|NaDruWriNi 2018 Chapter Two: Speaking in Tongues
||[Nov. 4th, 2017|09:31 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
Current alcohol count: My second g&t
Many years ago I decided I was going to learn German.
It was a good idea at the time. Axe speaks German so we could start speaking it at home and that would help me practice. English is partially derived from German so the vocabulary is super easy. And you know, German Industrial bands and all that.
So that was the theory. As you know Bob, theory and practice - sometimes they differ. I started with a lot of enthusiasm but I kept getting bogged down. German vocabulary may be very similar to English but their grammar is (to me) very different and therefore feels complicated and I never really got my head around it. Axel speaks it, but he doesn't really understand the grammar very well - his family moved to England when he was pretty young and so his German is kind of stuck at the elementary school level - and my plan to practice at home never really took off.
Probably the most proficient I ever felt was when I was visiting Italy with BC and when I was sleepless from jet-lag I would watch their one TV station that broadcast in German. I could mostly follow along with what the story was about although the details were lost on me. After that it was all downhill, I just got too busy with other things to practice regularly and it fell by the wayside. Then when I was actually in Germany with Axe a couple of years ago I mentioned to his cousin that I had tried to learn German at one point and he said, "What for? Everybody here speaks English anyway."
Sooooooooo maybe you can call it short attention span, but I recently made the decision to give up on German. And gave all my German books to my daughter, who is hella enthusiastic about it. Good for her.
But me, I have a new love.
I figure it's a language that's a lot more likely to be practical. There are many, many countries, some of them ones I can drive to, where a variant of Spanish is the main language and people don't necessarily speak English as well. Of the Latin-derived languages it's probably simplest, only two genders and no silent letters. And it's accessible. Even Sesame Street has a Spanish component. (Well in my country it was French, but YouTube is thing.) The vocabulary is very close to that of Portuguese and Italian - at least according to my Portuguese, Italian & Spanish-speaking co-workers who are constantly talking the piss out of each other in their respective languages. AND my dad's wife is a Spanish teacher.
I have no idea how long this particular project is going to last. But every night on my way home from work instead of pulling a book out of my knapsack I slap my headphones on my ears and open duolingo on my phone. I'm having fun with it and that's the thing that usually drives me to keep going on a new project.
Except for Struwwelpeter which Axe wanted to keep because of childhood memories and seriously that is a book you give to children?! What is wrong with German people.
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