Life is full of new encounter and departure, be it with people, items, jobs or places to live.
The reason I said good-bye to Mauritania (Nouakchott) was to say Hello to the new destination, Kenya (Nairobi). This is quite a big move, mentally (change of my work) and physically (west to east of this big African continent).
Since then, more than a month has passed and I already learned some important life lessons, which I would like to share hoping they can be informative and applicable to other situation.
The majority of us has some kind of goal, but the challenge is how to motivate yourself to achieve it.
In my previous blog entry “4 Conditions to Gain Any Skill“, I explained about the 4 conditions among which the motivation and actions are the most important ones. Also, in other entory “Long journey to the goal“, I highlighted that the action was the key to maintain or improve your skill.
Before action, however, we have to have strong motivation, about which I will talk in this entry. The more difficult the goal you want to achieve, the more efforts and time you will need, and the more you get to lose your initial motivation along the time. I think every one has the similar experience like this.
I took TOEFL test recently in Mongolia. This test is mainly used for a benchmark to enter English speaking country’s universities or to prove English skill for job recruitment.
I have taken this test quite many times to enter US grad school, but the test score is valid only for 2 years, which makes sense since language skills can be lost quickly if you don’t use. Thus I decided to take it again.
Although I graduated from US university and have been using English at my work, it doesn’t mean I am prepared for this TOEFL: Just like any other test, you need to know the characteristic of the test and study to the test. Also, some of my native English speaking friends even make some errors on this.
Given its complex characteristic, I will talk about some tips on TOEFL including some secret techniques.
I love it, and I don’t mind taking long night bus, walking a lot and/or climbing mountains to capture beautiful colors in my eyes.
Thinking about why I like those color changes, I think it’s because I like 3 color combinations Red Yellow and Green (hereafter referred as RYG), which I tend to use for designing my blog entry and work-related things. Those RYG colors can be seen not only in color change of leaves in the fall, but also in Rasta color and Trafic lights.
Then I started thinking if there was any secret behind this color combination, and I started learning about several different things: (1) Color system, (2) Meaning of Rasta color, (3) Origin of traffic lights as well as (4) Concept of colors in Japan.
One of my life’s “To Do List” items’ includes “Mastering 5 languages I selected”.
This week, I did a brainstorming on what language I want to learn next. Although I have a lot to improve with my French, Spanish, English (and even Japanese), I thought it would be a good time to try new one to reach that goal.
After checking several articles and asking myself over and over, I came to think that Chinese Mandarin might be the next one. This time, however, I will not write about how I decided it. Instead, I would like to write about other essential question I kept asking to myself: Why do I learn other languages?
And Below are 10 reasons to that question (in my case).
As I wrote in the last entry, some of my resolutions for this year are to meet people and improve language skills.
To put them in practice, last week I joined a language meet up group (Spanish/English learning group) for the first time. There were more than 30 people (at a small bar!) and the organizer told me that most of them are native speaker of English or Spanish (Viva minority!). And there was a guy from the U.S. who said something interesting:
“I don’t know how to differentiate 2 types of ‘to know’ in Spanish.”
Then Chilean people had a difficulty in explaining the difference of 2 words “Saber” y “Conocer”, which are both translated as “to know” in English. As a non-native speaker of those 2 languages, I thought this conversation was pretty interesting.