Awesome # 101: Learning a Foreign Language

I studied French (in the core program, not immersion) from the third to the eleventh grade. I studied Spanish for two years during my undergraduate degree. I spent 4 months in Shanghai, China, where I made a futile attempt (but it was an attempt nonetheless) to learn some Mandarin. Then, I went to Montréal for 5 weeks for intensive French studies through the Explore program at l’Université de Montréal. Most currently, I’ve been living in Tasiujaq amongst the Inuit and surrounded by Inuktitut. Yet, English is the only language I can rightly say that I speak with even an ounce of fluency.

But despite my lack of a knack for language learning, I enjoy learning a foreign language immensely. Especially in the beginning. Foreign languages are exciting, beautiful, and intriguing. Speaking in a new language is like tasting something new and delicious.

When I speak about the world in a different language, it’s like looking at the world through a different lens – things that are so familiar to me, that I have always known, change somewhat as they acquire a little exoticness. My little house is mi casa pequeña, je bois mon café noir après le petit déjeuner, pendant que j’écris and il y a beaucoup de neige a l’exterior. 

From foreign places come foreign languages – places to discover, places that I want to discover, and discover, I wish to do in their native languages as much as possible.

So, in light of my upcoming Italian adventure, I purchased Michael P. San Filippo’s Learn Italian in a Hurry: Grasp the Basics of Italiano Rapidamente! Significantly less challenging than Mandarin and Inuktitut, yet slightly more challenging than French and Spanish, Italian is the language I hope to be speaking at least conversationally by the time I board the train to Venice to begin my Italian adventure.

Buon giorno!

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