• 23rd January, 2013

A gold medal for effort


The harsh economic crisis over the past few years has forced many young people, and many not-so-young people, to consider emigrating in a last-ditch attempt to find work.

Leaving behind families and friends, customs and traditions; having to discover and adapt to new and unfamiliar surroundings, cultures and languages isn’t just a giant leap, but an Olympic-sized front-walkover cartwheel back-handspring step-out round-off… Yeh, it’s not easy.

We have previously tweeted that,

“languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage.”

For this reason alone, our first challenge simply must be to learn that foreign language and use it as a gateway to better understanding and appreciating our new surroundings.

Not everyone who emigrates to find work does so as a last resort. For some, is it is simply part and parcel of their chosen profession as is the case with the world’s athletes.

Multilingual Athletes

Some foreign athletes, like Rafa Nadal, have no problems whatsoever communicating in English as and when needed: Fernando Alonso isn’t shy either when it comes to speaking to Italian reporters.

Some even take it a step further. Kobe Bryant proves he is not just a pretty face by easily switch between English, his mother tongue, and Italian without the slightest hesitation. He has even started learning French and Serbian… Have that, Nadal.

To give you an idea, over 30% of the Spanish Olympic team can speak at least one other language to a very high level. I doubt the same can be said of Team GB. At the 2012 Olympics the common language was, of course, English but even Team USA had a little difficulty picking up some of the local expressions!

They aren’t the only ones to find speaking a foreign language a little more than tricky. Poor, old David Beckham, after four years of living in Spain said his goodbyes using pretty much the same expression he learnt upon his arrival. He even had it written on a piece of paper just in case he forgot. Naughty, naughty, David.

For others, it has been much easier to pick the language up as they’ve gone along. Speaking confidently proves easy for these lucky few but their grammar leaves a lot to be desired. Sorry, Cristiano, but your good looks won’t get your out of trouble with the Grammar Police.

This list would not be complete without mentioning English footballer, Joey Barton. His language skills are so incredibly fantastic that he managed pick up a perfect French accent without actually learning ANY French whatsoever. C’est incroyable!

At Lingualia, we want to make your learning process efficient and effective covering all bases: vocabulary, grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing. We are offering you the whole package.

Why not check out our blogs about multilingual singers and actors?

Don’t want to be the last to find out about the Lingualia launch? Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and, of course, Lingualia web.

And don’t forget; check out our level test in English or in Spanish now! Here’s how…

See you next week!

Posted in : Languages Online

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