Tag Archives: French language

Speaking the Same Language is Harder than it Looks

Have you ever tried speaking with someone who’s native language is not your own? That is, if you’re an English speaker, have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who’s first language is not English? As the world grows closer to itself (in many ways) I suspect that you’re more likely to be forced to converse with people who won’t be communicating in their first language. I bet you might be surprised just how difficult communication can be with someone who’s native language is not your own. It can be quite an experience and I encourage you to try it.

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The corollary that follows from this idea is you being the person who’s not the native speaker. That is, if you’re native language is English, try learning another language and then speaking with someone for which this language is their native language. So, maybe you’re trying to learn French. It can be quite a humbling experience to try and speak to someone who is a French-speaking person. You might recognize some of the frustrations you had when you were the native speaker when looking at the person speaking French with you.

The important point I’m trying to make here is the idea of empathy. This exercise I’ve just outlined is a great way to foster empathy. You’d be able to tangibly experience what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes.

Trying to Form a New Habit: Take a Vacation

Have you ever wanted to make changes in your life, but haven’t been able to stick to those changes? What about a New Year’s Resolution? If I’m being honest, there have been changes that I’ve tried to make that I haven’t been able to keep up. However, I think I may have discovered a trick to making it easier to stick to a new habit. (Truth be told, I’m probably not the first person to make this discovery, but I don’t remember reading it in any of the literature on habit-forming and/or making changes. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t.)

There have been some new habits that I’ve tried to form over the past couple of weeks. One of those habits is practicing French. (I’m Canadian and I think I ought to know both of the national languages. Plus, it makes good sense to be able to speak more than one language and since I had some training in French, I thought it was the best one to start with.) Anyways, I’ve tried to practice French. At least once I day, I make a point to practice French. Although, this hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be.

If you’ve ever tried to create a new habit, you know what it’s like: you’re used to doing certain things throughout your day and as a result, it can be difficult to try to squeeze something else into the day — even if you’ve removed some of the other things that you used to do!

I recently returned from a trip this past Monday. As a result, I thought that this was a perfect time to try and carry out a new routine. Having been away from my “regular” routine for the last 10+ days, I can now impose a new routine. I’ve only been doing it for a few days, but so far, it’s been working great. If we look at it from a physics standpoint, it makes sense. The way I went about my day was an “object in motion,” and until that “object in motion” was acted upon, it was going to maintain its course. My attempts to affect its course weren’t strong enough to move that object in motion, but when I left the country, the object was acted upon strongly enough. Inertia is also another concept that applies here. Inertia is the idea that an object will resist a change to its state of motion (or rest).

So, if you’re trying to make some changes in your life, consider going on vacation or getting out of town for a few days to shakeup your routine. It just may be the change you need to make the change you need!