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Brain dying

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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh, what a wonderful trip!

    I visited friends in Germany, and was totally lost with that language. Then we drove into France. I dug up some long unused high school French, and managed to get us some nice lunch for the effort :)

    More recently, I was able to visit Belgium. Belgium speaks 3 languages, English, French, and Dutch. It was interesting to use some of that high school French again, but we also could suffer through some English when needed.
    987 days ago
    Not retiring, not any time soon (for some of the reasons you mention). But Paris in the spring? Excellent reason to learn French. Hope you get to St Chapelle -- maybe my fave jewel box of a Gothic Cathedral.


    C'est magnifique, n'est-ce pas??
    988 days ago
    It IS good for the brain. And we do get less able to acquire new language as we age... French will ave lots of parallels to Italian and Spanish, so your knowledge of those may help. And you may do better at deciphering the written than the oral... Which helps when travelling! At least you can figure out signs, menus etc. Good luck!
    988 days ago
  • DESIREE671
    I bet you can do better than you think, but even if you don't, I agree, it's a good workout for the brain. emoticon
    988 days ago
  • 1958TMC
    Maybe you should take a translation book with you ,for sure.
    988 days ago
    Keep Sparking💥👍🏼🙃
    989 days ago
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