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Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English -
the show that brings you an interesting
topic, authentic listening practice
and vocabulary to help you improve your
language skills. I'm Rob...
Neil: Watashi no namae wa Neil desu.
And that means 'my name's Neil'.
Rob: So Neil, here's a question for you -
can you speak any languages
other than English of course? I think you can!
Neil: Un poco de español
that means a little bit of Spanish.
Some Japanese, which I tried at the beginning
and also a bit of Czech language
Dobrý den. Jak se máš?
Rob: Very impressive. So what tips can you give
for learning to speak another language?
Neil: Well, practise, practise, practise -
and don't be afraid of making mistakes
as I no doubt have.
Rob: Of course. Well my aim this year is to master
the Spanish language.
Master means to learn thoroughly.
Neil: Muy bien! Well you're not alone.
A survey by the British Council found
learning a language is a new year's resolution
for about one in five Britons in 2018.
So learning Spanish is a good start Rob
but do you know approximately
how many languages there are in the world altogether?
Are there... a) 70, b) 700 or c) 7,000
Rob: Well I know there are many but surely not 7,000
so I'm going to say b) 700 -
but don't expect me to learn all of them.
Neil: I won't Rob. But I will give you the answer later.
So, we all know learning another
language is a good thing -
it brings us many benefits.
Rob: Yes, we can communicate with people
from other countries and when we're travelling
we can understand what signs and notices say.
So we don't get lost.
Neil: That's right - but many scientists also
believe that knowledge of another language
can boost your brainpower. A study of monolingual
and bilingual speakers suggests speaking
two languages can help slow down
the brain's decline with age.
Rob: All good reasons. But Neil,
learning another language is hard.
It would take me years and years to become
fluent in say, Mandarin - by fluent I mean
speak very well, without difficulty.
Neil: Well this depends on your mother tongue.
In general, the closer the second language
is to the learner's native tongue and culture
in terms of vocabulary, sounds or sentence structure -
the easier it will be to learn.
Rob: But whatever the language, there is so much
vocabulary to learn - you know, thousands
and thousands of words.
Neil: Maybe not Rob. Professor Stuart Webb,
a linguist from the University of Western Ontario,
may be able to help you. He spoke to
BBC Radio 4's More or Less programme
and explained that you don't need to do that...
Professor Stuart Webb: For language learners
in a foreign language setting - so for example
if you were learning French in Britain
or English in Japan,
students may often really struggle to learn more than
2,000, 3,000 words after many years of study.
So for example, there was study in Taiwan recently
that showed that after nine years of study
about half of the students had still failed to learn
the most frequent 1,000 words.
Now they knew lower frequency words
but they hadn't mastered those most important words.
Neil: So Rob, don't waste your time trying to learn
every single word. Professor Webb spoke there
about research that showed students
knew lower frequency words
but weren't learning enough high frequency words.
Rob: Right, and frequency here means the number
of times something happens - so the important
words to learn are the high frequency ones -
and how many are there exactly?
Neil: Here's Professor Stuart Webb again...
Professor Stuart Webb: For example, with English,
I would suggest if you learn the 800 most frequent
lemmas - which is a word and its inflections -
that will account for about 75 per cent of all of the
English language. So that learning those 800 words
first will provide the foundation for which you may be
able to learn the lower frequency words.
Rob: Fascinating stuff. And good to know
I just need to learn about 800 words -
or what he calls lemmas.
Neil: Yes a lemma is the simplest form
or base form of a word. And the inflection here
refers to how the base word is changed
according to its use in a sentence.
Knowing these things give you a foundation -
that's the basics from which you language learning
will develop. Simple!
Rob: Thank goodness I am learning just one
new language!
Neil: But how many languages could you potentially
be learning Rob? Earlier I asked you, approximately
how many languages there are in the world altogether?
Are there... a) 70, b) 700, c) 7,000
Rob: And I said 700. Was I right?
Neil: No Rob, you were wrong. There are around
7,000 recognised languages in the world
but UNESCO has identified 2,500 languages
which it claims are at risk of extinction.
Rob: A sobering thought Neil.
Now shall we remind ourselves of some of the English
vocabulary we've heard today. Starting with master.
Neil: To master a new skill, in this context,
means to learn thoroughly or learn well.
"Rob hopes to master Spanish
before he starts a new job in Madrid."
Rob: Really? That's news to me Neil!
But it would be good to be fluent in Spanish -
or any language
- or to speak it fluently - that's speaking it
very well and without difficulty.
Neil: Now our next word was frequency.
Here we are referring to high and low frequency words -
so it means how often they occur.
Examples of a high frequency word are
''it', 'the' and 'and'.
Rob: And our next word is inflections.
These are the changes to the basic form of words
according to their function in a sentence.
Such as adding an 's' to the end of a word
to make it plural.
Neil: And don't forget lemma which is
the simplest form or base form of a word before
an inflection is added.
Rob: And finally foundation which means the
basics your learning grows from.
Neil: That just leaves me to remind you
that you can learn English with us
at bbclearningenglish.com.
That's it for today's 6 Minute English.
We hope you enjoyed it. Bye for now.
Na shledanou! Hasta luego! Ja-ne!
Rob: And in English, goodbye.
Neil: Goodbye.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

BBC Learning English 6 Minutes | Learn to talk about learning a language in 6 minutes!

6003 タグ追加 保存
colinsyuan 2018 年 4 月 3 日 に公開
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