Learning German

Over the past month, I have committed to a daily practice of studying to learn a new language.  I chose German because of my German background, including a great grandmother who spoke mostly German.  I love working on my genealogy and finding original documents and I would be thrilled if I could actually read them.

My sister took several years of German in high school and has therefore been able to help me, and reassure me that as difficult as this is, German is a logical language that will begin to make sense over time.  Given how irrational English language rules are, I try to convince myself that if I can understand English, I can learn another language, too.

I have been using an app to help me learn, which I will rate and review in time if after a few months I become a bit more fluent in German.  I love that it notifies me that it is time to practice, and since I am very OCD about maintaining a streak, I love that it counts how many days in a row I have completed my lesson without skipping (my Bible app does this as well, and I am loath to break my streak!).

I work with many people who are bi or trilingual.  Many of my coworkers speak Spanish fluently, and many others speak different languages from across the globe.  One of my best friends from childhood is fluent in another language, and all my life I remember being envious and mystified that a brain could function in two or more languages.  How?!

My dad also grew up bilingual, and French was actually his first language.  Regrettably, I never learned French as a child, which would probably have made learning any other language now much easier.

I am afraid I will never understand why German nouns have genders, or how to properly conjugate a verb.   

An interesting side note that many people do not know about my childhood education: I went to a private school from grades 2-5, and in grade six I began homeschooling.  Prior to beginning my new homeschooling curriculum, I was tasked with taking placement exams in every subject.  Despite being an A student in English in my private school, I did not meet the standard to begin sixth grade English work in the homeschool curriculum (because despite what people believe about homeschoolers, they actually have a very rigorous program).  So, in my sixth grade school year, I redid ALL of fifth grade English and completed all of sixth grade English.  During this time, I had to do extensive sentence diagramming, identifying the function of every word in a sentence.  After finally mastering the nonsense of the English language, it will be hard to reprogramme myself to learn something that, supposedly, makes more logical sense!

The primary reason I stick to it, despite the challenge of it, is that learning a new language is making my brain work differently.  And I hate to think someone else's brain can work differently and mine cannot.  It must be possible!

Comments