Speak For Love | Communicate For Confidence | Inspire For Growth

Do you wish to build your vocabulary of foreign words in a matter of days or weeks? Here is a great tip.

When I showed kids candies before class began, they would wait in great anticipation. To get them to speak their first Mandarin words, I said, “我要。” as I held a candy in front of them. I only give it to them when they repeat the words correctly. It always work. In a matter of days, I encouraged them to start using “I want” for pencil, toilet, drink, sleep, ice cream and cartoon. In Mandarin, the word ‘to’ is redundant to express a want. In fact, ‘to’ has no English translation.

The Fear Of Saying “I Want” Will Not Get What You Want.

As we get older, we learn to use the word ‘to’ in different ways. We add the word ‘to’ and our sentences become “I want to eat’, “I want to play”, “I want to go out” etc. The number of wants escalates so quickly that we sometimes forget what we want in the first place.

Have you wanted to get back together with your girlfriend or boyfriend who has broken up with you? When you want to win your love back so badly, do you say, “I want you back.”? Or do you stare into the eyes of the man or woman of your love and whispered, “I want you.” You get the point. When you say, “I want you.”, it hits home a romantic note. Period. It is ‘you’ I want not anyone else.

Go For Your Goals, Raising Happy Kids.

Forget about ‘to’.

If you want to speak your first foreign word quickly, drop the word ‘to’. When you speak to a sales assistant in Chinatown, you may say to her, “I want to buy a necklace.” What do you think the lady is going to hear? You guessed it. “Necklace.” Not the word ‘to’. What do you want the sales assistant to hear anyway? Of course, “necklace” not ‘to’. No matter how you try to speak formally and rephrase you sentence, you still will want to make sure she understands you meant “necklace” not a ring.

How many times have we told ourselves that we want to cut a bad habit and never actually do it because we keep using the article ‘to’. I want to stop smoking. I need to lose weight. I want to go on a holiday. I want to sing. Does it always happen immediately or much later?

Lesson Learned

When I taught children to speak 3 languages by dropping the word ‘to’, they immediately become connected with the subject or object of their desire. It was easier to introduce new words. When they were shown a turtle, they pushed one another to get to the front row or stretched their necks to catch a glimpse. When they could not see, they would say “I cannot see,” instead of saying “I want to see.” Their actions speak louder than words. They pushed, jostled and stretched their bodies to show “They want to….see.”

“I want” followed by the names of things or activities automatically build up a list of vocabulary of words. If you do this for a week with a minimum of 5 things you want a day, you are guranteed to learn 20 foreign words in a week. Just by using these two words, “I want.”

Will this method work for learning all languages?

Yes. Just replace the “I want” + “name of things you want” with the foreign word.

Go For Your Goals, Raising Happy Kids.