Tomorrow              Zavtra

31. Birthday                Den rozhdeniya

32. Happy Birthday!      S dnem rozhdeniya!

 

I hope you had fun learning some Russian words today. ‘Paka’ for now! :)

 

Sources:

http://www.langage.com/vocabulaire/learn_russian.htm

http://masterrussian.com/blbasic.shtml

http://learnrussian.rt.com/speak-russian/russian-for-kids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_language

 

Image Courtesy of Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Valentines Day “I Love You” Map from the Language Bear and Globanova

Happy Valentines Day!  Thousands of folks from around the world loved our post about how to say “I love you” in foreign languages.  Our pals over at Globanova loved it so much they used it to make this awesome “I Love You” Map graphic to allow you to easily see where all these phrases come from.  Enjoy it, and don’t forget to “Pin it”!
GlobaNova_ILoveYouMap_Pink-1800

Bosley’s First Review in Russian!

Bosley has seen the world, and now travelled the world far and wide and it looks like he is in the company of loving children in Russia.  Thanks to the BabyReporter for this great review from the other side of the Earth!

Книга на двух языках (английском и русском) Тима Джонсона, вышедшая в издательстве Language Bear рассказывает о любопытном медвежонке, которому показалась родная берлога слишком тесной. Да и что в ней интересного? Все давно знакомо Вот отворил дверь наружу – а там огромный незнакомый мир! Там лес и река, там звери и птицы, там такая высокая гора, что,  глядя с нее вниз, родная берлога кажется совсем маленькой. Калейдоскоп красок и незнакомых звуков.

Read the full review in Russian here.

5 Common Misonceptions About Raising Bilingual Children

A child’s ability to learn language is indeed a wonderful accomplishment. In a span of three to five years, almost all children become competent in at least one language and are able to converse in different situations.

Moreover, it’s amazing how bilingual children are able to acquire competency in two or more languages during their early years of life at the same time as monolingual children learn one language. However, childhood bilingualism continues to be misunderstood. Some educators do not approve of it and parents feel hesitant about raising their child to be bilingual because of the lack of familiarity or knowledge about childhood bilingualism. However, new research shows the benefits of bilingualism and provide contrary evidence to previous notions.

Read on below to know more about the common misconceptions and truths about raising bilingual children.

Misconception 1:

Children become confused when exposed to two or more languages at the same time. They won’t be able to separate the languages from each other.

This is the most common misconception of people when it comes to teaching a child a new language. Parents are especially cautious because they’re worried that their child won’t be able to separate the languages, causing confusion and mix-up of words. The thing is, most bilingual children use words and sounds from both languages when they converse even if who they’re talking to is using just one language. Because of this, early childhood educators and parents become concerned and think that the child cannot differentiate the languages.

Research has shown that this is not true. The main reason why bilingual children mix languages is because they lack enough vocabulary in one or both languages to express themselves fully in just one language at this early stage of learning. With this, they borrow words from their other language. It’s actually an effective communication strategy for the child is able to fully express what he/she wants to say during this stage of development, especially when both languages are spoken at home. Indeed, it is just normal when it comes to early bilingual acquisition, and as they grow older and acquire more vocabulary in both languages, they will naturally stop doing it unless it is the norm in the community.

Definitely, it does not mean that they can’t differentiate one language from the other.  According to Barbara Zurer Pearson, author of ‘Raising a Bilingual Child’, “From just days after birth, all infants can tell the difference between many languages,” she says that it is especially true when the languages are distinctly different such as English and Arabic. When languages are too similar such as English and Dutch, infants can find it hard to tell them apart but when they reach 6 months, they won’t have a problem with it anymore.

This confusion myth probably rooted from older research based on poorly designed studies, drawing conclusions that early exposure to 2 languages will be a disadvantage for a child. Such research has signaled educators to encourage immigrants to do away with their native language and put emphasis on just English proficiency.

Misconception 2:

Learning two or more languages during childhood result to delays in language development.

This does not hold true. Bilingual children who have much exposure to both languages have the same language development milestones as monolinguals of the same age. Whether bilingual or monolingual, there are individual differences in language acquisition. Some children acquire their first words or learn complex words much earlier than other children. Delays in such milestones don’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong. In most cases, it just means that it just takes longer for the child to reach that stage, regardless or whether the child has one or more languages. On the other hand, parents of bilingual children should provide enough exposure to both languages all the time so as not to disrupt language acquisition.

According to Ellen Stubbe Kester, president of Bilinguistics, which offers bilingual speech-language services in Austin, Texas, “Research indicates that bilingualism does not cause delays in either speech or language acquisition,” and if your child was diagnosed with a kind of speech delay, teaching him a second language won’t make his speech any more delayed. “Studies have found that children with language delays who are in dual language environments gain language at the same rate as those in monolingual environments,” says Kester.”

Misconception 3:

As compared to monolingual children, bilingual children have less exposure to each of their languages. Because of this, they are never able to fully master either language or be as proficient as monolingual children.

Even though bilingual children usually have less exposure to each of their languages, they can acquire the same proficiency in all areas of both languages over time as monolingual children do in one language. The same holds true in terms of proficiency in grammar and phonological areas of language, provided that there’s regular and substantial exposure to each of their languages.

Although some bilingual children may know fewer words in one or both of their languages as compared to monolinguals of their age, this is just short term. Since all young children have limited memory capacities, there’s a limit on the words that can be stored in the brain. However, as bilingual children become more exposed to their languages, they would generally know the same words and have the same vocabulary range as that of their monolingual peers. If and when these differences occur, they are only short term and would most likely disappear when the children begin schooling.

In conclusion, it is necessary not to overreact to these differences in proficiency since they are usually just temporary. In the meantime, parents can help their children become proficient in both languages by providing exposure and rich experiences in both languages, especially in the minority language which does not have much support in the community. For immigrants, it is also important to use the heritage language because it’s part of the family culture and is necessary in developing the child’s identity while growing up. It helps them learn about their roots and feel connected to their families

Misconception 4:

Because children are like sponges, they can become bilingual in no time and without effort.

Yes, it may be easier for children to learn a new language when they’re exposed to it earlier. However, it doesn’t happen instantly. Simply letting your kids watch a cartoon with another language won’t be enough. Though it isn’t hard to teach a child a new language, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put some effort into it. You see, it would be more effective to introduce your children to a new language with structure and consistency, whether by daily conversation or by formal language instruction. That way, they would be able to learn language in more meaningful and interesting ways that are in tune with real life. Incorporating music, games, and other fun activities would be helpful too.

Misconception 5:

It’s too late to raise your child bilingual because he’s already used to his first language.

It is never too late nor too early to introduce your child to a new language. However, earlier is better. The best time is from birth to 3 years because this is the time when children have open and flexible minds and are able to absorb language most effectively. The next best time is when kids reach 4-7 years old, because they are still able to process multiple languages, and can speak like a native. The next best time is 8-12 years old. After the age of 12, studies show that new languages are stored in a separate area of the brain, so the children have to go through their native language to learn the new language. Yes, we often hear about the benefits of learning a new language at a young age and yes it may be easier during that time, however, it’s never too late for older children to learn too.

Other important things to keep in mind about childhood bilingualism:

  •  All children have the capability to learn two or more languages.
  • Proficiency in both languages will be enhanced if there’s equal exposure to both languages. Moreover, it would help if parents expose them with the language in varied ways
  • Teaching a second language should not be just for the sake of it, but more on how it would help them in the long run.
  • There are different ways of teaching a new language. Parents are not just limited to a one way street, but are encouraged to determine what works best for their child.

 

Sources:

http://www.multilingualliving.com/2011/12/19/5-concerns-about-children-b…

http://www.multilingualliving.com/2011/03/03/what-bilingualism-is-not/

http://www.babycenter.com/0_raising-a-bilingual-child-the-top-five-myths…

How to Say “I Love You” in 100 Different Languages

Valentines Day is on its way, and love is in the air. So, how do people from around the world express love? Indeed, there are many ways to show our love to the ones we hold dear. Sometimes, it’s as simple as hearing the words: “I Love You.”

I. Love. You. Three words that when combined, hold much value. Such words have been expressed in different languages all over the world and have been exchanged not just between romantic partners, but also between family members, friends, and other special people in our lives. Though there are different ways of saying it, its meaning is universal.

Below is how to say ‘I Love You’ in different languages. Say it with me:red-heart

English – I love you

Afrikaans – Ek het jou lief

Albanian – Te dua

Arabic – Ana behibak (to male)

Arabic – Ana behibek (to female)

Armenian – Yes kez sirumem

Bambara – M’bi fe

Bengali – Ami tomake bhalobashi (pronounced: Amee toe-ma-kee bhalo-bashee)

Belarusian – Ya tabe kahayu

Bisaya – Nahigugma ako kanimo

Bulgarian – Obicham te

Cambodian – Soro lahn nhee ah

Catalan – T’estimo

Cherokee – Tsi ge yu i

Cheyenne – Ne mohotatse

Chichewa – Ndimakukonda

Chinese –Cantonese – Ngo oiy ney a ; Mandarin – Wo ai ni

Comanche – U kamakutu nu

Corsican – Ti tengu caru (to male), Ti tengu cara (to female)

Cree – Kisakihitin

Creole – Mi aime jou

Croatian – Volim te

Czech – Miluji te

Danish – Jeg Elsker Dig

Dutch – Ik hou van jou

Elvish – Amin mela lle

Esperanto – Mi amas vin

Estonian – Ma armastan sind

Ethiopian – Afgreki’

Faroese – Eg elski teg

Farsi – Doset daram

Filipino – Mahal kita

Finnish – Mina rakastan sinua

French – Je t’aime, Je t’adore

Frisian – Ik hald fan dy

Gaelic – Ta gra agam ort

Georgian – Mikvarhar

German – Ich liebe dich

Greek – S’agapo

Gujarati – Hoo thunay prem karoo choo

Hiligaynon – Palangga ko ikaw

Hawaiian – Aloha Au Ia`oe

Hebrew

To female – “ani ohev otach” (said by male) “ohevet Otach” (said by female)

To male – “ani ohev otcha” (said by male) “Ohevet ot’cha” (said by female)

Hiligaynon – Guina higugma ko ikaw

Hindi – Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hae

Hmong – Kuv hlub koj

Hopi – Nu’ umi unangwa’ta

Hungarian – Szeretlek

Icelandic – Eg elska tig

Ilonggo – Palangga ko ikaw

Indonesian – Saya cinta padamu

Inuit – Negligevapse

Irish – Taim i’ ngra leat

Italian – Ti amo

Japanese – Aishiteru or Anata ga daisuki desu

Kannada – Naanu ninna preetisuttene

Kapampangan – Kaluguran daka

Kiswahili – Nakupenda

Konkani – Tu magel moga cho

Korean – Sarang Heyo or Nanun tangshinul sarang hamnida

Latin – Te amo

Latvian – Es tevi miilu

Lebanese – Bahibak

Lithuanian – Tave myliu

Luxembourgeois – Ech hun dech gaer

Macedonian – Te Sakam

Malay – Saya cintakan mu / Aku cinta padamu

Malayalam – Njan Ninne Premikunnu

Maltese – Inhobbok

Marathi – Me tula prem karto

Mohawk – Kanbhik

Moroccan – Ana moajaba bik

Nahuatl – Ni mits neki

Navaho – Ayor anosh’ni

Ndebele – Niyakutanda

Norwegian

Bokmaal – Jeg elsker deg

Nyonrsk – Eg elskar deg

Pangasinan – Inaru Taka

Papiamento – Mi ta stimabo

Persian – Doo-set daaram

Pig Latin – Iay ovlay ouyay

Polish – Kocham Ciebie

Portuguese – Eu te amo

Romanian – Te iubesc

Russian – Ya tebya liubliu

Scot Gaelic – Tha gra\dh agam ort

Serbian – Volim te

Setswana – Ke a go rata

Sign Language – „,/ (represents position of fingers when signing ‘I Love You’)

Sindhi – Maa tokhe pyar kendo ahyan

Sioux – Techihhila

Slovak – Lu`bim ta

Slovenian – Ljubim te

Spanish – Te quiero / Te amo

Swahili – Ninapenda wewe

Swedish – Jag alskar dig

Swiss-German – Ich lieb Di

Surinam – Mi lobi joe

Tagalog – Mahal kita

Taiwanese – Wa ga ei li

Tahitian – Ua Here Vau Ia Oe

Tamil – Nan unnai kathalikaraen

Telugu – Nenu ninnu premistunnanu

Thai – Phom rak khun

Tunisian – Ha eh bak

Turkish – Seni Seviyorum

Ukrainian – Ya tebe kahayu

Urdu – mai aap say pyaar karta hoo

Vietnamese – To female – Anh ye^u em

Welsh – ‘Rwy’n dy garu di

Yiddish – Ikh hob dikh

Yoruba – Mo ni fe

Zazi – Ezhele hezdege

Zuni – Tom ho’ ichema

 

 

Whew! Doesn’t that make you feel the love across borders?

Now, you can say “I love you” in 100 different languages.

How about saying this to someone you love today?