Mother Tongue

17 01 2009

Speaking the english language is brilliant. I love it, and I wouldn’t have the opportunities to travel as extensively without the jobs I can get by speaking it. But I’ve always had this desire to know another language, and I don’t feel quite right not being able to communicate while I travel. It’s kind of a respect thing, and I would like to be able to at least make an effort. I studied French in high school but then didn’t make time in college. I picked up passing phrases by traveling, and I halfheartedly taught myself to read Korean. I only know about 10 phrases (and a handful of random words) in Korean, which is terrible since I live in the country. To be fair I spend the majority of every day surrounded by English (since I work at an immersion school) but I still don’t feel quite right about it.

Adding to my goals for this year, I am going to start making a concentrated effort to study languages. I got the program Rosetta Stone and have found a few language packages on the internet. While I know that it isn’t a perfect program, for me it is already better than buying a book. The program is interactive and teaches in a way that tries to immerse you in the language instead of allowing you to associate back to your native language. I’ve been doing a review of French to try to gauge where to begin in those lessons, and have done introductory lessons in German and Spanish. I haven’t been able to find Korean lessons, but I will keep trying because I know they exist! My co teacher is all over me to get on with my Korean learning, and keeps texting me in Korean to boost my learning. I know that isn’t the most effective, so I need to find the lesson!

Of course I will keep the interwebs updated of my language efforts. I’m kind of taking the Korean mentality with studying on with this new project. Some of my students study three languages or more, so I’m going to try with the self-improvement. So far, the lessons are easy and enjoyable, and the native speakers on the program make it easy to repeat. I’m so happy that my laptop has a built in microphone so I can do the speaking lessons too! I’m not expecting fluency or any such crazy thing, but more comfort with a number of languages, and the enhanced ability to communicate while on the road. Looks like I’ve got to make my way back to Europe! 😉

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2 responses

26 01 2009
Kris

Alicia – Rosetta Stone is the best way to learn languages -especially as an adult. Learn some Spanish and you can converse with Conner – he’s in his 5th year at school. They are just learning to put all the stuff they learned in the first 4 years into sentences and actually talk. Conner also has a knack for languages – he learned some Japanese a couple of years ago in a special class he took and of course while living in Iceland learned some Icelandic (not that he remembers to much of that now!).

Have a safe trip and as always – I look foward to seeing your pictures from your travels.

27 01 2009
TH

I enjoy following your adventures, even though I don’t understand all that I see on your site… very interesting… 4:20 AM Tue, Jan 27 09 in Davenport, IA (USA)!

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