I am on a roll! I mean this blog is probably having a moment, thinking it’s having whiplash with the amount of posts that are churning out of it. But what can I say. I’m just in the mood for this.
So todays post is about language learning. And not just any language learning, but my numerous failed attempts at learning another language.
I stress myself out with these things you know. Like I try to push myself to do something, then I get side-tracked and realise I’ve succeeded with nothing.
The first language I think I tried learning was French. I was in year 2 and they had French club, and me being the nosy and just sociable child I was, went along. I think I spent 4 sessions there, learning the basics before I changed schools and forgot I even knew how to count to 10 in French.
Then upon entering secondary school I picked up Spanish from the get go –Fresh into year 7 and being told a language for now is compulsory, it thought I would give it a shot. I was decent at it. I wouldn’t say I was a sponge that just absorbed every word in every tense like it was second nature. But I could hold a short conversation and remembered most things with prompts. I enjoyed the class, the teacher and just the genera ambiance of it all.
I’m not going to say I was forced to continue it to GCSE, but I was. I wanted to study IT because it’s just something I’m into, but was told that I have to take Spanish because I got a B in my first test. that was my downhill spiral with the language. Now if anyone here knows me personally, will know that I’m not one to agree with being forced to do anything. even down to eating or drinking something. if I don’t particularly want to do it, I won’t. So I got lazy. like lazy to the point in my speaking exam for it I sat pleasantly quiet with no intention to answer, as the examiner asked me question after question. I know. I’m a stupid idiot but such is life. I did pass eventually after my teacher asked me nicely to bite the bullet and just roll with it – that and he promised me Spanish omelette and coffee if I did. But that’s beside the point.
Amidst compulsory learning of Spanish, I attempted to teach myself Japanese. Which went down like a train wreck if I’m honest. I love the language but my brain just wouldn’t comprehend the letter sounds and word structure. I think I held out 2 months, 4 Japanese language books and a lot of sleepless nights before I called it quits.
I also attempted to self teach Chinese, but yet again that failed. I went to a fun day during school whereby we learnt the basics of the language, attempted traditional painting and making food. It was incredible but I still couldn’t grasp the language. Fun fact – I’m not sure why but people confuse me for being part Chinese. I’m not sure why either but it’s quite funny. The amount of times people have asked me if ‘Nihao’ is hello in Chinese, and I’ve had to say ‘it is but I know that through learning the language and not being Chinese myself. one guy, who was drunk I must add, told me to ‘Shut the fuck up and deal with it because I was Chinese and just in denial’
Currently I am teaching myself Korean and it’s not going too badly. I’m using this really nifty app called ‘Memrise’ and its interactive and just easy to use. I know small bits of Korean from watching dramas, listening to the music and having Korean friends, but it does only get you to a certain extent – I mean I could tell someone they are ’10 out of 10 from head to toe’ but I’m not sure everyone would appreciate that. I will say one thing, try your free options first. I have spent so much money on language learning aids and now have a considerable pile of DVDs, CDs and books lounging around in my room. In my attempt of learning Korean, I purchased Rosetta Stone – but after buying it and using it a few times, I realised it didn’t cater to my language learning needs. I’m an interactive learning and a listener more than a reading person, so some of the tasks threw me a bit. Also, I get the feeling they expect you to know the Korean alphabet before starting only because I sat there for a while just clicking and guessing more than reading anything.
I don’t even know why I wrote this long ass post just to tell you I’m a lazy so and so with the brain capacity of a goldfish when it comes to learning a new language. Maybe I’m not cut out for this bilingual life. Or maybe I need to find a proper tutor to help me.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my struggle with learning new languages, if you haven’t tuned out already. And if you have any awesome tips of tricks to getting your head around a new language then drop it in the comments.