Learning a New Language.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

 Do you speak more than one language? After more than 6 years of Spanish classes, I'm embarrassed to admit how deplorable my Spanish really is (especially considering how much time we spend in Central America) and for the past few years I've been dying to pick it up again. Now that the chatter in our house is all about moving to Switzerland, I'm thinking I might be better off learning a different language all together. I've always been so envious of those, who can speak multiple languages, and I think if I can get over my fear of completely butchering a new language, I would really enjoy the challenge. Learning German, and then the Swiss dialect, would probably make the most sense, but that seems like double the work, and since we aren't completely sold on the Zurich piece anyway,  I'm thinking it might just make sense to learn French (because, well, it's French) and I'm pretty sure I could get by with just that and English if we did actually make the move. Besides, I have this dream in my head of visiting Paris and actually being able to speak the language! That would be très chic! ;)

Did any of you learn a new language as an adult? If so, I'd love to hear what worked for you! My first instinct is just to go with Rosetta Stone, mostly for the cost and convenience, but I'm wondering how easy it really is? Also, if it's on my own time, I'm worried it will be the first thing to get pushed to the side, when other things come up, whereas it's harder to skip an actual class. On the other hand, I spend a lot of time in the car, so I feel like the cd's might be the way to go. Poor Gray, I can just imagine him sitting in the back seat listening to me trying out my horrible accent! Maybe, he'd actually pick something up!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one! 

(Language food poster via this Etsy shop)


Lauren O said...

I really like DuoLingo. It's a free app on your phone that's like a game for learning languages. They have Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and German so far.

Andrew Weiler said...

If we go about learning languages like we go about eating soup with a fork, then there will be problems. The VAST majority in fact give it away - not because they can't do it but because the way they are doing it is flawed. Check out this post to give you an insight as to what a "spoon" might look like! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've learned two new languages as an adult - French (we lived there for 3 years and I gave birth to our eldest in a little village :), and Swedish as that is where my husband is from and we lived in Stockholm for a year. I never would have been able to learn either had it not been for total immersion. Learning a language as an adult is tough! My Swedish has improved immensely only because my husband ONLY speaks to our children in it. You've mentioned your husband is Swiss - what does he speak. We considered a move to Lausanne, which is French speaking. Frankly I would figure out where you would plan to go and then study the appropriate language. My other advice, think LONG and HARD about a move. I left the US in 2004 to move abroad and most likely will not return until our youngest (15 months) is finished with high school. I would say the first 5 years I was away were pretty difficult and miserable. At a point you hit a place that works, but don't be fooled by romantic notions. It is all about the same practical aspects of life that you deal with in the US only MUCH harder because it is in a). a language you don't understand and b). a culture that is foreign. Since 2004 I've lived in Sweden, France and Singapore. SIngapore is far and away the best as it is the most like 'home'.

Anonymous said...

Morning from Berlin,
Please believe me, when I say I am not sided as a German, but as a German who has lived in Zurich and travelled the rest of that wonderful country:
I love the swiss most of the time but they are even more funny than the French when it comes to how important it is to at least attempt to speak their language (well dont worry to much about the dialects, they are quite aware, that is something for very private conversations and they will try to speak either High German, French or Italian as long as you at least show some effort in the same direction. I would not make the mistake of moving there with just English or French (if not moving the french part) and doubt you will make an enjoyable experience. Saying that, don't stress and it is never too late, surely it will be so much easier to learn when you actually there. Keep it upxg