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快速学习外语的秘诀

更新时间:2018-10-1 9:40:40 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Secrets to learning a language-quickly
快速学习外语的秘诀

Picture this: You want to apply for a dream assignment abroad. There’s just one problem. You need foreign language skills that you don't have – and time is not on your side.

设想一下:你想申请一份梦寐以求的海外工作,但却碰上了一个问题,你需要掌握一门新的语言,可时间却非常紧迫。

It might sound like an impossible task, but according to language experts, you can learn basic communication skills in weeks and master the basics of a foreign language in several months. While you might not quickly reach the fluency that allows you to understand great foreign literature classics, you can, though, quickly hone in on phrases and technical language specific to your needs whether you are working with the diplomatic service or a blue chip multinational.

这似乎是一项不可能完成的任务,但语言专家表示,只需要几个星期就可以学会基本的交流技能,只需要几个月便可掌握一门外语的基础知识。虽然你可能无法在短时间内流利掌握某种语言,理解外国的伟大经典文学著作,但无论你任职于外交部门还是跨国公司巨头,都可以很快掌握一些符合你具体需求的短语和专业术语。

It won’t take long to be well on your way to discussing current affairs with a native speaker in Rome or sharing a 'water cooler' moment with your new French work colleagues in Paris.

要不了多久,你就可以驾轻就熟地跟罗马本地人谈论新闻时事,或者与巴黎的新同事在茶水间闲聊一番。

Getting started

起步阶段

Sometimes travelling the globe for work will force you to come up with ways to master conversation in many languages. Benny Lewis, an engineer, learned enough of seven languages -- including Spanish, French and German — to work easily and attained near fluency in several others, including Mandarin.

有时,因为工作原因到全球各地出差会迫使你通过各种方法掌握许多语言的对话技巧。本尼·刘易斯(Benny Lewis)是一名工程师,他已经可以用西班牙语、法语和德语等7种语言轻松应对工作问题,他的汉语水平甚至接近流利的程度。

Learning Spanish, Lewis’s first non-native language, took over a year but subsequent languages, even the basics of conversational Mandarin, were quicker. His secret: when he first needs to learn a language, Lewis compiles a script of sorts for himself so that he can respond to simple queries from strangers.   As Lewis mastered new languages, he was even able to do work as a translator of technical engineering texts.

作为刘易斯学习的第一门外语,他花了1年多的时间才掌握了西班牙语,但随后几门语言的学习速度都快了很多,甚至包括基本的汉语交流技巧。他有自己的一套秘诀:当他第一次需要学习一门外语时,刘易斯设计了各种各样的脚本,使之可以应对陌生人提出的简单问题。当刘易斯掌握新的语言后,他甚至能从事技术工程的笔译工作。

Phrasebooks and online tutorials can prove useful in this early stage, experts say, as they can give you the vocabulary and the confidence to have basic conversations with native speakers, the crucial first step in learning a language.

专家表示,短语手册和在线课程在早期阶段非常有用,因为这能增加你的词汇量,并让你自信地与外国人展开基本的交流,这也是学习一门语言的第一个关键步骤。

“The biggest barrier in the beginning is the lack of confidence,” said Lewis. “That got better and better for me [as I spoke].”

“起步阶段的最大障碍是缺乏信心。”刘易斯说,“说的多了,信心就会渐渐增强。”

Indeed, simply having the courage to speak is necessary if you are going to make progress in a foreign language, language experts said.

语言专家表示,鼓足勇气张开嘴是学习外语时取得进步的必要步骤。

“A lot of people don't make progress if they don't open their mouths,” said Michael Geisler, the vice president for language schools at Middlebury College in Vermont in the US. “If you are not willing to put your identity on the line, progress will be slower.”

“张不开嘴就无法进步。”美国明德学院语言学院副院长迈克尔·盖斯勒(Michael Geisler)说,“如果你不愿意放下身段,进步的速度就会放缓。”

This means not being afraid to take risks or make mistakes. When he started learning Spanish, Lewis said he spoke a lot like Tarzan, the fictional man of the jungle.

这意味着不要害怕冒险,也不要害怕犯错。刘易斯说,他当初学习西班牙语的时候,说话的感觉就像小说中的人猿泰山。

“I would say 'me want go supermarket'. But I reached the advanced stage by starting as a beginner. My 'light bulb' moment was when – two weeks into learning Spanish – my toothbrush broke and I was able to ask for a replacement at the supermarket,” he said. “Wherever you go, people are very patient.”

“我连主格和宾格都会用错。但我还是从初级阶段进入到高级阶段。我的‘顿悟’发生在学习西班牙语两个星期的时候。那时,我的牙刷坏了,我竟然成功在超市完成了换货。”他说,“无论你走到哪里,人们都很耐心。”

Immerse yourself

沉浸其中

Geisler believes that total immersion is key to mastering a foreign language quickly. The more you immerse yourself in the foreign language – such as reading, listening to the radio or speaking to people – the more rapid your progress will be.

盖斯勒相信,完全沉浸其中是快速掌握一门外语的关键。你越是沉浸在外语环境中——例如看书、听收音机、与人交流——你的进步速度就越快。

Students at Middlebury College are required to conduct all extra-curricular activities, from sport to theatre, in the language they are learning. Middlebury, which also runs graduate programs, runs courses in 10 languages including French, German, Chinese and Hebrew.

明德学院规定,该校学生必须使用自己所学的外语展开所有课外活动,包括体育和戏剧。明德学院还设有研究生课程,该校使用法语、德语、韩语和希伯来语等10种语言授课。

Such immersion is also actively encouraged at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC, which trains US diplomats and US foreign affairs personnel in foreign languages. With teaching expertise in more than 70 foreign languages, courses last up to 44 weeks, with the aim of taking students to 'level 3' in a language – essentially this means they can read and understand the equivalent of a magazine like Time and hold in-depth conversations.

美国外交学院也非常鼓励这种沉浸式的学习方法。该校专门为美国培养外交官和涉外人才,总共教授70多种外语,课程最长持续44周,其目的是让学生的外语水平达到“三级”——也就是说,学生们可以阅读并理解与《时代》杂志难度相当的内容,而且可以展开深入交流。

Getting to basic conversational proficiency can be achieved in much less time, just several weeks according to experts, particularly if you can speak regularly. James North, associate director for instruction at the Foreign Service Institute, said students are encouraged to get to know native speakers.

专家认为,如果只是熟练掌握基本的对话技能,花费的时间会少很多,尤其是当你可以定期与人沟通时。美国外交学院教学副主任詹姆斯·诺斯(James North)表示,他们鼓励学生结识母语使用者。

“You need to invest not just the head but also the heart,” North said. You can, for instance, do volunteer work or engage with the local community at restaurants and neighbourhood functions.

“不光要走脑,还要走心。”诺斯说。例如,你可以做一些志愿工作,或者在餐厅或社区与当地人开展一些互动。

More broadly, in major cities there are often regular — several times weekly — language-immersion Meet-Up groups that join together people practicing a language. There are also online alternatives. Lewis recommends italki.com, a language social network that connects native speakers and teachers with students. Others include lang-8.com and voxswap.com.

更广泛地说,大城市通常每周都会有几次“外语角”活动,可以在那里与人们一起练习外语。互联网也提供了一些选择。刘易斯推荐italki.com,这是一个学习外语的社交网络,可以帮助学生们结识母语使用者和老师。另外还可以选择lang-8.com和voxswap.com。

By conversing regularly with language experts or native speakers you also have someone to check – and correct – your progress.

通过定期与语言专家或母语使用者交谈,你还可以找到一个帮你检查学习过程、纠正错误的人。

“Practice makes perfect,” said North. “But practice without feedback just makes perfect whatever you are practicing. The naïve learner does not have a perspective on what they are doing. It is really vital to have someone saying yes you are on track.”

“熟能生巧,所以必须不断练习。”诺斯说,“不过,如果在没有反馈的情况下练习,就只能完善你所练习的那些内容。语言初学者对于他们所做的事情并没有全局观,所以必须有人告诉你,你的学习已经步入正轨。”

You’ll need to ask those you speak with for feedback and make sure they know it’s OK to correct your pronunciations and grammar, although experts say you need not worry too much about grammar in the early stages.

你应该向交谈对象寻求反馈,让他们纠正你的发音和语法。但专家表示,初级阶段不必过分担心语法。

Use the language first and focus on the grammar later, Lewis said. When you are ready to pick up the grammar, he recommended using podcasts at sites such as radiolingua.com or languagepod101.com as particularly useful in picking up grammar and dissecting the language.

刘易斯表示,先学会如何使用一门语言,然后再去关注语法。当你准备加强语法时,他推荐使用radiolingua.com或languagepod101.com等网站上的播客,这对于加强语法和深入学习语言非常有用。

“By then you have so much context. I would see a rule and I would say, 'That's why they say it that way',” he said.

“到那时,你会从语境中获得很多信息,读懂上下文的联系,然后说,‘原来是因为这样才这么说的。’”他说。

As you learn, be sure to consume media in the foreign language. If you are starting out, read illustrated children's books or watch familiar films in a foreign language, experts advise.

学习过程中必须要接触一些外语媒体。专家建议,如果你刚刚开始学习外语,那就读一些带有插图的外语儿童读物,或者看一些熟悉的外国电影。

If you have specific goals to achieve, such as conversing with a partner or using a foreign language at work, that motivation can be all you need to begin to master conversations. But beware lofty ambitions. If you say you want to be fluent in two months, you will likely be disappointed. But if your goal is to reach some level of conversational proficiency, especially for a work assignment, that’s a more attainable goal.

如果你有明确的目标,例如与合作伙伴沟通或者在工作中使用外语,这种动机就会促使你努力掌握对话技巧。但不要好高骛远。如果你想在两个月内流利掌握一门语言,其结果很可能令你失望。但如果你的目标是达到某种程度的熟练对话,尤其是为了完成工作项目,这个目标可能更容易达到。

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