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    Unusual Jewelry — Helps You Learn Faster

    Unusual Jewelry — Helps You Learn Faster
    March 14, 2013
    Brent Van Arsdell

    One of the most fun things to do with your developing language skills is to talk to native speakers of that language that you happen to meet. This is especially fun to do when you travel.

    When I want to meet Russians to practice speaking Russian, I often wear a Russian-flag lapel pin on my collar. You could easily do this for most languages that you might be interested in.

    The people who notice your flag lapel pin will be interested in that country, and you will make some fun new acquaintances. Some of the people who notice your pin will be native speakers of that language. People who aren’t interested in that country will probably not even notice your pin.

    Flag pins are easy to buy online. Just do a web search for the term “flag pins.”

    Some other fun things would accomplish the same thing. For example, you could have a t-shirt made with words in the language you want to learn that say, “Talk to me in [insert your favorite language here].”

    This is a good thing to do even if you are an absolute beginner. When you meet someone who speaks the language you want to learn, say something nice about their country in their language, and you will make an instant friend.

    Don’t wait until you are fluent to start meeting new people and having fun with your new language. Have fun right away!

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    17 Comments to “ Unusual Jewelry — Helps You Learn Faster”

    1. Oooh! I like this idea a lot:-)

      I’m looking for solutions for language learning for my children—we sometimes come across French speakers at the park (we’ve been doing French [and Latin, but there are fewer speakers of that in parks:-) ]), but the kids are at a shy phase… if they had a flag on a t-shirt, that might solve the ‘problem’:-) (Not to mention, might get me over the hurdle of approaching the parent… I’m shy too:-) )

       
      Reply
      • Brent Van Arsdell

        For walks in the park you need something that a French speaker could see 20 feet away. How about a big, “I love France” T Shirt in French, or a shirt that says in French, “Please talk to me in French.”

        If you aren’t 100% sure, that the people are speaking French, you need to be careful about engaging them in French. Portuguese and Italian can sound very similar.

        The way to do this is to say in English something like, “Excuse me, I love languages, what language are you talking?” If they don’t understand that, trying French is probably okay.

        Once they know the person is French, your children need to learn to say something disarming like, “I love France” in French right away.

        Thanks for your comments.

         
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    2. Anna

      What do you suggest for people who live nowhere near native speakers of the language they are learning?

       
      Reply
      • Brent Van Arsdell

        1. Tell everyone you know that you want to meet people to talk for example French with.
        2. Get a T-Shirt that Says, “Talk to Me in French” of course it should be printed in French.
        3. Expect it to happen. I promise you that if you expect to have great opportunities talking French, then it absolutely will happen even if you live in some incredibly out of the way town.

         
        Reply
    3. Joe Mancini

      I love your approach. Are you working on an Italian course?

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        learn-italian.language101.com

        ;)

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    4. thom

      i am learning japanese using PImsluer. please let me know when you add a japanese course!

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Thom –

        We’re currently developing the software to display the Japanese characters properly. We plan to have it presentable sometime in 2012!

        -Thomas

         
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    5. Johnna

      Please, please, please add your Japanese course soon! Watashi wa nihongo wo manabitai!

      m(–)m <— bowing

      Arigato gozaimasu!

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Thanks for the enthusiasm Johnna, its support like this which helps us keep high motivation towards achieving our goals!

        As soon as we get it ready to rollout you’ll be in the list of people to inform.

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    6. Loga

      Do you have english language modules?
      Thanks

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Loga –

        Language101.com is working on creating an English version of the software for each of the languages we currently have available. Keep your eyes open for an announcement as they get finished and released.

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    7. Rie

      I am also very interested in learning japanese…2 years of college japanese… I know my kana’s but no kanji and I can manage the first minute and a half of conversation. DOZO nihongo no lessons kudasai (as my sensei cringes somewhere on Fujisama) Domo arigato thomas-san

       
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    8. D

      This really made me smile. I have been learning Greek for a number of years, and for my birthday I was given a pendant of the Greek flag, which is very pretty and delicate. I wear it often. A fair few people will enquire as to which country the flag belongs to, and then look confused when they establish that I myself am not Greek (but then I wear this around my neck, which may well be more prominent than a lapel pin). However, most Greeks that see it immediately comment…often asking me, in Greek, whether I am Greek, and where specifically in Greece I am from. This is always a good start, when I can respond in Greek and explain that I am, in fact, only learning the language. I do find that I forget I am wearing this until someone approaches me and speaks to me in Greek (I am lucky to live in an area with a sizeable Greek community, highly mulitcultural place in general, if I’m honest, and so encountering a native speaker of the language is not all that challenging!). It does serve to be a good ice-breaker, and will also lead to conversations in the language being learnt that would not otherwise be likely to happen. I would definitely recommend this to someone looking to have more conversations in their desired language. I have also found that anyone who does speak to me in Greek is also very encouraging, and always seems to appreciate that someone is learning their language, and proudly displaying that fact. Great recommendation for learners of any level!!!

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Thanks for sharing your experience with this attention getting tool! It’s very effective, as you are demonstrating. Not only does it show an affinity with the country – it also inspires people from that region or country to speak to you in the language of their home!

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    9. Jude

      Please PLEASE work on adding languages that are spoken by large populations of people worldwide that have immigrated to English speaking countries. In my area, we have large communities of Punjabi Indians & Chinese who are integrated with English speakers.

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Jude –

        Thanks for asking about Mandarin Chinese and Punjabi! We are currently working on Mandarin Chinese. I’m sure that it will be an amazing resource for English speaking people as soon as it is complete.

        Language101.com determines which languages to develop next by looking at the requests that our viewing community puts in. We also take into consideration the level of global speakers of a particular language. Using these two categories we will continue to develop languages that are the most widely spoken, widely used and in highest demand.

        Your opinion counts. Keep letting us know what you need so we can help you learn more languages easier!

        Thomas

         
        Reply
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