I’ve always wanted to be multilingual. To effortlessly switch between languages. To hold actual flowing conversations in another country. So far that goal has eluded me. But there is always hope. There has to be hope. Es muss Hoffnung geben.

At the moment German is my hope. I’ve found a memory technique which is for the first time allowing me to learn words and the tricky part – the gender. So my hopes have started to rise. So how many words do I actually know. So I counted them. Around 450…. Sounds good but apparently you need about 10000 words to be truly fluent. What’s the German for oh pants. Possibly oh hose

Still it’s a start. Once I’ve mastered German, I’m going to move onto my next big challenge. Master English. Actually that might be beyond me……

77 thoughts on “Words

  1. God, I can resonate with this. I wish I had the brain to learn and study languages, but it doesn’t seem that I do. I always thought it would be interesting to learn French actually, but the pronouns throw me off (as with any other language too). It’s difficult, especially when bereft of a proper memory technique.

    That’s really admirable, though, that you are on the path to learning German. The words you do already know will continue to add on in your vocabulary, and eventually, you can become fluent in the language. It sounds like quite the experience and journey!

    Rooting for you. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lol!!
    I studied American Sign Language (ASL) and SEE (Signing Exact English) for several years but just 2 classes away from becoming a certified interpreter, my brain dumped 99% of my knowledge and I’ve never regained it… though I can still finger spell. And 5yrs of Spanish, plus living in SoCal, has left me able to understand more than I can say.

    I know “belly button” in Korean. Does that count??

    What’s your memory technique?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bah! English is way over-rated. 🙂 I took 2 years of Latin and 2 years of German, and can’t remember much of either. I would love to learn Sign Language sometime, though! Do take care of yourself along with your family. Find moments to breathe, and to smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t even begin to imagine learning a second language. French was mandatory in school. I didn’t learn much. Didn’t retain much of what I learned either. I have other things taking up room in my head I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fifty years ago I decided the best linguistic necessity for me was learning to say please and thank you to everyone in their own language. I got pretty good for awhile, I had a gift of guessing most people’s language of origin. People, especially visitors to Canada and immigrants, really appreciated a little kindliness in their own language. But the older I got, the more confused I got. I’ve lost most of it, but I tried.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The best way to learn another language is to watch soap operas with subtitles on Netflix. Soap operas are great because scripts are basic and dialogue relies heavily on popular culture, slang and current phrasing rather than rigid textbook propriety.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s a very good point. When I started learning Dutch the instructor named a specific soap opera that we should all watch — it’s quite an effective way of hearing how the language should sound.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Language is organic and fluid, not textbook rigid. Your Dutch instructor strikes me as a keeper. That said, soap operas aside, certain people adapt to language learning more than others. My husband speaks French, Spanish and passable Japanese aside from our native English. I struggle to conquer bare bone basics of French and Spanish. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Heh. I generally manage ordering in bars and restaurants and when I know what we’re talking about. But as soon as someone changes the subject I can be completely thrown.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Same here. I can find the bathroom, order food/drinks, take cues and fill in the blanks based on body language in French and Spanish. Trouble being the moment I utter what little grasp of the language I have, respondents assume I’m far more fluent than I am. I’d have a fighting chance if they spoke slowly but that rarely happens.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve found Duolingo (it’s a website and also has an app) to be a reasonably effective way of learning and/or practicing language skills. You spend five to ten minutes a day repeating phrases until they start to come naturally.

    I’m tempted to try learning Welsh, just so I can suggest visiting Patagonia one of these days 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I took me a while to really get used to it, but the endless practice does seem to be working for me.

        That said, whatever works for you is whatever works for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh good luck – I hope you find a way. Personally I find languages the hardest things in the world to learn. Einstein’s Special and General Relativity – this stuff is no problem but French makes me think I’m going to die of having my brain too twisted up. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a natural non-affinity for language. I tried to teach myself Spanish when I had a number of students who were from Spanish-speaking families. Parent conferences are challenging when a third of my parents don’t speak English.
    I had a second grade student from India one year. He spoke ten languages. Kids learn so much more quickly.
    For the last four years, until March, I volunteered as a conversational tutor with adult English language learners from many countries. It’s amazing to see people older than me working so hard at learning English.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have always been envious of people who are multi-lingual, who can just change without difficulty from one to another. From what I understand, English is one of the hardest to learn, and after all us who speak it often have trouble with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You are farther ahead than me… I am English only…

    Here in the United States – English is the first language, but Spanish is huge here too. Also Russian .

    When I was in school, I wanted French – all my friends were in French and French is romantic lol ✌️😄😘

    But my dad wouldn’t let me take French – made me take Spanish 🤨 I wasn’t interested at the time and I don’t listen very well if not interested (I was young lol)

    I can pick our simple words and can communicate Spanish ever so slightly. If they go too fast they lose me lol

    My traditional Irish Catholic Churches used to be in Latin (forget that!!) always had no idea lol

    So yeah basically English only … I just use google translate – makes it way easier 😘✌️ I can communicate with everyone – no matter the language ❤️


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