Languages

One of my goals for the coming year is to become proficient in Spanish. My idea of proficiency is being able to communicate-however haltingly- with native speakers. I want to know the words for common nouns and verbs. I want to feel confident enough to be able to speak aloud the words I can recognize on a page.

My reasons for this, beyond mere self-improvement, are two-fold. First, I want to have a command of the language so I can help Caleb to learn it. Secondly, I have a deep-seated desire to spend a couple of months each winter in a warm spanish speaking country-but more on that in tomorrow’s post.

I took 3 years of Spanish in high school (with an evil, yet thorough teacher). Then I took a semester of Spanish in college, but learned less than I did in high school. I have a solid understanding of present tense verb conjugations, and a vague recollection of past and future tenses.

I’ve had learning more and better Spanish on my to-do list for years, and never done much about it. This past year though, my younger brother spent a year completing the Rosetta Stone Spanish course, and he highly recommended it. So I spent a 35 minutes on the phone with him asking questions, which led to me subscribing to the Rosetta Stone course for 6 months.

My brother’s final word on the subject is that Rosetta Stone makes learning the language fun. And although I’ve only done 3 lessons so far (a couple hours worth), I agree. It’s more like a game, than a chore.

In fact, I’ve already tried to convince my mom to try it when she gets her new Ipad. The cost is what kept me from trying it sooner, but when you compare the cost to the cost of paying for lessons or taking a college course, it’s downright cheap.

I’ll give updates to how I am doing through the year. Right now it’s mostly review, but considering I’ve forgotten most everything, it’s much needed review.

My mom was telling me about how jealous she used to be that the high schoolers got to learn a different language. Where does that enthusiasm for learning go?

Tomorrow I’ll share my plans to be a snowbird. In the meantime, do you know any other languages? How did you learn? Are you learning any new languages now? How are you encouraging your children to become multi-lingual?

My mom and I were talking about Rosetta Stone and my son said, “next time you can learn French!”

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One thought on “Languages

  1. My daughter and I recently tried out some sample lessons from Rosetta Stone for Spanish and enjoyed it-you’re right-it is more like a game. I’m considering getting the program for her when she starts 5th grade. I like how they get you speaking in sentences right away. It’s imperative to actually speak the language and be able to communicate with others, not just read and understand it as you said. I took German in high school and college but because I never conversed much in it, I remember very little today. I’m planning on starting Latin next year with Ella which will be a good foundation for any romance language, not to mention helpful in our own language since so many of our roots come from Latin. I’m loosely following The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.

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