Booksmythe 478 Views
Joined: Mar 10, '02;
Posts: 6 (0% Liked)
I forget words all the time. I thought I was having early oldtimer's disease!
I once had a paramedic tell me about a man trapped in a car in what turned out to be a fatal accident. The paramedic knew the victim and knew he spoke beautiful English; as a result of the pain and trauma the victim only remembered his mother tongue.
When stressed, injured, or unwell, it is not uncommon to forget a second or third language.
You will probably find it very easy to learn Spanish. Your training in languages and your knowledge of Latin and French will help enormously.
A simple conversational class with some medical phrases thrown in and you will blow everyone away! I think you will pick up the grammar quite easily.
There are a number of books with medical phrases translated into Spanish. (I wrote one of them. ) If you go to Amazon and type in Medical Spanish it should give you a complete list. The major difference between the various kinds of books are whether it is designed to something you use in the field or whether it is a reference book that you study and then put on the shelf.
Tone. Some languages, primarily Asian, have tones. There is meaning in the tones. English speakers who have not been exposed to the up and down and "curving" inflections of Thai or Mandarin or Hmong have a great deal of difficulty in getting it right. While Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, it is not easy to speak for an English-speaker. You may end up saying something very different that you think.
However, if you have a musical ear, a friendly teacher, and a little patience, you can treat a lot of patients.
I publish several books that allow medical professionals to communicate with non-English-speakers. As a result I get calls from everywhere in the United States. Without a doubt, Spanish training will be the most important language to pick up first. As some pointed out, the sound structure is easier to pick up then something like French or Russian. Also, there are Spanish speakers wherever there are people who work--every state!
If you live in an area with a lot of patients that speak a specific language, like Punjabi or Vietnamese, you might consider learning a few phrases in that language to cover some problems. However, those languages will be considerably more difficult for the average English-speaker than learning Spanish first.
There are a number of classes available to improve your language abilities. Again, Spanish classes are the most common. If you can afford it, try an immersion class. If not, any opportunity to use the phrases over and over will dramatically improve your ability to speak a language.
Remember how you learned English? You said a phrase over and over and mommy or daddy repeated it the correct way. Most people learn to speak fluently long before they go to school.
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