Languages Learned Naturally

Languages Learned Naturally
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 15, 2007

I am in an ideal hotel, location, situation to learn French, I have an over abundance of people willing to speak French with me so I can practice.

My friend Peter from Germany spoke Thai, Spanish, English, and of course German, I am sure he spoke a couple more languages.

My friend (forgot) from Australia spoke Tagolog, the language of the Philippines, Indonesian and anything he got near.

Rene from Lome, Togo speaks Mina the local language, French and English and maybe anything he gets near. (Photo on this page is of Rene, I call them Bongos, the culture is of Bob Marley is the same, the type of Drum changes.)

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I remember beginning Spanish class in Indiana University, my freshman year and needing to study a language as part of my Liberal Arts degree. I got a C in the course, studied more than anybody in the class and realized, everyone in the class had about three years of Spanish in High School and I had zero, there was nothing beginning about this class for them.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.
Ghana is presently full of the native English speakers, the Brits, Americans, or people like the Dutch or Scandinavian who studied English for years in school.

Togo is full of French people.

French people generally do not go to Ghana.
British or American generally do not go to Togo
Ghana is a former English speaking colony
Togo is a dominated by the French.

Americans travel to England and Australia and call it great.
French travel to Morocco and call it great.
South Americans go to Miami and Spain and call it great.

People travel where life is easiest, where they feel comfortable, and they should. I travel where I learn the most, where I am mentally challenged the most, where maybe it the most difficult. I thrive on problem solving, and doing things I have trouble doing.

I enjoy writing because it explains my brain; to myself, as I construct a sentence I learn slowly how my brain works as I look over the already written sentences. I can see how it continually makes the same combinations of words, the same problems are repeated, and sometimes I slowly learn, how to unlearn to not make the same problems. I know the persons who are naturally good at English grammar and the English language are annoyed.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I need, must, do, will exclude isolate myself, and separate myself from the naturally good at language speaking people. There are classes in writing, I personally believe they would teach me how to write like the teacher. I think reading is the way to learn to write, I would like to write like James Michener, however I probably write more like Jack Kerouac and do not like to read what he writes.

I know I naturally write or say things in a quizzical, puzzling manner, I could use the word enigmatic, but to me the word puzzle is the goal, to speak and communicate.

I watch and listen to my friend Rene, an African man from Lome, who speaks language easy. He enjoys speaking French with me, in a difficult and low voice, hard for me to understand, the tone is at a level where I have trouble. He enjoys this, than thinks he is teaching, when he makes it difficult, and he is, but not well.

When he does this, he has lost me, he has gone too far over my head, he is speaking French too complicated and too complex for me to learn from him. This is what happens when I am around the natural learners of languages, normally the only persons who would travel to a French speaking location like Togo, are those who enjoy being good at something and another person being bad, they enjoy the power, or really fools gold power. They want to be tyrants, probably why they volunteer…. Hehehe

I need to continually adjust my group of French speakers, as I continue to learn to speak French, I will need to speak with persons who speak French faster and better to increase my ability.

I am naturally good at computers, I need to continually subject myself to extremely intelligent persons on a computer, however boring I may consider it, and to me, this is extremely boring, but necessary.

I think if I am learning a computer, learning to speak a language, being a volunteer, or learning in general and I feel very smart. Then I am probably not learning, I am being a tyrannical learner, not learning anything. I must feel uncomfortable, and have small accomplishments every day, the proper balance.

When somebody says, oh this is easy, I now am starting to remember when I said this to people, there is nothing good about making a person feel stupid. I have slowly learned the wisest move I can often make it to not say a word, to listen, it helps me to learn, and it makes allows the other person to continual to learn.

I am wondering if learning all these small rules for myself will ever be important, I enjoy them, however I know, and understand this small inner journey is for my benefit. I must continually give the wheel a quick twist and turn to enjoy the spinning of my life.

Languages Learned Naturally


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from the sound of it your going to move north eventually. the cia factbook says that Kabye (Kabiye)and Dagomba are the two major african languages in the north of togo. the population is less as well, and would be curious to see if french begins to get less dominant as you go that direction.


French is about business and schools, as I went north in Benin the French lesson, but anyone who was well schooled spoke French.

You can just about look at a person and know how well they speak French. When there is many culture together they speak French better also, as they need a common language.

I am still having trouble knowing when they are speaking French and when they are speaking Mina.

I also struggle to learn languages. I am fluent in 2 or 3 computer languages, and can learn them easy. And I do sometimes find it hard to understand why some people cannot understand computer simple functions.

Yet, learning to speak a language I am pretty slow at it. I have never learned a language well enough to say 'yes I know this language.' I can say random phrases, maybe introduce myself.

I am determined to learn German this year, I think I said before. But it is difficult, because everyone wants me to remember tables and tables of declensions and conjugations.

I am not good at memorising information. I am good at understanding concepts. So if I 'know' something it means I 'understand how it works' not that I memorise facts about it. I 'know' how to use computers. I 'know' how to hack some programs to make them work better for me. I 'know' how to set up a sound system and a lighting rig.

I understand how it works, and I can explain it to you in a number of ways. If all I knew was facts, then all I could do is to copy out what I had memorised and make you memorise it. Then I am just a hard disk storing information but without a processor.

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