I am not French, and I cannot recall ever having a desire to learn a different language up until I started University and found new ways to learn and enjoy things. What I have always had is an eagerness to discover other ways of enjoying art, different cultures and the ways that these can intertwine to create something beautiful. It’s no surprise that I discovered my appreciation of film and my curiosity for the French language around the same time, as French can often portray some of their most brilliant art through the form of film and photography.
Cross- cultural romance is the most popular form of integrative motivation, to better learn a culture or language. Primarily, I was most intrigued by French romance films. Paris is the city of love, so it only makes sense that I had a look at these first. I came across one called, ‘Blue is The Warmest Colour’, and I was somewhat frustrated with my lack of knowledge on the language and what they were saying – even though I wasn’t entirely expected to as it isn’t my first language. I watched the movie once with subtitles; I was constantly trying to figure out what they meant and were saying through repetition of words.
I didn’t learn much until I downloaded an App – Duolingo – to teach me the basics of the language. Then I re-watched the movie. Some words made more sense as I remembered what they meant, though there was still the frustration for not knowing a lot about what was right in front of me. I was curious to know more, and it led me to do more research – more quizzes and tests on the new language. My favourite perfume, ‘le rouge’ translated to ‘the red,’ and my blog url, ‘les peach’ translates to, ‘the peach.’ These are things I already knew through prior research, so when I found myself taking quizzes on the French language – these words came to me the easiest.
It was a lot easier to pay attention to the art in the film and photography when I wasn’t constantly glancing at the English subtitles below – I could enjoy it more. Through my research and increased knowledge, the entire viewing experience was somewhat different – easier. I am so much more curious to research French culture and languages in order to watch French films and enjoy the artform, through research.
Merritt, Anne. “What Motivates Us To Learn Foreign Languages?”. Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.