If you want to be able to master a language like a native speaker, understanding the language characteristics of that country is the first priority. This is because by knowing the characteristics of the language-speaking peoples, you can understand the fundamental ways of thinking, behavior, and culture, and by understanding, you can sense how to use the language.
Here is an example to explain the differences between Asian and Western languages and impact on thinking.
In the old days when language was recognized as a language, suppose that tools that we didn’t know what to use suddenly appeared in front of Asians and Westerners, respectively.
If you are an Asian, you can use your imagination by looking at the characteristics of the tool and think about its purpose.On the other hand, Westerners think about the purpose of the tool by grabbing, hitting, or actually moving it.
The differences in approaches to this tool can be seen in the language, and Asian languages such as Japanese and Korean have developed adjectives that describe the nature, state, human senses, and emotions of things, while English and German have developed verbs that describe action, state, existence.
As a result, for example, anime is famous in Japan due to the improvement of imagination through the development of adjectives, and science has developed in Germany, which focuses on things and matter.
We can also see this difference when expressing languages. For example, when using Japanese or Korean, it starts basically with ① subject → ② object → ③ verb, but when using English, it starts with ① subject → ② verb → ③ object.
What this order means is that you can see what is important when you use the language. Both Asian and Western countries seem to think that subjects are the most important, but then the characteristics of each language appear. In Japanese and Korean, the target is prioritized first, but in English, movement is prioritized.
Here is an another examples to illustrate the impact of language on behavior.
For example, if you have to go from point A to point D, if you are an Asian, you will first open the map, check the route A→B→C→D, and then leave, if you are a Westerner, you will first start looking for the route A→B→C→D. In other words, the former acts after identifying the object, and the latter acts after identifying the object.
The way you think, act, and perceive things changes depending on the language. If you want to be able to handle a language like a native speaker, simply memorizing words and expressions is not enough. I think that the secret to language acquisition is to have a deep understanding of the characteristics of the language.
Understanding a language also has a positive effect on language tests, and allows us to deeply understand the culture of the people who use the language. I would appreciate it if you could keep that in mind when you learn a language and study a foreign language (￣▽￣)
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