Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


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Languages: Not Just a Written Skill

In this post, I’ve decided to talk about something integral for all of us and something that I, personally, find fascinating.

Languages.

Europeans are known for speaking more than one language and in general, speak more languages that people from other countries and continents. Why is that? Because in Europe, traveling from country to country is like traveling from state to state in America. The difference is that in Europe, each country speaks a different languages, whereas each state speaks the same – English.

It’s a language barrier that needs to be overcome and the average European can speak at least two languages. Perfectly? Not necessarily, but enough to survive in foreign countries. At the very least, Europeans learn their native tongue and English. I know from experience that the Dutch can also learn German and French, or even Greek and Latin; it’s the same in Germany, minus learning Dutch.

However, one language is commonly forgotten.

Body language.

Take this in:

Body language makes up 60% – 70% of every conversation, regardless of the language the conversation is in. I’d call it a language of its own; it deserves that right.

Writing is one of my passions, but studying different languages comes as a close second. I speak four languages essentially fluently, namely:

  • English
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French

Is that enough? Hardly. I want to learn more. My plan is to first move on to Spanish and after that, figure out where to go from there. Languages that intrigue me are Japanese, Russian, and Arabic – not to mention Latin, Greek, and reading Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Okay, so maybe I don’t exactly pick the easiest languages. For me, it’s a challenge I’m willing to face. I love languages and I love communicating – do you hear that, teachers who called me anti-social? – and learning more languages just broadens the amount of communicating I can do.

Of course, it also shows in my writing. Characters from different countries with varying native tongues. Speaking multiple languages lets me create variety for my characters and add that little extra spice to my writing.

Learning languages is something I will always recommend to everyone. Speaking at least two languages opens up so many doors, and the more languages you speak, the more options you have, even if it’s just a matter of making holidays easier.

Languages help when it comes to communicating with other people, but don’t forget that it’s not just about the words you say; your body will show what you really mean with the words.

Okay, so maybe I like shows like Lie To Me and The Mentalist, but it’s true.

 

Do you speak languages other than your native tongue? If so, how many and which? What’s your view on learning different languages?

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