Culture & Communication
A record of an audio call with my friend Mikhail.
What do you think the best way to learn about the culture of a country?
But first I would like to know your own opinion.
What do you think is the best way to learn it?
Hmm… Actually, I think I know very little about the history and culture of other countries.
This is the reason why I asked this question.
I often follow the news, read books or watch movies about this country.
Yes, I know. But do you always trust what they say in the news?
No. I don’t.
I prefer to trust that seeing is believing.
Well, I found out that you know a lot about other countries – Brazil, Spain and so on.
Ha… ha… well, I do know a few things about these countries.
And I know a bit more about Brazil than I know about Spain.
But, trust me, I knew very little about Brazil just a few years ago.
May be you could even guess how did I start learning more about it.
OK… I’ll try.
I think that first you make friends in other countries.
You communicate with them and learn from them.
Next, you might visit the place. And then…
Actually, I have not been to Brazil yet. But I really want to visit it.
Your first guess was absolutely correct. This is how you get started with your learning.
You make a lot of friends on social networks.
And keep asking them questions everyday.
For instance, what are you doing today? Did you see anything interesting today?
Keep asking questions.
The more questions you ask, the more you learn about the people and the culture.
And visiting the place, of course, will help you understand it much better.
So, which social media do you use to find friends?
Oh… I use many of them.
I use Facebook, GoSpeaky, and Quora.
And many other platforms.
Pretty much any site or online community can be useful.
But what really motivates you to keep learning other languages and helping others communicate in English?
I think it’s a long process.
You might feel tired or bored sometimes.
Ha… ha… that’s right…
May be not bored…
But tired, occasionally, yes, it does happen to me.
When you communicate with many people from different countries, you learn something useful every day.
As well as something interesting and exciting.
You kind of start understanding the world a little better.
Learning something you feel passionate about will help you not feeling bored.
What are some good suggestions you could share with Chinese students learning English?
I would say, don’t be afraid to communicate with more people.
Also, communicating with people who have professional experience helps improve your own communication skills.
And helps you learn about other cultures.
Asking questions is very important.
Being a curious person, and actively ask questions will help you become a great thinker.