Hello, ola, bonjour, hei! and all sorts of other foreigny goodness!
Been a while since my last post and for a very good reason too…
A few days ago i made the decision to attempt to complete something i have always wanted to do…learn another language!
Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, i am a British person attempting to learn a foreign language, a native English speaker choosing not to always rely on a Foreign person knowing English.
A bit of background first though:
When i first went to High School, (this is how it was done at my school, not sure about other schools around the UK) all the kids that were in my year group, were split into two groups, you had no choice what group you were put in, you were just told your class and given your timetable. 50 % were taught German and the other 50 % French. I believe this was so that different classes could be scheduled so there were no clashes on timetables.
I was in the group that was to be taught French and you know what? i was actually alright at it too! I didn’t have the top grade or the worst grade, i was nice and comfortable in the middle being able to hold a bit of a conversation as well as read and write, so all in all i done quite well in French. Could i have done better? Yes absolutely, whilst i did study and got an acceptable grade for my 4 year French class, i know that i probably could have pushed for a little bit more which would have given me a better grade (just the next one up from mine) which would have allowed access to the further 2 year Higher course which you do in the last 2 years of school.
But…and this is where silly teenage Nicky rears her ugly head…
I chose to centre my entire universe around what grades i needed for joining the Navy straight after school. Now i know what you are thinking ‘but Nicky, surely in the Navy you will visit places like France where knowing the language would be very useful indeed?’
Well…you are correct!
In my infinite wisdom (at age 15/16) i decided that i was going to concentrate more on the grades i though would be more beneficial for joining the Navy, so subjects such as Maths, English and Physical Education whilst i let French and a few others fall by the way side. My whole attitude at school was ‘who cares? i’m joining the Navy so wont need half of these subjects’.
In fact i’m embarrassed to admit that i may have used that ridiculous line a lot of kids have used ‘i’ll probably never go to France anyway so why should i learn it?’
Yep the stupid was strong in this one i tell you!
So i spent 13 years in the Navy travelling to all these amazing exotic locations and you know what? I did go to France…several times! Along with several West African countries that speak French (i had no idea!), oh how i wished i was fluent so that i could talk to the locals and make sense of restaurant menus, plus there is this strange feeling of being a part of an elite club that knows what everyone is talking about whilst your friends don’t have a clue.
Back to the present!
So i can’t really remember what happened the other day to spark this fire in me to begin learning again, just that once i got started i was hooked and have been spending several hours every night on Doulingo and Memrise learning and testing myself. If you are considering learning a new language then i highly recommend these 2 websites!
Ah but i haven’t went back to learning French (not yet anyway), i decided to start fresh with Norwegian. The reason being, i wanted a new language that i felt would hold my interest in the long run (i love Norway and would move there in a heartbeat) as well as an ‘easyish’ language to begin with. (Norwegian is considered relatively easy enough for English speakers to achieve along with French, German, Spanish etc). Another benefit to learning Norwegian is that it provides a good foundation and stepping stone to the other Scandinavian languages (Sweden and Danish) as the 3 are quite similar.
I am debating wether or not to study French casually alongside my main study of Norwegian. I still remember a lot from my French classes that i reckon i would be able to pick it back up in no time at all. I started watching language videos on youtube and there was one from Babbel a language website that had a guy who could have a conversation whist switching between several different languages! It was pretty bloody amazing!!!
I feel like i have a new thirst for learning languages now which is strange because i’ve never been too fussed about it till now, it’s strange when you realise something new about yourself when you thought you knew everything about what makes you tick. Life has a way of making you surprise yourself sometimes.
So my plan is, by this time next year i will be able to speak confidently, read and write in Norwegian and hopefully if i feel comfortable enough have started on a second language (possibly French but toying with Danish or Swedish, French would be a sensible idea though).
I get the feeling that i will always be learning something throughout the rest of my life, i will always want to learn something new, it could be a new strange hobby that my ‘adult’ self has decided to explore and you know what? that’s fine by me!
Av for en te…