How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse (part 3 of 3)

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How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse

Other tools to facilitate understanding and memorizing

Speaking as often as possible, having the right attitude and modifying your sentences to make them easy to understand and remember is the most important. However here are a couple of additional ideas to improve even more the learning process: Read more »

How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse (part 2 of 3)

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How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse

The attitude to have

The method highlighted here demands time, and learning a language is in any case a long process. Patience and discipline for you and your partner are thus the key to success! For instance instead of looking for immediate, impressive results, have the discipline to move on little by little every day, even if it looks as if you’ll never make it given the project’s sheer size; progress will follow. Also for example have the patience of letting your spouse remembering things at his/her own speed. It could mean letting him/her answering in the common language whenever you use your mother tongue, in the beginning at least. Contrary to what it seems, s/he is learning and one day, when s/he is facing someone who only speaks your mother tongue, s/he will use it and you’ll see the results of your efforts!

Remember also that your goal is to allow your partner to understand the language and to be understood, and not to speak correctly. In practice it means Read more »

How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse (part 1 of 3)

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Introduction

NB: this series of articles has been written for couples whose mother tongues are different. However the tips provided can perfectly be used in other situations. The only prerequisite is that the teacher and student spend a lot of time together.
Also do note that we’ll talk about teaching and learning to speak the language, not to write it.

Expatriation because of work, business trips, exchange programs during higher education or international agreements that facilitate international mobility (the Schengen area for example); it gets easier and easier to travel and build relationships with people from other countries who, more often than not, don’t speak the same language as you. And while 10 or 20 years ago most trips were business trips (meaning quite short) or touristic travels (meaning contacts with the locals that are mostly superficial), things have changed indeed and it’s now much more common to build your life in a country different from where you were born, or at least to spend an extended part of your life abroad.
And thus we naturally see the rise of couples whose members come from different countries and have different mother tongues!

In general those couples have a common language (otherwise it would be difficult to understand each other!): sometimes it’s the mother tongue of one of the two if the other one has learned it already, but often they use a third language. For example I knew a Swedish-Indonesian couple who used Chinese to communicate! They had met Read more »

10 Tips to Write a Novel (part 3 of 3)

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10 Tips to Write a Novel

6/ Master the “willing suspension of disbelief”

For those who know what this means you can skip this paragraph and the next! For the others, here’s a short reminder: imagine a review of the book “The Lord of the Rings” that would look like “grade: 02/20 Tolkien proposes here an utterly ridiculous story blending creatures that simply cannot exist with a ring that can control its bearer… Total nonsense”. Or a review of Harry Potter such as: “Grade: 05/20 No Miss Rowling, 11 years old children do not wave around a piece of wood to make things appear!”. That would be totally ridiculous, and the author of such reviews would be accused of not “diving” into the world proposed and to keep referring to the real world: in other words that person would not have “suspended his/her disbelief”.
The willing suspension of disbelief thus designates the almost automatic mechanism (so the word “willing” is debatable) that leads the audience to forget about the real world in order to dive into the fictional universe and embrace its rules. It’s thanks to this that we can live otherwise perfectly unrealistic stories with such intensity. Read more »

10 Tips to Write a Novel (part 2 of 3)

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10 Tips to Write a Novel

2/ Live what you write

In order to be able to hold on for several month or years, one must be passionate about the adventure (one more reason to write the story you want to tell rather than the one the readers want) and to live it not only during the writing process, but also outside.

It’s not about being constantly daydreaming but rather keeping in mind the protagonists and the adventure even during “real life”: sometimes we find inspiration in a discussion or an event from the day-to-day life, we can use the behavior from real people to give more credibility to the characters, use a landscape as a model… It may even happen, arguably more seldom, that we learn things during the writing process that we can then apply in our life. Read more »

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