Learning anew – a new Language

Alfred Eisenstaedt - Left Bank, Paris, 1964.

Last week I decided to intensely study a new language for the next months … to get a good start with it this summer. And since I’ve made this conscious decision, my life seems different. I’ve been there before. It always seems and feels different when I set out to learn a new tongue. Languages are my passion (well, and my profession). As most other people, I think in language (who would have thought? lol). And I think best when I read, write and talk. Mere thinking without expression is half thinking at best. At least for me.

Intentionally diving into a new language is a bit like morphing… By learning not only new words and grammar but also lines of thought, ethnic prioritization patterns, cultural memory, and, last but not least, their reflection in my own thoughts, feelings, and knowledge, I will change. There are new dimensions of thinking, living, and loving to discover that I were not aware of before or simply didn’t know of. Learning a new language is also like traveling. Endless traveling. From now on I will never stop to learn this one lingo. My sights are words and concepts. My way of transportation endless pages of textbooks, dictionaries, and countless texts, talks, and videos. My passport is my own motivation. My lodging? The many moments in between when I reflect on what I saw and learned… and try to connect that to everything I knew so far. Did I say that I very much like to travel? Time- and life-consuming as it is, it is enriching.

So now I am surrounded by textbooks, grammars, notebooks, language software, some tea, and a slow, yet functioning laptop with wifi that allows me to experience language immersion vicariously through the “aether”, since I cannot go to places right now where this tongue is spoken. I feel blessed, because my current situation allows me to freely pick a language and simply learn it. How many people my age have the actual opportunity to do that?! Better I use this one now. Who knows what comes tomorrow…

In this sense: Bon voyage to me.

—-

What sends you off to a new “journey”? A new book, a new friendship, a language not yet learned, etc. …? Or maybe an “old” book, an “old” friendship, a language you already started… something that seems familiar? Just to discover that there is something new to learn in what we often consider “old”?! I’m looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

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