Learning a Second or Third Language

Learning languages is a great way to learn about another culture and give yourself access to a whole new world through the wealth of literature. I believe some people have an innate ability to learn new languages faster than others but anyone can learn a new language if they really want to and they put in the required effort to acquire the new language.

In this day and age, learning some languages has become very easy. Some of the more popular languages have tons of material available to help new learners acquire the language. Language learning has become more easy and affordable due to the Internet and mobile applications. One can download a free app and learn any language without leaving their home. Duolingo and Memrise are two such apps that offer a ton of languages and all for free or almost free.

In order to learn a language, motivation of some kind is needed. It could be anything from a desire to speak the language with natives while traveling or to get a job or study abroad. It could be as simple as wanting to enjoy the literature or other media in the local language. Whatever your motivation is, it is important because motivation makes the task less daunting. Depending on the motivation, you’ll have a different approach to learning. If you’re really interested in the literature, you can study the language from that aspect and not have to worry about the conversational part of it which could be quite different. Furthermore, the speaking & listening skills are very different from reading & writing abilities when it comes to languages.

I have been learning Arabic as a second language for a few years now. My motivation has been to learn Arabic to be able to understand the Quran and Hadith in its original text, without having to rely on translations. My focus has been literature rather than speaking.

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Learning the Quran & Teaching Others

Learning the Quran should be a priority for every Muslim. Not only is the Quran a source of knowledge, it is also a source of countless blessings. It is the word of Allah. The Quran speaks to us to inform us of what Allah requires from us. Imagine that. The Creator of everything telling us why He has created us and what He wants us to do and what He wants us not to do! All of this because He wants us to succeed. It is therefore upon us to do our utmost to find out what Allah says in the Quran.

Since the Quran is in the Arabic language, it is important that we acquire as much Arabic language as necessary to understand the Quran in its original Arabic. It is not an impossible task for anyone. There are tons of resources available online these days to learn it ourselves or enroll in a class and learn it locally in our own city/country. If we put our minds to it, we can all do it relatively easily inshaaAllah!

خيركم من تعلم القرأن وعلمه

From the meaning of this well known Hadith, we learn that the best of people are those who learn the Quran and teach it to others. It should be the goal of all Muslims to try to achieve the status of the best of people by striving hard to learn the Quran properly, to read it with Tajweed, to learn the Arabic necessary to understand the meanings in the original Arabic.

Furthermore, it should be our goal to put what we learn into practice in our daily lives. The first step after understanding is to internalize the teachings of the Quran by implementing them into our lives to the best of our ability.

Finally, it should be our aim to teach what we learn to others. With the help of Allah we can become the best of people by learning the Quran and then teaching it to others.

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Reading As a Habit

Reading is a habit that everyone should try their best to acquire. It is one of the easiest ways to gain knowledge that one can do on their own long after having left school. If you’re not reading regularly, you’re doing yourself a disservice. There is so much good reading material out there on every subject for every type of person and interest. Reading is a great way to learn from a large number of people who have taken the time and exerted a lot of effort to write quality books that we can all benefit from.

It is not a difficult habit to acquire and cherish our entire lives. It does require though that we find the right kinds of books to get the most benefit out of them. It is easy to fall into the trap of reading junk. Reading does transform our thinking to varying degrees, depending on what and how much one is reading. It does become quite important therefore to find the useful books and stay away from useless and specially damaging books. Do some research and find good books (reader ratings are a good way to check), get recommendations from your friends & family. Even libraries have recommendations. You can also create a profile on one of the online reading communities (such as goodreads.com or librarything.com or other such resources).

Make reading a lifelong thing, a lifestyle if you will. It doesn’t matter if you go through phases of your life where you’re not regularly reading a lot but always try to be on the lookout for a good book. Make a list of books you’d like to read and try to get those books and allocate time in your life to read them. Your future self will thank you.

Make yourself a goal: read at least one new book every month (or more or less) depending on what you’d like to get out of this habit.

It doesn’t matter which language we read in as long as we are reading quality books. Books provide good perspectives from various people, so try to read books from various authors not just one.

Aside from traditional books, there are audio and eBook options available. I enjoy all types of medium as long as the content is good and well written and in an area that I find interesting. So get out there and read something today!

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Amazing Math

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321



Now, take a look at this…


101%



From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:



What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to
GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?


What equals 100% in life?


Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help
answer these questions:


If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


If:



H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K


8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%


And:


K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E


11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%


But:


A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E


1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%



THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:




L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D


12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%


Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It’s the Love of God that will put you over the top!

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Top 10 Reasons to get an Online Education

Online education is increasingly becoming available for various fields where it makes sense. Business, Mathematics, Humanities and some theoretical courses from physical sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.) can easily be taught online. Of course, online education is simply not adequate for some disciplines, but it’s only a matter of time when virtually everything could be taught online.

1-Availability: Online education has matured over the years and is now available from some of the top universities in the world. For instance, check out the following:

2-Affordability: It’s a much more affordable option when compared to the traditional brick and mortar institutions. Some even offer FREE courses online Here is a short list of some of the providers.

3-Flexibility: You can study anywhere, anytime. This is a definite edge for those who wish to acquire knowledge despite their busy lives. If you’re traveling, you can take the class from your hotel room. Or watch class videos offline or write your paper while you’re flying over the Atlantic.

4-Global Collaboration: Your virtual classroom can have students from around the world from various backgrounds. Students can come together to exchange knowledge and benefit from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

5-Fastest way to learn new technologies: As fast as technologies are evolving, it’s hard for most people to keep up. Offering online education and updating it as soon as changes occur is much more feasible than offering traditional offline instructor lead courses.

6-Way more choices for online courses: There is a dizzying array of courses available online from institutions from all over the world. If you find a subject hard to understand, you can even take the course from, say a university in the US, then follow it up with the same or similar course from the UK or Singapore or Canada or Denmarkor any university from anywhere in the world offering online courses.

7-Easier to acquire marketable skills: Some of the most marketable skills don’t seem to be available in every traditional school. If you need to learn the latest programming language or acquire Mandarin conversational skills.

8-Introverts, stay at home mothers and, in some cases, even prisoners can study: Online education is potentially available to anyone with a device and an Internet connection. You don’t even have to get out of the house much less travel to another city or country to acquire education via online outlets.

9-Great use of new technology: Online education technology has come a long way and matured enough to be very effective both for the providers enabling them to reach a much wider audience and for the students to have much bigger choice of courses available. Furthermore, courses can be provided in mixed media – audio, video, text, live sessions, discussion forums for students and teachers and more. This makes the experience for everyone involved much richer than the standard medium of face-to-face interaction, in some ways.

10-Continue acquiring knowledge long after your college days are over: Traditional education may be stopped after graduating from the university. However, online education can continue and anyone, young and old, can acquire new knowledge and skills.

What is missing from online education is the element of direct human interaction, in class rooms and on campus. This should be compensated for by having offline meet ups between local students and instructors where possible or simply taking some classes in traditional school settings. A hybrid online/offline model is probably the best option to get the best outcome.

In conclusion, do not dismiss online education. It’s real and it’s here to stay. Embrace it now as a viable alternative to traditional ways of learning or risk being left behind.

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