I have been increasingly intrigued by other languages over the past while. Years really. No idea why, it just seems to interest me. The thought of speaking to someone in a different way yet getting ideas across… Perhaps that is why. Or perhaps I just don’t like being unable to understand things that are in plain view or earshot.
I have said this elsewhere, that I work in retail; and infrequent though it is, I do get customers in who don’t, or cannot speak English, or just can’t very well. I have often wished at that point that I could be the one to bridge that gap and converse with them in their own language, even if poorly on my part.
To that end, I often pay attention to translations of this or that. French is so prevalent in Canadian culture and advertising that it is difficult not to learn some of the language even without trying. I have even picked up on some key phrases and words in Japanese from watching as much anime as I have these past months. I am very very far from being able to make use of that language in any meaningful form; however it feels good to know what little I do.
And all of that has led me to today, and yesterday really. I was reading Android magazine, and they featured this among many other apps: Duolingo. It’s a free app that offers to teach you a few different languages. Alas, no japanese; however french is there. And that one I feel is more important to my every day life at this point than being able to watch anime without subtitles.
So I started in on the app and it’s training last night while enjoying the night air and a fire on my deck; and thus far I have been fairly surprised by how much I do know of the French language. Don’t get me wrong. I couldnt hold a conversation with a stick at this point, but it has been easy for me to comprehend many of the phrases and words in the training thus far. I still struggle with so much of the grammar and genderization in that language, but I am slowly picking up on syntax. And every new word I learn brings me closer to making true use of the tongue.
I am going to keep at this. So far the lessons have been quick and poignant, and a lot of fun. I find myself trying to speak the phrases I am leaning, and often get a step wrong because I translate the phrase to English and key it as such instead of entering the French text. The amuses me.
So we will see where this goes. Hopefully it isn’t a passing fancy as so many other interests in my life. Only time will tell that. Until later,
Au revoir à plus tard!