Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Learning New Languages

We have had some issues with our Internet connection, our UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) arrived and we have been venturing out more lately, so it has been a while since our last post. An interesting topic that I have been thinking about lately is learning a new language for this post and/or our next desired post.

As a junior FSO, you can get up to two opportunities to learn a language: one full language course (unknown to you prior) and one top-off language course (you have the basics already). These courses are aligned with assigned posts.

One strategy that junior FSOs consider is learning a language outside of formal training, on their own, to be eligible for the second top-off course. There are a several options (outside of buying a book/software) available including:

1. Rosetta Stone software offered through FSI (other brands available on the FSI campus as well),
2. FSI language courses online (a non-profit organization for the promotion of languages),
3. taking classes offered through the country's consulate or embassy,
4. and hiring a tutor.

In Kolkata, Bengali is the most commonly used language, then English. Hindi is the third most popular language. There are very reasonable tutors to learn Bengali and other consulates offer language classes.

If you are an EFM, you are eligible for training through FSI, both when the FSO is at FSI for training and online.

An interesting online resource for considering learning a language is the How to Learn Any Language website. It has analysis of the language including its relative beauty, chic factor, usefulness and overall difficulty.

No comments: