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12 January 2023


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Languages, other than my own (SoCAL American) fascinate me and it doesn't matter that I can't understand the words, they all make me happy just to listen and imagine... but that is problematic.
My sister learned 5 languages while still in high school. I imagine her brain traveling around Europe like a tiny car on twisty roads always ending up where she set out to be. I taught myself a bit of ASL, and later as a young married learned ASL -and the culture- (almost as important as the language) in more in depth from missionaries looking to teach those who wanted to learn. Eventually I knew enough to interpret for k-12 schooling. I feel learning ASL was easier for me because it is visual and tactile rather than dependent on hearing alone... I can't listen fast enough.

Currently I (volunteer)attempt to "teach" American English to 2 Afghani refugees and I pity them because along with not being able to listen quickly I also seem to lack the skill to speak slowly. It's frustrating for my sweet intelligent students who are incredibly patient with me. We sit and learn together (I've learned that "banana" in Pashto is pronounced the same as my daughter's name "K-lah","apple" sounds like "muh-nah" -which makes me think of the Muppet song and the only way I seem to remember the accented syllable, and "Spog -my" is "Moon" and the name of one of our new refugee babies who is so pretty and sweet she makes me cry every time I see her) I feel quite inept, but I keep trying! I have also found that my students are gleaning ASL a bit as we go along because I unconsciously gesture as I speak and find myself often using my ASL as I speak English (to *everyone* -insert eye roll here).

All this to say I am extremely impressed by everyone who has made a life move to a foreign country and is able to learn a second language!

My Grandson is fluent in several languages and I love to hear different cultures and the languages
and all that is new and exciting to each reason
I love your postings so very much

I bet you've learned all the words for things at the brocante, from furniture to paintings and vintage clothing. ;-)

Times are written the same way in Portuguese as in French.

Even with two years of Portuguese coursework before my first trip to the Azores, I quickly discovered that immersion is an entirely different experience from classroom participation or written exams.

I concur with Diogenes that one tends to learn micro-vocabularies about certain topics -- in your case for brocanting, in mine re garden crops, genealogy, and other subjects of interest.

Learning languages other than one's mother tongue opens up the possibility of millions of new friendships as well as greater understanding of cultures other than our own.

A really interesting post. Thank you,Corey.

I do love languages, but sadly only know American English.
I can pick up a few words if I listen or read carefully.
How I wish I had opportunity when young to live in another country and immerse in another language.

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