So on my trip to Europe, I was struck by one thing more than almost anything else. Most of the people over there speak a different language than I do. And sure, a lot of them also speak the same language I do, but they go to the trouble of keeping multiple languages in their head at the same time.
It has always kind of bothered me that I am monolingual, especially because I enjoy languages so much. But I guess each time I’ve studied a new language, I get bored or something, and move on. First there was Spanish, and then Latin, then Russian, and then Italian. Maybe the problem was that aside from Spanish, I chose to study some pretty silly languages. More importantly, I studied languages that really no one I interacted with regularly spoke.
Now this whole time I had a pretty healthy disdain for French, for no reason other than I just “knew” it was stupid. It sounded ridiculous, and from the little I had seen, the pronunciation and spelling made absolutely no sense. So I never bothered with it.
But after my trip to Europe I decided that I need to speak more than one language. It has been a goal of mine, and if I don’t do it now, then I’ll probably always just keep putting it off. And so for a couple of reasons, I ended up choosing French, the language that I had thought was really stupid and weird.
Firstly, I really enjoyed the French speaking parts of the world that I had just visited. Brussels and Paris were both really great places to visit, and I wouldn’t mind going back. Also, I really want to go to Montreal, where they speak French. And there are French speaking places in the Caribbean, so perfect.
But secondly, and more importantly, Kelly knows French, better than she likes to admit, so she won’t be put on the spot. But living with someone who speaks the language makes all the difference in the world. I can practice what I have learned, I can hear the correct pronunciations, and I have someone who is very patient with me to help me out. Perfect situation.
I’m also using the Rosetta Stone software, which I highly recommend. It isn’t perfect, but it does a really good job of getting you going, and does a pretty decent job of honing your pronunciation, even if sometimes it thinks you are saying something wrong when you obviously aren’t. I would say that French is the first language that I have tried where I can actually sound like I am speaking with a “native”-ish accent, as opposed to saying Italian words with an American accent.
So yeah, I’m having a really good time, and hopefully this time I can stick with it.