Learning Languages

High on my list of New Year goals is learning more about languages. This is very important to me as I travel a lot and I also enjoy other cultures very much. Languages have never come easy to me, but I think most people feel that way. What I have learned is that you really need to focus on languages daily to grasp them, and I have been doing just that.

At this time, I am studying Spanish, French, Korean and dabbling in Italian and Russian. I do not plan on focusing on the latter as much as the first three.

Spanish: I have not missed Spanish once since the New Year. I feel this is the most useful language if you live in the US as it is widely spoken here. Also, I have a personal connection to the language and being fluent would mean a lot to me.

I find Spanish to be the easiest of the grouping, but that being said, sometimes it’s a challenge. I read and understand the language well, but the grammar has been a struggle. Also, when I try to speak it, I have a very hard time and feel self-conscious.

So, to help with this, I have started from the beginning of the Duolingo Spanish tree and am focusing on the language grammatically ground up. I have been focusing on every word and structure to make sure I understand them well. I tend to rush through things retaining little, so this will be a challenge. Once done, I will need something more intermediate.

French: French is tough. Yes it is a Romance language, but it is so much more structured than Spanish. Also, the pronunciation is much more difficult than Spanish to me. I was raised around Spanish speakers, so it is in my ears and rolls of my tongue. French, not so much. I have started all over with the tree on Duolingo along with working with skills on Memrise. Tough stuff!

Korean: How I love this language, but this is so different from anything I have studied before. I have made sure I have Hangul down pat and have started studying basic vocabulary and structure. Korean is considered one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, but I really stand by learning this. I have seen other English speakers accomplish this–I can to. I have been studying from books and Talk to Me in Korean online. I will let you know how this goes.

In the future, I will probably break the languages down in one write up because that will help me express myself better. At least I have accomplished the English language! J


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