When it comes to language, there are many misconceptions. You may assume there are only a handful of languages worldwide, but did you know there are more than 6,000 languages all over the planet? Here are some other common language misunderstandings and misconceptions.
You may not realize just how many words originate from the Chinese. In fact, one billion people speak Mandarin Chinese, with Chinese words accounting for 60 percent of the vocabularies of the Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.
A very big misconception about language is that traditional classroom instruction churns out highly proficient language learners. Not so – at least according to a survey in Canada that found, despite 12 years of daily lessons in French, just one high school graduate showed intermediate level proficiency of the subject. Other surveys of students learning English as a second language in the U.S. have found that standard classroom hours have little effect on progress.
As Americans, we tend to get insular about our language and assume English is the most common language in the world. In fact, it’s not – Chinese is. Followed by Spanish, then English, then Hindi. Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese and Javanese (an Indonesian language) round out the top 10. French is projected to rank among the most popular languages come 2050, with an estimated 750 million people. It will be in close contention with Spanish, however, which is projected to be the United States’ primary language by 2050. By that time, the U.S. is expected to have more Spanish speakers than any other country.
You may think all languages are completely different and all equally as hard to learn. You would be mistaken. In fact, many languages are interrelated and can therefore be easier to learn once you know one of them. Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese are all dialects stemming from the same language. Learning Russian opens the door for more readily communicating to other Slav speakers, for example. In addition, the more you expand your mind, the more readily you can take in new information.
Another misconception is that only children can take up a new language easily. While kids are especially receptive to learning new languages quickly, adults too can learn them. In fact, they may be better language learners than children because they have a wider vocabulary honed over many years of experience. The one advantage kids have over adults is that they are extremely willing to learn and communicate.
One final misconception is that you have to live in the native country of where you’re learning the language in order to truly know it. While this certainly helps, it’s by no means a requirement. With innovative learning techniques, such as through BRIC Language Systems, you can learn a new language remotely from native speakers in their native lands. Language learning has never been easier