Saturday, 30 November 2013

If Pokémon Were Real...

Hello, dear Pokemon trainers, gym leaders, professors, and breeders! Sorry if I missed out your occupation - there are an infinite number of them, after all; just add the word 'Pokemon' before it, the way Tracey did. (No, Trace, a 'watcher' isn't a real occupation!)

Ever since I was a teeny little kid who tuned into Cartoon Network at five p.m. every evening to watch Ash mess up some Pokemon battles, I've wanted Pokemon to be real. I've wanted to be a trainer, or even better, a Champion.

So as I was scrolling down my FB news feed today, I chanced upon a photo that World of Pokemon had uploaded: 'Would Pokemon battles exist in the real world?'

And that really got me thinking.... No, they wouldn't.

With some rocking, inspirational and awesome Pokemon theme songs in the background, giving me brain power, let me explain why the existence of Pokemon would kill all of us. All of us!
 
And know, in your hearts, that there is nothing you can do to live.

Firstly, even if we somehow managed to genetically modify animals and create Pocket Monsters, battles would be illegal. PETA is upset with just the idea of a game where Pokemon are pitted against each other - imagine their fury when humans carry on battling in the real world, too!
Actually, forget battles. Simply storing them in a Pokeball as a pet would cause activists to go bonkers! Give them their freedom, they'd say!
Nope, there's no way any of us can be Pokemon trainers, gym leaders, professors, breeders or (dare I say it?) watchers in this world.

'I choose you... Swati!'

Secondly, the existence of Pokemon would only create wars. Terrorism is illegal and it still happens, doesn't it? Pokemon might not replace bombs, but they'd certainly be cheaper if they're found by walking two steps in grass! An easy way to kill everyone!

Thirdly, Pokemon aren't stupid. I don't understand why they'd want to fight each other just to please us humans! Nobody likes visiting Nurse Joy that many times (except perhaps Brock), and all to boost a ten-year-old kid's ego!

Joy, oh Joy... 

Instead, they would turn on us. Terrorists would want to use Pokemon as a weapon, but even they wouldn't be able to control these monsters!
We would have a World War III on our hands - Pokemon versus man. And no matter what you say, Pokemon would win.
 
^This was a good episode, though!  
The only reason humans are at the top of the food chain right now is that they can kill from a range, or a distance. No other animal can do that... yet. 
But think about it! You can't point a gun at Alakazam. His psychic powers would make you incapable of doing anything! Blaziken would burn down your house in a pinch. Gyarados would cause tsunamis!


I don't think a change of heart is going to help us defeat Mewtwo this time! 

Don't even get me started on the legendary Pokemon. Oh, if they all joined forces to protect their species, that's it. That's the end of the world as we know it.

So, there you have it! Is everyone's childhood dream shattered? Yes? Alright, then!

*Sniff*

Humans are probably the most powerful species out there today. But if Pokemon existed, they would kill us all and take over the Earth. Then after millions of years, hopefully, Chimchar and its evolutions would evolve even further to become Flamo-Sapiens, fire-breathing human beings!

Huh. That would be cool... 

Anyway, what are your theories? Do you agree with me, or are you still a believer? Let me know in the comments below.

I'll see you all next time. Until then, rewatch the old anime episodes on Youtube, play the Pokemon games, defeat your rivals and get nostalgic. :')

Bye! :D

Monday, 25 November 2013

What's in My Vellvette Bag! (November 2013)

Howdy, people!

So, I came home after having a great day in school, and I found my November Vellvette bag waiting to be opened! :D
Yippeeeee!
 
Vellvette is sending out a different coloured bag each month, and this time it's a pretty pink with black polka dots. The bag isn't as big as last month's, but that's probably because the products are medium-sized this month.

Last time I'd had an issue with the packaging owing to a leaky product, but everything was dry this time, even though there were two liquid products. :)


Here are the four items I got:

1) I Love... Lemons & Limes (Rs. 250, 100 ml)
 
This gel can be used as a bubble bath or a body wash.
It smells heavenly, and the scent is very tangy and sweet. It definitely smells better than last time's Vantiv Lemon Shower Gel, although I'm a bit confused as to why I've received two lemon body washes back-to-back. 
It's a travel-friendly size and is ideal for a two-week trip.
I'm currently using an 'I Love...' body butter and I have complete faith in this brand. 
  
'I Love...', I love! :D

2)  La Splash Glitter Mascara in Abyss (Rs. 895, 9 ml)

Thank goodness, I received this mascara in black and not any other colour! :) Initially, the 'glitter' part of the title scared me, but when I tested it, I didn't see any sparkles on my lashes. The mascara dries within a minute and doesn't clump too much. But it isn't waterproof at all, and since the cap is unecessarily long, the product isn't travel-friendly, either. 
Since a mascara tube should be replaced every three months, I definitely find this product useful.
The weird part is that instead of giving me the description card for the mascara, Vellvette sent me the card for the glitter eyeliner. 

This product, I like. :)

3)  Vôtre Pore Shrink Toner (Rs. 180, 50 ml)
A toner is always useful, since I religiously follow my CTM routine. Vôtre is a brand my mother has used before, and she has had no complaints with it. This toner is parabens-free, and that's always a good thing! The only reason I'm a bit skeptical about this product is that there is no proven way to shrink pores, because their size is hereditary. 
This item is also very travel-friendly!

This product, I like. :)
  

4) Ofra Soft Pearl Peel (Rs. 343, 7 g)

There was no mention of this product on any of my description cards, so I had to look it up on the internet to find out what it really does. 
It's an exfoliating cream that can be used on wet or dry skin. It isn't suitable for irritated or acne-ridden skin, though that's fine by me. 
The sample size is too small to judge the effectiveness of this cream. I wonder why the product is called a 'peel' when it's, in fact, something you need to wash off your face. 

This product, I'm neutral about.

I'm quite happy with this month's bounty. The total worth of this bag is Rs. 1,668, and that's more than four times what I paid for each bag. :D
Ohhh, yeeaaah!

I can't wait for next month's Vellvette bag. It will surely make my Christmas much more special! :D

Check out my reviews of the September bag here, and the October bag here. :)

If you're subscribed to Vellvette, tell me what you got this month in the comments below. What did you think of the products? :) 

Until next time!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

What is Bravery?


Hello, dear readers! :)

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about life and people. Why do some people fight for their cause, even if it seems like they've got no chance? Why do they care about protecting their family, friends, even strangers? What keeps them going? Finally, I've come to a conclusion: bravery.

So what is bravery? Well, different people could define it in different ways. Some, perhaps, think being brave is when you willingly immerse yourself in a tub full of spiders or bugs. Some believe that being able to shoot a gun without flinching is bravery.

My views are a little different.

I've already mentioned a few things about bravery in a previous post (click here to read), that being fearless is about facing your fears and having the courage to deal with them.
But that's not all that it includes. The Dauntless faction manifesto from the Divergent trilogy perfectly explains my definition of bravery:
"We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."

She's brave, McGonagall. :)

Isn't that what real courage is all about, standing up for your beliefs, for your morality? Being brave is about fighting for what is right and helping those who are in need. If you see something wrong happening, even if there are a thousand people for it, you have to raise your voice and oppose it!
Bravery is more than just getting an adrenaline rush - it takes courage to get over your fear of heights and stand atop a cliff, but even more to do the right thing.

Going by this definition, I have to be honest: I haven't seen a lot of brave people around me. Sometimes even I'm not as brave as I'd like to be; I'm trying to change that.  People are far too busy being scared of what others will think of them to actually live life on their own terms. People are afraid to stand up for others because they don't want to become the 'next target'.

Please, stop. 

People would much rather just pretend that they can't see the bad things that happen, because why bother if there's nothing for them to gain by fighting it?

Here lies the main problem. Most people are cowards by choice. They are so scared, deep down, of being brave, that they would much rather laugh with the crowd than stand by the victim. They have a conscience, of course, but they would still live with the guilt of watching others in pain, becase it's a 'better choice' compared to actually doing something about it.

Haters are cowards. Show them how to be brave!

If someone had been there to stand up for me when I was the victim, I would have had a much happier childhood. But no one did. Now, there are two different lessons I can learn from this incident: one, that people are bad, and I should never help them; or two, that if there's anything I can do to ease someone else's pain, I should do it.

I picked the second option.

If you want this world to be a better place, then make that choice! Be the change. It might be easier to just walk away and hope it doesn't happen to you, but easy isn't always right. Bravery is.

You really are! Fight for what's right and you'll definitely win. 

I hope you liked reading today's post. How would you define bravery? Do tell me in the comments below! ^_^
I'll see you all next time, with another new post. Bye-bye!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

5 Ways to Get Over a Bad Day

Hello, dear friends!

Have you ever had a bad day, or even worse, a string of bad days, when you feel like nothing will ever go your way again, when you think that nobody will understand your problems, when you yourself don't know why you're so glum?

:(

Well, I know that feeling. And chances are, you do, too. So today, I'm going to share some tips to get over a bad day (or days) so you can bring that awesome smile back on to your stunning face!

1) Think about it:

I mean it - really, think about why you're not having a good day. Is it something you can't explain? Then let it be. Chances are, you're just tired and bored. Take some rest and let the events run their course. Things will get better soon.
If you know the reason, then think of a way to solve this problem. Everything in this world has a solution, one way or another. Find it!
And if you can't find an answer by yourself, then...

2) Talk about it:
Keeping your feelings to yourself is rarely a good idea. You may think that nobody can help you, but the problem is that you're not giving anyone a chance! Do it. Talk to a family member or a trustworthy friend, and I guarantee you that you'll feel much, much better about everything!

Friends will always help... both the show and the human beings. :P
If talking about it really isn't a choice, then just write what you feel in a piece of paper and read it to yourself. That's much better than trying to bury the problem within yourself.

3) Do what you love:
Whether it's music, dance, writing, or simply chilling with friends - whatever brings a smile to your face, do it. It's not easy to will yourself to doing anything when you're upset. Most likely, you'd want to sleep for hours on your comfy bed. Why not compromise? Sleep for a while, and then get up and get together with your hobbies.
Go shopping! Go sightseeing! Read a book! Just have fun! :)

It really does... *_*

4) Pamper yourself:
Make yourself feel loved! Dress up in your favourite outfits. Put on some makeup and look your best - even if you aren't leaving the house, because you want to look good for yourself, not anyone else! :)

If I looked like that, I'd dress up everyday!

Boys, flex your muscles in front of the mirror! ....Or whatever it is that you do to make yourself feel awesome (let me know in the comments below!).
If you have any guilty pleasures, then what are you waiting for? This is the time to indulge yourself, whether it's watching a chick-flick or listening to songs that you're supposed to hate. :D

Stupid, catchy song! -_-

5) Give it time:
Hey, you can't just force yourself to 'become happy' in an instant! You need to give yourself some time. Don't try to pretend like you're alright if you aren't!
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 as many times as required - there's no limit - and chances are, you'll be better before you know it! :) 

Don't forget - 'bad days' aren't forever, because otherwise you'd just call them 'days'. Good days are in your future soon enough. You just have to be brave, and patient, and keep hoping, because hope is a wonderful thing!

If you are indeed having a bad day, here are a few GIFs that might make you smile!


Awww...


Awww!!


AWWWW!!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed reading today's blog post. Tell me in the comments below: what's your remedy for a bad day? I'd love to know. :)

I'll see you all next time. Bye-bye!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Validation: Appreciating Others

What's up, pals?

About a year ago, I'd seen this short film on Youtube called 'Validation'. It's about validating, or appreciating, what others are doing or going through, so that you can bring a smile to their faces!


Check it out!

Since then, I've been validating others in my own way. If someone steps aside to let me pass, I say 'thank you'. When the waiter brings me a glass of water, I thank him. If I like someone's earrings, or hair, I give them a compliment.

"Lookin' good, pal!"

We may not realise it, but a smile can change the way people feel about themselves. Imagine what a compliment can do to them!

Now, I'm not saying that you have to lie. Don't do that! But haven't you ever thought someone looked nice one day in school, or haven't you read someone's report at work and found it to be pretty good? You might not have voiced your opinions, though, but next time, you should.

You've had your share of bad days - maybe your hair just refused to cooperate with you that one morning, or maybe you spilled coffee or juice on your clothes, or maybe you were just feeling blue.
Imagine that you're going to school, or work, or anywhere, for that matter, thinking that you'll have the worst day ever. But then someone comes up to you and just says a few positive things to you.

Suddenly, you find that this day isn't that bad, after all. The rest of your day goes well, too, and you're probably smiling by the time you walk back into your house.

What a good day! :)

Why does this happen? It's because that one person validated you, and it made you happy.

Rarely do I see people appreciating others for their work. They take things for granted. They say, "Why should I thank the waiter for bringing food to my table? It's his job!"
So what if it's his job, his duty? You wouldn't want your boss or client to feel that way about your efforts, right?
When you do thank him with a smile, it causes a chain reaction. The waiter feels better about himself, and in turn serves customers with a grin. His positivity probably puts the chef in a good mood, too. The customers are satisfied because the service and food was great, and their happiness makes their friends and family happy.

Just showing your appreciation for one person can do so much! It doesn't even have to be a person you know very well - of course, don't go around calling a random stranger 'beautiful' or 'handsome', because that might land you in trouble - but just anybody who has helped you in some way and deserves credit for that.

This not only makes others cheerful, it makes you smile as well, because the look on the other person's face when you validate him or her is enough to make your day, too! :)

So, instead of putting others down, appreciate them. Even when you have to be critical, be respectful and mature about it.

But don't be this angry about it.! XD

Don't forget to validate yourself, as well. You might have dropped coffee on your shirt, or maybe you missed your bus, but did that stop you from going about your life? No, it didn't, and that shows your courage, and your determination. You are an amazing person who is bringing happiness to people all around you. Never forget that, and love yourself for it!

That's how you validate yourself. ^_^
 
I hope you liked this blog post. Tell me - when was the last time you were validated by someone? How did that feel? :)

If you want me to write about something specific, tell me in the comments below. I'll see you all next time. Bye-bye! :D

Friday, 15 November 2013

Which Fictional Characters are You?

Howdy, my friends from the internet!

The 'Friends' quiz I did seemed to be quite popular with you (check it out here, if you haven't already), so today I thought we could do something along those lines, but a little more grand!

So, I recently read up on something called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which helps you analyse your personality in a much, much better way. This theory divides personalities into sixteen different types, based on four factors: your world (Introversion or Extraversion), how you take in information (Sensing or Intuition), decision-making (Thinking or Feeling), and structure (Judging or Perceiving).

Your personality type is indicated by a code with just four letters, but it gives you a whole new insight into what kind of a person you really are!

You can take the MBTI personality test here. And if this result is not conclusive or satisfactory, then consult this page.  

Once you get your result, find out which fictional character you're most like! :D

1) ENFP (The Inspirer): Lily Aldrin (How I Met Your Mother), Phoebe Buffay (Friends), and Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)
Warm, enthusiastic and generally well-liked, you have a strong sense of values that you’re always in touch with. You feel the need to be in control of yourself, but never others. You are generally a happy person who likes living life to the fullest. You have the gift of the gab that allows you to grab the attention of others; however, most of you will not abuse your abilities, because that violates your value system. Never confine yourself to limits or schedules, because you’re at your happiest when you’re free!

 2) ENFJ (The Giver): Marshall Eriksen (How I Met Your Mother), Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter), and Rapunzel (Tangled) 
You’re a people person! You have amazing people skills, you make things happen for others, and they love you for it. You enjoy your plans more than your achievements, and the vast possibilities of the future hold your attention. Thinking about the present makes you bored and restless.
You are a charming, warm and gracious creature, but remember that your own needs are just as important as the needs of others!

3) ENTJ (The Executive): President Snow (The Hunger Games), Johanna Mason (The Hunger Games), and Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story) 
You are a leader. You live in a world full of possibilities, and you want to be the one to challenge them. You are career-focussed and dislike errors. You have no patience for the inefficient, so it tends to make you look overbearing and judgemental. Nothing satisfies you more than engaging in a challenging, lively conversation – and winning it! Stay balanced in your life and don’t forget to have fun, and you can accomplish everything you want to!

4) ENTP (The Visionary): Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother), Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl), Howard Wolowitz (The Big Bang Theory) - I sense a pattern here - Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory), and Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) 
Understanding the world you live in is your key concern. Rather than concentrating on one specific plan and making decisions, you prefer opening up your mind to the impossible, generating new ideas and innovations. Because of this, you rarely finish what you start.
You often tend to neglect the human element of life – that may make you look harsh, unforgiving and aggressive. Don’t forget to think about people’s feelings, and yours, too!

5) ESFJ (The Caregiver): Monica Geller (Friends), Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl), Alison Dilaurentis (Pretty Little Liars), Bernadette Rostenkowski (The Big Bang Theory), and Cady Heron (Mean Girls)
You love people, and have a strong desire to be liked and in control. Because of this, you make others feel special, and they love you for it. You take duties and responsibilities very seriously, so it’s no surprise that you’re often the one who finishes these tasks, having fun in the process, too. You enjoy creating order and structure in your environment, and prefer doing things the conventional way rather than experimenting. Seek stability and engage yourself with people, because that is when you feel secure with yourself!

6) ESFP (The Performer): Ron Weasley (Harry Potter), Joey Tribbiani (Friends), Rachel Green (Friends), Serena Van der Woodsen (Gossip Girl), Hanna Marin (Pretty Little Liars), Penny (The Big Bang Theory), and Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games)
You love drama and excitement in your life, and have very strong inter-personal skills. You love people, and people love you!
But negative possibilities do not go down with you very well, and once you’re angry, you make strong judgments against others.
Rather than theory, you prefer doing work hands-on. You may not be the best at school for this very reason, but you work well when you’re learning by doing.
Living in the moment might seem stress-free and fun, but try to expand your mind to what lies ahead, because that’s important, too!

7) ESTP (The Doer): Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter), Lady Mary (Downton Abbey), Tony Stark (The Avengers), and Flynn Rider (Tangled) 
Risk-taking does not worry you; in fact, you love action. Rules are simply guidelines to you. If something needs to be done, you do it, whether it’s bound by laws or not. You don’t plan things first – you do them, making things up as you work. Theory troubles you, which is why you might not do very well in school, even though you have a brilliant mind. You have a flair for stirring up excitement in others and motivating them in the process.
Recognize your true talents and work on them, and you’ll be unstoppable!

8) ESTJ (The Guardian): Spencer Hastings (Pretty Little Liars), Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory), Regina George (Mean Girls), and Captain America (The Avengers)
You live in a world of rigid facts and needs. You always need things to be systematic, and you abide by your rules and beliefs. Those who disagree with you have no place in your world, and you let them know this, too, because you’re straightforward and honest. 
You try your best at everything you do, but you may tend to disregard the goals and desires of others. Once you realise how important these concerns are, too, you’ll find that solving people’s problems can actually help you bring clarity to your own life!

9) INFJ (The Protector): Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother), Remus Lupin (Harry Potter), Dan Humphrey (Gossip Girl), and Loki (The Avengers) 
You are complex and enjoy pondering over the vastness of life. You are usually spontaneous, trusting your instincts, and you are usually right. You tend to ignore other people’s opinions in such cases. Conflict does not go well with you. You try not to hurt the people closest to you, but when a problem arises, your usual peaceful demeanour vanishes, to be replaced with fits of agitation or anger.
Understand that problems are a part of life, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember that loving yourself is essential; it is the best way to grow.

10) INFP (The Idealist): Harry Potter (Harry Potter), Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Chandler Bing (Friends), Rajesh Koothrapalli (The Big Bang Theory), and The Hulk (The Avengers) 
You seek the meaning of life, so that you can make the world a better place for those around you. You are a good listener, and are highly intuitive about others. This makes you a great friend. You would rather avoid conflict than confront it, but if you have to, you think from your heart instead of your head. You may be unable to express yourself verbally, but you can express every emotion on paper, often making you a talented writer.
Give yourself credit for your achievements, and stay away from stress – it brings out your worst side! 

11) INTJ (The Scientist): Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter), Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter), Ross Geller (Friends), Gale Hawthorne (The Hunger Games), and Professor X (X-Men)
You value intelligence and knowledge, and have set high standards for yourself and others around you. Though you are naturally a leader, you would prefer to be in the background than the centre of attention, unless you feel there is no one else competent enough, at which point you will take over the reins yourself. You are affectionate and caring, but you do not express it, nor do you praise people as much as others do. You are very difficult to please.
You are highly skilled and can reach great heights, but do not forget that people skills are important and may help you avoid misunderstandings!

12) INTP (The Thinker): Aria Montgomery (Pretty Little Liars), Matthew Crawley (Downton Abbey), Janis Ian (Mean Girls), and Batman (Batman) 
You are theoretical and highly logical, and you love experimenting to find new solutions and ideas. You do not like to lead or control people, and it is difficult for you to comfort others because your emotions may not be as developed.
Express your ideas in a way that others can understand, because the idea will be of no use to anybody if only you can understand it.

13) ISTP (The Mechanic): Robin Scherbatsky (How I Met Your Mother), Tris Prior (Divergent), Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), Wolverine (X-Men) 

You feel the need to understand how things are done. Adventurous at heart, you are usually fearless and love action. You never show partiality – feelings never cloud your judgement. You like spending at least some time by yourself, so that you can clear your head in peace.
You are usually patient, but because you are somewhat out of touch with your feelings, you may experience outbursts of anger or frustration.
Get to know yourself better and understand that emotions do not make you weak, they make you stronger.
 
14) ISTJ (The Duty Fulfiller): Severus Snape (Harry Potter), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), and Leonard Hofstadter (The Big Bang Theory)  
You are a good citizen, and you like to abide by rules, though you will break laws if it is essential to you or your loved ones. You will put your hundred percent into doing work that is important to you, and you wish to be accountable for your actions. Expressing affection is not very easy for you, and you tend to be more critical than others.
Under stress, it is difficult for you to see the brighter side of things. Negativity takes over, and you may lose your sense of responsibility. Try to be more positive, or avoid stressful situations if you can.

15) ISFJ (The Nurturer): Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter), Nate Archibald (Gossip Girl), Emily Fields (Pretty Little Liars), Four/Tobias Eaton (Divergent), and Superman (Superman) 
You are kind-hearted and wish to believe the best of others. You tend to have an exceptional memory, and will remember expressions and conversations in shocking detail if they made an impression on you. You deal with feelings better than any other type.
Working without positive feedback is difficult for you. Without any motivation, you tend to become depressed, often putting yourself down and thinking that you’re worthless. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is essential for you!

16) ISFP (The Artist): Rubeus Hagrid (Harry Potter), Haymitch Abernathy (The Hunger Games), and Damien (Mean Girls) 
You have highly developed senses, but you are reserved and it is difficult for others to get closer to you. You are likely to be an animal lover. You are a doer, not a thinker, but you have no desire to control others or be controlled by others. You are deeply emotional with those who are close to you, but you express yourself through your actions, not your words.
Because you are a perfectionist, you tend to get highly critical of yourself. Don’t take life so seriously, and judge yourself a little less harshly. 

(Note: I haven't categorised the characters into their personalities all by myself. I've done some research based on popular opinions from various forums and blogs on the internet. I've described the characteristics of each type as much as I could with help from this page.)

When I took this test, I was categorised as INFJ, and I think that is fairly true, but I also identify slightly with INFP. :)

Anyway, I hope you liked this post. Tell me what your result was. Do you identify with the characters who share the same type as you? 
I've tried to include as many fandoms as possible, but if you want to suggest any more, then the comment box is waiting for you! :D

If you want me to talk about any specific topic, let me know in the comments below. 

See ya, folks!

Monday, 11 November 2013

I Love French + Tips on Learning a New Language!

Salut, mes amis! :)



If you've been following my blog for some time now, you would have figured out that I'm in love with all things French - the language, the country, the fashion... So, today I thought I'd talk about how and why I started learning French!

Paris, Je t'aime.

 Also, if you're learning a new language, or if you want to, then keep reading for some awesome tips to help you get fluent - fast! :D

I think I've always liked languages, even as a kid. I loved talking (I still do!), and as a kid, I just wouldn't shut my mouth. I remember watching Dora The Explorer on Nick, and the parts that I remember best, other than Swiper no swiping, all involved her speaking Spanish. I loved those bits of the episodes!

When I got a little older, I started maintaining a book of all the Spanish words I knew, and I kept adding to my collection as and when I found more words. I think I had probably listed around fifty words in that little notebook, but unfortunately I don't have it anymore; I lost it. :(

A few years after that, I found myself in a Landmark book store in Kolkata one day, and as I was browsing through the dictionary section, for reasons I can't quite remember now, I found a book. It was called Hugo - French in 3 Months, and of course I bought it, because I thought it would finally fulfill my desire of learning a foreign language.

I tried to use the book, but since I had no clue about French pronunciation, it was a waste of time (though back then, I'd thought I was saying the words correctly).
 
Toute de la s'more, as Joey would say!

My sister took the book with her when she went away for college, and my French adventure ended before it could really even begin.

Three years later, I rediscovered the book, and I decided that if I didn't begin now, I would never be able to. So, I downloaded the Audio CDs that are supposed to come with the book, and finally, I started learning French.

That was about a year ago. I suppose I could have become fluent in French in just three months if I wanted to, but I have no problem in going slow and steady! By next summer, though, I'm quite sure I will have mastered the language, and finally achieved the dream that seven-year-old Swati had!



Boo yeah!

That's not the end of it, though. There are so many languages I still want to learn - Spanish, German, Korean; even native languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, and even my own mothertongue, Kannada, with which I've lost touch over the years. :)

Well, now for some tips on learning a new language!

1) Practise by yourself:
If you're learning the language in school, then it might be difficult for you to be fluent in it if you depend solely on what the syllabus provides. Your teacher will obviously go at the pace of the slowest student in the class, and that might be a problem if you want to pick up the language quickly.
I recommend learning by yourself, actually. Armed with the right guidebooks and a few audio CDs, nothing can stop you!

2) Talk to Others:
The best way to learn a language is to communicate with others. If you have any friends who are fluent in the language, ask for their help, and strike up a conversation in only that language. It will be difficult, but it works great!
But if you have no such friends, then never fear! You can always watch Youtube videos of conversations and enact those conversations by yourself. There are also chat rooms online if you want to talk to a native speaker, but I don't suggest this method, simply because the internet is not always safe.
 
Ah, Joey.

3) Learn it the Fun way!
If you want to speed up the process, watch some movies in the language you're trying to learn. Opt for a dubbed versions of your favourite movies, and watch them with subtitles. This will help immerse you into a world where the language is being spoken by natives, but since you're already familiar with the dialogues, you won't feel lost. This is what I do. Whenever I want to rewatch Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, or even The Amazing Spider-Man, I do so in French. This also helps you to build your vocabulary and get your diction and pronunciation right!

4) Give it Time:
You can't expect yourself to become a native speaker overnight. The older you get, the tougher it is to learn more languages. It may take you weeks, months or even years, but don't give up! Practise consistently and patiently, learning a few new words or phrases at a time. Don't try to overdose on information all at once - you won't be able to process it. Instead, go slow or fast depending on how comfortable you are.

At the end of the day, learning a new language is extremely difficult. You will probably think about giving up many times, as I have, because there is so much that is new to you - the words, the pronunciation, the grammar, possibly even the script!


Listen to Lady Grantham - she knows it!

But when you find yourself able to engage in a conversation with native speakers, your happiness will know no bounds! I managed to do this once - I met a French couple in McDonald's one day, and even though my French was shaky and I was nervous, I felt awesome! :D

Oui, je le suis! :D

Tell me in the comments below: which languages do you want to learn? Have you ever spoken to a foreigner, or an out-of-towner, in their native language (other than English)?

If you want me to write a post on any specific topic, then be sure to let me know. See you all next time! :)