a.k.a. Language tag!
This post is based on the Language tag which is normally answered in a video shared on Youtube. I wasn’t tagged but found the questions interesting and felt more comfortable answering them in writing.
1. What do you consider to be your native language?
French. I was raised by monolingual parents in a monolingual country so this one was easy.
2. What was your first language learning experience?
For a long time, I thought it was learning my first Spice Girls’ song around the age of 8, but I’m not so sure anymore. My mother has a cousin who lives in Spain and we visited her a few times when I was a kid. She used to own a bar in Barcelona, and I remember spending a few hours there, desperate to help around the bar despite my young age.
Advice from a language learner to get you started
This post is based on a Writing101 prompt: select one comment you’ve left on another blog and expand on it in a post.
A few days ago, I discovered Lauren’s blog girlfindsnewplacesandfaces where she relates her adventures as a British au pair in France. In her latest post, she mentioned that she wanted to take classes and, after some inquiry in the comments, dropped the magic word: language! Since the language courses she had found were too expensive, I suggested a free alternative – using online resources – on which I would like to expand below.
a.k.a. Introducing myself properly at last
This post is based on a Blogging101 prompt: publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post. This is the “who I am” part; for the Writing101 entry with the “why I’m here” part, see Why I write and what I write about.
I’m a language learner
My interest in foreign languages started as a kid when I began learning English. I fell in love with this language to the point that I enjoyed using it more than my mother tongue, French. Over the years, I studied German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and more recently the American sign language (ASL), but none triggered the same amount of passion I had – and still have – for English.
…and leave human languages to me
This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: If you could be instantly fluent in another language, which one would you choose to know?
Thanks, but no thanks
As I explained yesterday, I value hard work and dedication when it comes to learning a new skill. This, of course, applies to languages as well. Of course, I would be thrilled to become fluent in, say, Japanese, a language it would – and, hopefully, will – take me years to learn. But it would be so much more satisfying to become fluent in Japanese after years of efforts and commitment than instantly through science or magic – unless I had invented the said science or magic, I suppose.
How and why I track my language learning efforts
Last Friday, I explained how I track my sleep using a Fitbit Flex wristband and why I think this can be useful. Today, I will explain how I monitor my language learning efforts and what I hope to accomplish this way.
…as long as you don’t expect to follow through
Most of the time, I like to know in advance what I am going to do, when, where, with whom, how much it will cost, what I should bring, etc. I find it reassuring, especially at weekends: having plans brings the certainty of doing something interesting, enjoyable, and/or useful – in other words, of making the most of my free time. It gives me something to look forward to while I deal with mundane tasks or when I feel like I am wasting my time.