Part I 列出了一些基本的策略,就算還不會說一個語言也能讓你在語言交換的情境中生存下去。第二部分列出一些更明確的方法,可以百分之百成功利用新的語言活下去。

In the first part of this post, we talked about why it’s important to start speaking your target language from day 1. We also gave you a few strategies to use when entering a language environment before you can actually speak. In this second part, we’ll list some specific things you can do to succeed in a 100% target language situation.


 

Be prepared. We don’t normally advocate memorization, but certain words are so useful, they’re worth making an exception for. If you learn this handful of phrases, you’ll have something to say in any situation.

What? / Can you say that one more time?

Why? / Really?

What does ___ mean? / How do you say ___?

I like ___. / I want ___.

 

先學常用表達:我們不鼓勵背單字,但是有一些很常用的表達方式可以先學起來,假如你懂一些實用的詞彙,通常在任何狀況都容易開得了口,譬如:

● 什麼? 你可以再說一次嗎?

● 為什麼?真的嗎?

● 請問 ___是什麼意思?請問 ___怎麼說?

● 我喜歡 ___、我想要 ___

 

Take the lead. An excellent language parent or language partner will lead you through their language so skillfully, learning it will seem effortless. But not everyone is this skillful. Thankfully, you can take the lead too. Here’s an example.

Last week I was at the Thai table at multilingual cafe. We were talking about the weather, and I wanted to ask if it would rain tomorrow. My Thai level is a low A1, and I couldn’t remember how to say “tomorrow.” Instead I asked, in Thai, “Will it rain yesterday?” In many situations, this would have been enough. In this case, however, I was met with a confused stare. This happens sometimes, so I tried a different tactic: “Yesterday,” I repeated, pointing behind me. “Today,” I added, pointing at the ground. Then I moved my hand in a long arc forward, and looked expectantly at the table leader. This time she got it. “Oh! Tomorrow!”

So, why go to all this trouble just for one word? I could have easily asked someone the word for tomorrow in English. This wouldn’t have helped me learn to speak Thai, however. By strengthening the connection between Thai and English in my mind, it would actually have been a step away from thinking in Thai, and thus from speaking it naturally. Instead, I chose to struggle to communicate in 100% Thai. As a result, I now have a story about the word for “tomorrow” imprinted in my memory. I don’t think I’ll forget that word again any time soon.

 

主動引導:若有很強的母語人士或語言伙伴,當然可以有技巧的引導你,但畢竟不是每個人都這樣,因此你就要採取主動挖出你要知道的。舉個例子:

上週我在多語咖啡的泰文桌討論天氣,我想問「明天會不會下雨?」但是我的泰文程度大概只有A1而已,我不記得「明天」怎麼說,於是我改用:「”昨天”將會下雨嗎?」通常這樣人家就能猜出我的意思,但那天這招卻沒用。於是我改用不同策略,我一邊說「昨天」並指著我的後面,然後說「今天」指著地上表示現在,接著再把手畫個弧線往前延伸、並直視泰文桌長,於是她終於懂了接著說出「喔!明天!」。

真的需要只為一個字花這麼大力氣嗎?我當然可以用英文問明天怎麼講,但透過英文會妨礙直接用泰文思考,也就不容易學會自然表達,因為中間多了一個阻礙,所以我很努力全部用泰文。這下我腦子裡就對關於「明天」的這事就印象深刻了,短時間之內應該都不會忘記。

 

Be creative. The story about remembering the word “tomorrow” is just one example of how you can learn more by being creative. Here are some other common situations.

● Say you’re talking about getting sick, but you don’t know the word for “doctor.” If you simply say “I was sick, so I went to the…?” it’s more than likely someone will fill in the blank for you. Congrats, you just learned a new word!

● For actions or sports, you can always pantomime the action. Don’t be shy! Most people will be amused by your antics, and it might even turn into a fun guessing game. What about tenses? If you don’t know how to say “I went yesterday,” just say “I go yesterday,” and someone will probably correct you.

● A lot of higher-level words can be described by combining simpler words. For instance, if you forget how to say “rain,” you can just say “sky water.” “Wallet” can just as easily be “money bag.” After all, economics is really just a “money system.” And a challenge is “something hard that someone does.” This is not only a fun game to test your creativity, but four times out of five, the person you’re speaking with will correct you and teach you the word you were actually looking for.

 

繼續發揮創意:記得泰文的「明天」只是一個例子,還有更多例子你可以繼續發揮創意:

● 譬如你要說生病,但不知道「醫生」這個詞怎麼說,你可以說:「我生病了,所以我去…」通常旁邊人會幫你填空,說出那個你不會的字,你就學到了。

● 和動作或運動相關的都可以用比手畫腳傳達意思,不要覺得不好意思,很多人可能會對你的動作覺得有趣,說不定變成你說我猜的遊戲。如果遇到時態的問題該怎麼呢?假如你不知道怎麼用過去式表達「I went yesterday(我昨天去)」,可以用普通動詞加上昨天,就變成「I go yesterday」,聽懂意思的人也許就會提醒你怎麼講。

● 比較難的字可以用幾個簡單的字拼湊出來,譬如忘記「下雨」?可以用「天空、水」試試看;「皮夾」?試著說「錢、包包」;「經濟」?嘗試說「錢、制度」、「挑戰」可以形容成「一個人做一件很難的事」,這不只可以看看你自己有多少創意,而且跟你說話的人通常有八九成會告訴你正確的說法。

 

Remember, or don’t. Now imagine you’ve struggled through a session 100% in your target language. It wasn’t easy, but you made yourself understood, and had a real conversation. Congratulations! This is a great achievement. What about remembering all those words you just used and learned? Different methods work for different people.

● If writing things down is your thing, then go ahead and write them down while you still remember them.

● If you prefer, find another person to speak the new words to. Nothing cements your memory like using them again a short while after you first learned them.

● If neither of these sounds like your idea of fun, don’t worry about it. In fact, don’t even try to remember what you just learned. Forgetting is also a part of learning. Important words have a way of appearing everywhere, and you’ll relearn them faster every time. One day, you’ll never forget them.

 

你已經盡量全用目標語溝通了,雖然很不容易、但你已經讓別人聽懂你的意思、辦到真正的對話,已經是很大的進步!接下來要怎麼記得或學會用法呢?每個人適合不同的方法–

● 如果你習慣紀錄,可以趁記得的時候寫下。

● 如果你樂意,可以找別人聊天並試著把新字用出來看看,強固記憶最好的方法就是短時間內再度使用它。

● 如果上面兩個方法你都沒興趣,就忘了吧!其實不需要努力記住剛學的東西,忘記也是學習的一部分,重要的字自然會一直出現,你每遇到一次就會更容易記得,多幾次就再也不會忘記了。

 

Learning a language this way is much more fun than the traditional, “textbook” approach. But it also requires some adjustment. Remember: in the beginning, you’re still a language infant. You might experience some “age shock” as you get used to this fact. Let yourself enjoy the process, and give yourself license to make plenty of mistakes. That’s how you learn. If you keep learning this way, your language ability will soon overtake even those who have spent years and years translating in their heads.

用這種方式學新的語言,比傳統用課本的策略好玩很多,不過你仍需要一些調適,千萬記得:你只是這個語言的嬰兒,給自己一些時間去玩、去犯錯,這就是學會的過程。只要用這個方法前進,你很快就能超越那些學很久、還需要在腦中先翻譯一遍的人。

Categories: Language learning

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