Trying to Learn a New Language

a photo of Ria's foreign language books
my foreign language books
As a child, I would often hear my mom and my grandmother speaking in Bicolano. I wanted to join their conversation, so I decided that I would learn that dialect. Nobody had time to teach me, and there were no Bicolano dictionaries at the book stores, so I made my own. It was just a tiny notebook (the size of a credit card) made out of a few sheets of graphing paper that I cut up and stapled together. I added words to it every time my grandmother visited us. That project lasted a few weeks, and then I completely forgot about it.

When I was seventeen, I tried to learn German. I had no pressing reason for learning the language. I just thought it was cool because Jose Rizal spoke German. I also loved the Grimms' fairy tales and wanted to read them in their original form.

I enrolled in a language course at the local Goethe-Institut, joined their library, and bought several workbooks. German wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I had a lot of fun with it. Sadly, life got in the way and my interest waned.

My cousin Edgar tried to convince me to study Japanese instead, so I bought a book, watched a few videos, and ended up remembering just one line -- Kore wa hon desu ka (Is this a book?). As a joke, I repeat that line every now and then. I'm lucky that no one has thrown a book at me yet, though I suspect many have wanted to.

Last year, I decided that Spanish would be much easier to learn. I signed up on Duolingo. Learning the language through a game made the task easier, but that was not enough to keep me hooked. It wasn't that I was no longer interested. I was just too busy.

Esperanto also got my attention. I read that it was very simple and easy to master, and that with two weeks of studying, I would already be capable of having a conversation in Esperanto. Unfortunately, no matter how much I tried, I couldn't muster enough interest to keep going.

Have I finally given up?  I haven't, and I won't. I'm going to work on German again. This time, I'm giving myself a concrete but easy-to-reach goal -- A1 level in three months, then A2 before the end of the year. I will also set up a blog where I will write exclusively in German. If you would like to check on my progress, you can click here to visit my German blog. Wish me luck!

Danke schön!  Guten Tag!


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