Learning a language as an adult
I’ve mentioned my French classes before, but I’m diving in deep to discuss them today. I took Spanish in high school, officially five years of it crammed into four years of classes. I wanted to take French, but at the suggestion of my parents, because I grew up in Florida, I took Spanish. In hindsight, I should have just done what I wanted, but I now realize that adulthood is for that mantra.
My Spanish is not fluent but I have a feeling if I practiced it, it could get there. Especially now that I’ve been studying French for over a year - since June 2014. I attend classes at the Alliance Française de Chicago and I was off and on with using Duolingo but I’ve been “on” since I came back from Iceland. I also realized when I started using it again that I had started learning Dutch with it as well.
My goal is to be multilingual and I think since I’ve been taking classes from a teacher, I’m pretty good to try a second one on my own for now. What better time than now when I’m still pretty young? I know the format of learning a language and I’ve started to piece together articles, masculine and feminine, the placement of adjectives, etc, in Dutch the way I’ve been taught to process that information in French. I think Duolingo is great, and to be quite honest, Dutch seems easier than French, for now. It is closer to English and I think that is helping me not confuse the two since they are so very different. The pronunciation isn’t as easy for me to verbalize yet though, perhaps because my brain and mouth had to work so hard to go from Spanish pronunciations to French and Dutch now seems extremely foreign.
Why do I want to be multilingual? It has always been an interest and goal of mine. I want to be able to visit countries and converse with locals in their language. As mentioned in a previous post, I would like to spend extended time in a few countries and I believe that being fluent in the native language is a common courtesy if one is going to be there for any time longer than two weeks. I would like to be able to read international fiction and literature in its native language. For me, it is about continuing to learn and think and not let my brain get rusty. I would love to get to the level of fluency where I can think in another language or even dream in it.
So excuse me, while I end this so I can study for a bit before I head to bed.