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!

No comments:

Post a Comment