Friday, February 15, 2013
What did you learn first when you started studying a foreign language?
I started learning English in a middle school.
What we learn first is " This is a pen" while we point out the pen. We also learn at the same time "This is not a pencil." Isn't it funny? We never use these sentences. You know if it's a pen or a pencil when you see it. Then we next learn "Is this a pen?" Are you making fun of me!?
Another thing we learn is this conversation.
" Hello, Taro. How are you?" "I'm fine, thank you. And you?"
Well, I don't think they are wrong. But because everyone learns just this pattern, if you ask Japanese "how are you?", everyone makes exactly the same answer. If you ask "How's it going?" or "How are you doing?", Japanese people would be confused. "I'm not going..." " I'm doing... I'm talking with you..."
I also learned " How do you do?" which I have never used or heard since I came to the US.
As time passes... learning English is getting more popular and important. Now children start learning English in elementary school. I think English education in Japan should be changed.