Sunday, June 8, 2014

Update on My Fascination with Foreign Languages

In parallel with Pimsleur German, I had been doing Rosetta Stone German through a work program. I completed the 16 Pimsleur lessons and lost my motivation due to the fact that there are no German communities around but also because my pipe dream was to read Steppenwolf in German, and I thought it would be a really long, tiresome haul to get there. The other thing is, after doing the 16 lessons of German, I realized that my 40+ years old high school Spanish was still way better than my German. My overall sense of the Spanish language is still there, and I suspect that the specifics of what I learned in high school are buried in the archives of my brain somewhere. So at work, I got them to switch my German license to a Spanish license. And when they made the switch, I felt like a child opening up a new present on Christmas morning. I'm breezing through the Spanish--it's still just a refresh of high school Spanish so far. My high school teachers were expatriate Cubans, with wildly entertaining, stereotypical Latin tempers by the way. I'll have to settle for eventually reading Lorca, Neruda, and Marquez. Pimsleur emphasizes speaking/listening--which is the correct way to begin learning a new language-- and Rosetta stone seems slow in getting into reading sentences and paragraphs--but to be fair, I haven't gotten far enough into Rosetta Stone. But at a garage sale yesterday, I found a college textbook called Elementary German that looks to be just perfect for me. And they gave me the book for free--actually begged me to take it! So I may be studying German and Spanish. And by the way--I noticed a great deal of similarity between some of the Spanish and German verbs.

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