I was just reading a post on one of my favorite blogs (Learning to Speak) which talked about language (mostly) goals she had set for herself, and that got me thinking about my own language abilities.

So here is the overview of my linguistic abilities, for anyone that cares. it really isn’t impressive.

I am Fluent in….

Yep, that’s it, sad isn’t it?

I am learning….

The sad thing about Spanish; is that although my mother is Colombian and I have taken two years of Spanish in high school, I am still FAR from fluent. You would think that growing up with a native speaker would leave you with at least a basic knowledge of the language. Honestly though most (90%ish?) of my Spanish has come from my high school Spanish teacher; and little beyond everyday phrases and some vocabulary actually came from my mother. Don’t get me wrong I adore my mother, and everything about her; I just wish she had taken the time to teach me her native tongue when I was younger. She always says that at the time it was more important for her to learn English than for us (my sister and I) to learn Spanish.

I really hope that one day I can master the language; maybe even spend sometime in South America. For now I will be pleased just to use my basic knowledge on my trip to Spain in October. (more about that in another post)

The first time I heard the language was several years ago when I watched the film An American Rhapsody, which had some Hungarian in it. I never really thought about learning the language until I chose Hungary as my top choice for my exchange. Then when I was assigned the country in January this year, the need to learn it became real and necessary. Even then it seemed an abstract thought, “sometime in the future I will need this”, and thus August fast approached and my knowledge of the complex language barely increased. If it wasn’t for the wonderful help of Mrs. T-S, I probably would have know much less when I landed here in Budapest one month ago. I listened to tapes, and podcasts, and read books; but still I knew very little.

I have been here a month now, well in two days, but still pretty much a month. Now a month later, I feel like I know nothing. I speak primarly in english  with just phrases and simple responses being given in Hungarian. When I landed I thought, ok, in a month I am sure this crazy language will be easier; but now I am thinking, maybe in another month I will understand more. It seems like I have learned nothing, while my fellow exchangers are hurtling ahead of me; I feel like a dead weight. I love Hungary, but I wish that I would grasp this difficult tongue. I know it is silly, but it feels as if, if I mastered this language life would just fit together her so much easier.

Ah, I have completely diverged from my point, and will continue now.

Other Languages I want to learn…
American Sign Language
Irish Gaelic

I will probably never learn any of these, but they intrigue me none the less. The last two are the least possible; but still you never know.

I wish I could speak dozens of different languages; but I don’t so for now all I can to is chip away at my current mountain; Hungarian.


4 thoughts on “Languages

  1. I know you’ll learn the hungarian language, and please forgive me for not teaching you spanish, but you are still young and you could be fluent, speaking 5 languages still. Remember I was 24 when I started to learn English. Your writting is so wonderful, I enjoy reading everything on your blog. I promise I’ll look at it more often now!

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