French immersion courses
t: +33 (0)2 96 82 71 53
t: +44 (0)141 332 8507
e: mclifton@languagegateway.co.uk

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

 

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If you’re encouraged by what you’ve read on this page and would like to take up or develop your ability in French, German or English (for non-native speakers) please get in touch.   As well as immersion courses (for French and English) I offer flexible personalised online language lessons at very affordable prices. Please contact me for more information, Marjorie on +44 (0)14 13 32 85 07 or by email to mclifton@languagegateway.co.uk

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Liberate Yourself through Language Learning!

September 2017

A lot has already been written about the power of languages to open doors to different cultures and opportunities – those of us with language skills will all have personal anecdotes about how being able to speak the lingo has led not only to job opportunities, but also, and perhaps most importantly, to an otherwise-locked treasure trove of cultural knowledge and experiences. However, on top of that, there’s another unexpected advantage to learning a foreign language: namely, when you speak it, you are doing far more than just translating something from your own mother tongue into that language. You are actually taking on a whole other personality, and the exciting thing is, that you are free to create this persona from scratch, without being held back by your background, your friends and family or any judgment of you imposed by them, consciously or otherwise. And on top of this self-invention, you also have immense freedom to express yourself without restraints. Naturally, you’re not going to want to offend anyone, but the beauty of being a foreign speaker, is that you probably won’t, because people won’t take offence. This gives you an inordinate freedom to speak without worrying about what you’re saying, in a way which you will not experience in your native language, where you are much more aware of what is right / wrong and therefore more anxious to get it right.

This freedom also allows us to cross social norms, which can be quite fun as long as we do it carefully. For instance, knowing full well the differences between the formal and the informal “you” in either French or German, I might sometimes slip into calling someone “tu” or “du” instead of “vous” or “Sie”, putting my “slip” down to my English background, but actually being very aware of my error, partly to see what kind of response I get. Friendly people will generally say, that it’s fine to stay in the informal “you” register. Less friendly, but nonetheless polite, might accept my profuse apology but still carry on addressing me as “vous” or “Sie”.

So, if any of you have ever been put off learning a foreign language, because you’re worried about not speaking it perfectly from day one, don’t be! Yes, you want to be able to communicate and express yourself with increasing freedom, but with lessons that will come soon enough, and it’s then that the adventure can really begin. Enjoy the many discoveries that await you, and above all enjoy creating the new liberated “you”.


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