Tutorial Transcript

Salut YouTube! Salut Youtube! Oh that's a nicer accent than mine! I have Marine with me today. I'm a French teacher in Paris and I also give lessons on Skype and I do some workshop also here in Paris. You do like french slang workshops...exactly and experiences. Now I do like a cooking workshop or we go to a museum and we visit and we meet Parisians. It's very clear I really believe in experiences when you you learn a language. yeah exactly. We wanted to do a video today on something that we're both quite interested in and passionate about especially Marine who has done a lot of study on this topic which is around how learning and speaking a second language can really impact you it can impact you as a person it can impact your whole perspective on life there are a lot of benefits there are a lot of things that maybe change you in ways that you weren't expecting and that's what we want to talk about today so I'll do it obviously from a learner perspective someone who's who's trying to master a second language and then Marine she has all of her experience from the hundreds of students who you've seen. And me, yes I lived in Germany England and Spain and I speak these three languages so yeah I have some experiences. The first point we're going to touch on is that by learning a second language you can discover a whole new side of yourself whether that be a mood whether that be a personality trait you didn't have access to when you had the limitations of your native language. The language allows you to express things you're maybe not allowed that much in your own language yeah like in French for example I guess there are things you will do more or experience more than in your own language? Definitely, I can definitely say that in French that I'm a little bit more confident and assertive as a person, thanks to the fact that in French the language gives you a lot of opportunities to kind of express your convictions to stick up for yourself to be assertive to give your opinion without being rude. In the workplace I can really fight and defend an idea I can say that I absolutely don't agree with my boss and I've got all of these options in the language that aren't offensive at all. And also we love giving our opinion. So by speaking French I've been able to exercise that muscle of my brain a lot more than I would've. You know when you you learn a new language and you realize that it's a culture it's a way of living and that you have a lot of ways to say something related to an emotion and that allows you to feel this emotion like for example I was in Spain for years and people are very relaxed there and all is very relaxed and so I was so relaxed and also because maybe the language of Spanish is a bit more open and more relaxed in the jaw than French all my body was so relaxed and I think there is a link with the body, really. I've noticed that I've grown new emotions that didn't previously exist for me there's something around the attachment with the ritual of enjoying food for examples being there surrounded by French people you hear a lot 'c'est bon' (it's good) and talking about the food and you're eating a nice meal and I'm like ah just last week I had the most sublime a meal and they'll tell you a whole a story about their meal that they that they had eaten and at first when you're learning a language you're imitating people and you're just you're doing the same so I'm saying oui c'est bon and stuff but then you really start to feel it and then you really start to appreciate new food and enjoy the ritual and have this comfort that comes from a nice meal and now it's an emotion that I enjoy experiencing around food and so now when I go home and I'm speaking in my native language I'm like that's so good it's so good. New emotions. So at first the language was just a mechanism and then it brought the feeling to it. One thing that is really hard when you begin a new language and I know that because I have people coming to my classes they are 40 they are really successful people or 60 and they have lived all their life full of success and they want to learn French and they're like like babies again. So really learning a language makes you modest. Exactly. Nothing cuts an ego in half as fast as learning a second language. When I'm at work I'm like oh I don't want to speak French because I lose my power I lose my influence or even personally you feel like you lose your wittiness or your charm your funniness whatever it may be and at the start it's really hard and you feel silly and you make so many mistakes and you feel a bit embarrassed and all these kinds of things. There's nothing that makes you feel so modest because you're like it brings you way back down to earth - I'm a person that still got a lot to learn a long way to go. And then you have so much more empathy whenever I see someone speaking in a second or third language I'm like oh praise to you because honestly and it breaks my heart when I have French people that oh I'm sorry for my accent I'm like are you kidding me you speak a second language like your boss!! Yes if you're learning right now and you're adult and you decided to learn a second language, bravo! And keep going! And make mistakes and speak. Everybody is capable, everyone is able to learn like I promise. For example my boyfriend is from Macedonia so I need and I want to learn Macedonian which is a very tiny country and there are no methods like no CDs or anything, nothing. So I'm learning speaking with you know everybody and it's a different alphabet it's Cyrillic so I need to learn a different alphabet obviously like back to preschool and what did I do? I learnt how to write Marine, it's normal that you feel a little bit like a child but there's also a beauty in that as well. Definitely. Which leads us actually to our next point which is around the fact that something that's kind of unexpected about learning a second language is that without even trying you can actually become very funny, very cute. It can be because you make mistakes for example and it makes people laugh but in a nice way you know or it can be because you translate things literally from your base language to your new language and it sounds ridiculous or it doesn't you know it doesn't work or whatever. I was trying to conjugate the the verb croire like believe and I said for the the plural 'ils croivent' and apparently this is like a classic mistake that French children make and my mother-in-law and boyfriend were like "oh so cute!" It shouldn't be shameful or embarrassing or painful to make mistakes it's funny because the things that you think that may be mistakes can actually really make people laugh and be really charming and people are just so appreciative of you even trying. So another example I had in mind it's a real advantage about learning a second language is that you connect with so many people and a new language and you've got no way of classifying these people or judging them I mean concretely when you're speaking in your native language and you can identify and stereotype people based on their accent. If you think about England for example the people in England when speaking they can instantly say what part of the country you're from what your social class is what your kind of background is. You kind of categorize. Yeah you can. I'm speaking to people in French I have got no idea where they're from no idea, I don't know anything about them and you're just connecting human to human and it's amazing the advantages that this can have. Like the people you can meet, the empathy you build...you're more open-minded. It's a kind of new freedom also this naievity, I mean it's not naive but in a way. At the same time, you don't fit into any of the categories This is true. You're the foreigner. The token foreigner. The last point is around how appreciative you become of your own language your own culture and how curious you become about it. I mean why in English why do we say it's raining cats and dogs? Where does that come from? What's the story? This is true Everybody when they learn a new language they get interested in languages and in linguistics. In French we say "je suis en train de" which is literally I'm in the train of, to say I am doing something, I am in the process and then you realize oh really like this is so funny you know I'm a train When I studied Spanish it was like my third language at school and I realized that to say coward you say cobarde and then in French we had this word like couard, oh they're all related. It's the same word and so you make connection you're like oh we're not that far away from each other. We have some like...we're friends. There's so much more to tell you but I think you guys have at least gotten a few insights into how unexpected some of the the ways that learning that second language can kind of change you make you think about things differently. It's something money can't buy. You multiply yourself. It's hard work but the connections you can make, the open-mindedness, learning curve the people you meet you will never have met if you didn't speak the language. Exactly and studies have actually shown that it grows new parts of your brain, Yeah, you make new connections it changes your life. We are both with foreigners actually. Yeah exactly I mean let's not even get into how that could change our lives We're gonna make the world really like. Cool so thanks so much guys for watching if you have learned a second language or if you're dreaming of learning a second language and everything there that it can give you, let us know down below which language are you learning? What have you experienced? What have you learned from learning a second language? what has it given you that you would have never expected? Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for inviting me Rosie! And I'll see you guys next time. A bientôt !