French · Goals · Korean · Mandarin · Norwegian · Resources · Studies

It’s Been a Year…

It’s been almost a year since my last post on here. That post was about how I had been away for several months and wanted to get back into the swing of things…we can all see how well that worked out. *sigh* Life is sometimes completely unexpected and as much as we try to plan, those plans often get derailed, whether we want them to or not. Basically my language studies got put on the backburner with everything happening in my life. This is not to say that ALL language learning was put off as languages are part of my daily life but it was pretty much all passive learning these past few months. If we are being honest this pretty much only applied to Korean as I barely touched any other language. With the amount of media I consume in Korean I have picked up several new things, primarily vocabulary. This continues my never ending issue with knowing too many random vocabulary words but rarely being able to use them because my grammar is still so lacking due to my lack of active learning recently. I’ve been slowly changing that these past few weeks and I recently signed up for a Free Online Korean course on Future Learn though I went with the 2nd part of the course as I am already fairly familiar with the basics. So far I’m only on the first week’s lessons but it is mostly stuff I already know but I can always use the practice on. I’m hoping to get a better grasp on some of the beginning grammar so that I can finally move further in my studies.

In other recent language news I am also trying to revamp my French. I have let go of it for far too long and I am really regretting how terrible my grammar and ability to speak has gotten. I purchased a new resource I am hoping will help me review everything I have forgotten or am rusty on. I also have decided to start a new language…because obviously I am doing GREAT at maintaining my other ones… 🙂  I think I had talked about it in a previous blog post but I will finally be starting *drumroll please* Norwegian! I’ve been interested in the language and the country of Norway for a while now and it is a language that is pretty different from all the other languages I have studied. (Look forward to an upcoming post about how terrified I am right now HA!) I’m getting together a few resources and will formally be starting next week. The last bit of news is that I have been dabbling in some Mandarin. No I’m not going to be formally studying it yet but I’ve picked up a couple thing this past year and am slowly learning. This is pretty much just to familiarize myself with the language. I’ve always wanted to study it but the tones always scared me, they still do but I figure if I give myself the permission to just dabble and take it REALLY slow that I may get over that fear. I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone else but we will go with it!

I am really going to strive to post more regularly on here, at least once a week. I think my next post will be about my goals for June regarding Korean, Norwegian and French. Have you ever been terrified to start a language or scared of the language itself? Let me know so I don’t feel all alone! 🙂

French

My Language Journey: French

Talking about my French language journey always makes me angry…mostly at myself. I ended up taking French my Junior and Senior year of high school and always thoroughly regretted not starting it my freshman year. I started with French 1 my junior year and jumped to French 3 Accelerated my senior year. I learnt so much during that time and I cringe thinking how good I could have been had I been working on it the previous two years as well. This was mostly due to the fact that I had an AMAZING teacher. Mr.P was not only excellent at making the class fun and engaging but he always pushed us to do better. Once he taught us the basics, he would only teach in French unless it was completely essential to explain something in English. He also required we only speak to him in French. Even if we ran into him outside the classroom he would say “Quelle? Je ne comprends pas” if we tried to talk to him in English. He really had the patience of a saint because I know I would sometimes go up to him and babble for 5 minutes trying to tell him something, half of which was nonsense, yet he never rushed me and always took time to correct my mistakes.

My second regret is that I never continued with the language after high school. Why? Because I obviously don’t make wise choices…The truth is that when I got to college I was lured in by all these other languages I was dying to learn and kept putting French on the back burner. Essentially, I took it for granted. Somewhere in my mind I thought that I would just retain everything I had already learned and I could just as easily pick it up later on down the road. That worked out fantastic! Okay, fine, it was a fail. As time went on I retained vocabulary but I started losing my grasp on the grammar and as that faded so did my confidence in my ability to speak and write it. So where does that leave me now? Close enough to the beginning that I am ashamed to admit it. I can still listen to speech at a slower pace and grasp the general meaning and I can still read text in French and understand a decent amount. This is half in part to retaining vocab and the other half due to the similarities between French and Spanish that allow me to cheat a little.

I work in an office setting and we have to take monthly Cyber Security quizzes which are excruciatingly dull, so to spice things up earlier this week, I took one of the quizzes in French after watching a 2 minute video also in French. Yes, this is my idea of spicing things up. Don’t judge! Anyways, I ended up only misunderstanding one of the questions but got the others correct, which I must admit, made me feel a little proud. Just a little.

One of my goals for this upcoming year, which I will be focusing on in this blog, is to get back to an intermediate level of French. If I am being realistic, it will be most likely be an upper beginner level, as I will be doing self-study. Maybe once I have reviewed the basics, I will invest in a tutor to fill in the gaps and to practice my speech as well. We’ll see what happens, I’m still working on a study schedule and it will depend on how much time I can allot to it a week.