Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Modern Woman Has to Learn New Languages

ExpoLingua is one of the most important educational event of the late autumn in Berlin, addressing especially those - regardless the age - always keen to learn a new language or improve their linguistic skills. As a modern woman, like you and me, we all know how important is that whatever busy you might be, to put aside a couple of minutes for yourself for learning something new. As a multi-lingual speaker myself, fluent in more than 5 complicated languages and able to read in another 5, I am trying to visit this event when in Berlin, as it always open new windows of intellectual and cultural opportunities for me. 
This year, it was a special anniversary for Expo Lingua, celebrating 30 years of activity, with a very dynamic program with over 70 presentations, mini-classes dedicated to introducing the visitors to different languages and over 150 companies and cultural institutes from Germany and abroad represented. Held as usual in the last years at the Russian House near Gendarmenmarkt, the event was visited by around 10,000 visitors during the two days of the fair.
Every time I visit, there are new languages and opportunities represented. Unfortunately, this year I haven't seen one of my favorite source for learning languages, Rosetta Stone, but I was impressed by the other new participants, offering especially classes for learning Japanese and Korean, two languages which seems to be on very high demand lately. 
The number of classes for learning German was also higher than usual, and I personally recommend to use the opportunities offered by the dedicated program by Deutsche Welle, which goes perfectly well for those keen to learn intensively and fast German. A novelty for me was the MESROP, the Center for Armenian Studies, based in Halle (Salle) University, for learning Armenian, a very special language I always wanted to know and learn more about. 
Edition houses and libraries offering a variety of books, especially grammar and language learning, were also presented, among which Dussmann, the best resource for book worms in Berlin. 
Another interesting resource I hope to be able to use one day is the language trip, when you are going to a country to visit while practising the language. Spanish language is one of the most sought offer in this respect and would love to spent some time one day in some warm sunny place while improving my Spanish for a week or two. 
The most time I've spent though to the welcoming corner dedicated to share knowledge and language tips about the Korean language. For a couple of years already I am thinking seriously to start learning either Mandarin or Japanese - where I spent one full year without speaking or learning more than 2 words - but Korean seems easier and after the discussion had at ExpoLingua I might want to start my lessons faster than expected. 
I was fascinated by the smart way of teaching a language, through apps, but also by using creative games. For instance, you have a couple of pieces, Lego-like, reproducing the letters of the Korean alphabet, that you can play with creating different figures that are in fact combinations of letters. It goes very well for children, but also for people with a strong visual memory. 
Or, learning to read while sipping your morning cup of tea and coffee, while looking at the cup where the letters are spread in an elegant creative way? Do I need anything else to just start learning the language? What will be life be without opening my eyes and my mind to a different, new culture and the language is always the best step forward to reach this aim. Thanks to ExpoLingua I have how to keep myself busy at least for the next 12 months to come!

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