Monday, February 27, 2017
I used to feel I had a facility with foreign language. I took Latin in high school, followed by German in high school and college. I learned some Spanish visiting family in Mexico, and learned some basic Italian while stationed in Italy. When I thought I would be stationed in Japan I started a Japanese course, but then found I would not go to Japan and dropped it. I learned tourist Portuguese from tapes before visiting Brazil. I have always felt it was pretty easy to get started, at least, in another language.
Except one. I once tried learning Mandarin Chinese from tapes, and quickly gave up. I had no framework to hang the new sounds on. I simply quit.
Now my effort is for French. Seems impossible. My wife and I plan a trip to Paris in April, with some driving to southern France. This is a long-wanted trip for my wife. I hope that I can survive spending weeks in a place noted for wonderful food. But the language! Again, with the tapes, I find I cannot remember from one moment to the next what I'm saying, or trying to say. The requirement to respond seems fast. I feel swamped.
My sense it that my brain is simply not as nimble as it was in doing this kind of work. I'm happy to do it, though. Not only may I have a little success with the language during our visit, but I'm sure this is great brain exercise.
Retiring is a big deal!