LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||28/OUT/2011 1:35 PM|
Without a doubt, living in the country where the target language is spoken is a tremendous advantage to the serious student. You learn day-to-day vocabulary highly unlikely to be learned in the classroom or out of a book. Also, you learn what is said in certain situations due to cultural considerations. I'll never forget, for example, the first time someone asked me "Aceita uma cuia?" I thought he wanted to give me a cuia as a gift! I had understood every word (and I even had a collection of cuias from several countries), but I had never been asked in that fashion if I wanted to join the host in drinking chimarráo.
It is a serious mistake to believe that living in another country guarantees anything. In the USA I have met foreigners who have lived there for years without learning even basic conversation. Doña Carmen (Nicarguan), for example, had lived in the States for decades, but her English was limited to "Hello! How are you? Sit down please!" If she knew another word, I never heard her say it. In Brazil I met a Canadian who had lived in SJC and Canela for many years. He could not form even the simplest of sentences in Portuguese. Here in Costa Rica an American friend is married to a Costa Rican. After six years, he is beginning to be able to ask and understand simple questions.
If you want to learn, you have to make an effort.
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