Earninglay Anotherway Anguagelay

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I had two years of Spanish in high school, and another two years of it in college. Straight A’s all the way through. With those years of study under my belt, I can go into any Mexican restaurant and sound slightly less dumb when I order. I cannot, however, speak a complete sentence in Spanish.

You might think it would be hard to study something for four years and not get anything out of it, but it’s really not. I just memorized what I needed to memorize to get my A. I wasn’t interested in learning Spanish, so I didn’t try to understand what I was doing. Thinking about it now, I probably shouldn’t have received such high grades. But, there’s not much a teacher can do about kids like me — grades have to be based on objective results. I knew it all, but didn’t understand a bit of it.

Now, I’m starting to wish I did understand more than one language. I think it would expand the list of countries I would feel comfortable visiting. Spanish would be the obvious choice, but I think I’d be more interested in French or maybe German. Maybe I’ll choose a dead language so nobody will know if I’m pronouncing it right.

I’ll start by visiting the library to see what options they have. Another possibility would be something from Audible.com. If I can find something I enjoy using it will be easier to stick with it. I also want something that will teach me to understand and use the language, not just help me pronounce, “Excuse me, where is the bathroom?”

See more progress on: Learn another language