Everyone has a language learning story full of trials and tribulations...and even some funny stuff. Here's mine:
I was exposed to languages from an early age. Being from New York City, languages are everywhere. From the Spanish I heard in the Bodegas to the Kreyol I heard from the parents of some of the kids I played with, to the multilingual advertisements on the trains. I somehow felt an affinity for learning Spanish really early and seemed to grasp the accent very well. I was taught basic Spanish in elementary school and it stuck with me. I continued to pick up more Spanish even though I wasn't formally studying it. I was even able to use Spanish at one of my previous jobs to talk to customers. I resumed Spanish studies in university and am currently practicing and preparing for the DELE Spanish language exam. I plan on documenting my journey to B2/C1 and having you all join me!
The next language I learned was French. I also studied French for throughout junior high school and high school in Europe, I was able to practice my French by visiting the border cities (Strasbourg and Wissembourg), and was able to become fluent (I’m out of practice and a little rusty). I occasionally watch French movies when I can and am currently using refreshers.
My next language was German (which coincidentally is my strongest foreign language). I moved to Germany at the tender age of 13 and lived there until I was 20. The first few years I spent dedicated to learning French. I initially had a desire to learn German but resolved not to learn. Why? I signed up for a German class, opened up a German textbook from school and saw the der, die, das articles. I realized it was nothing like French and seemed way too complicated. I promptly went to the guidance counselor and implored him to let me drop German and continue on with French.
But every good story starts with a boy, right? In junior year of high school I had sudden desire to learn German as a result of a crush developed on a German speaking boy who spoke no English, Waldimar (a German born Russian guy-don't ask!). I learned German as quickly as I could on my own, since the drop/add period at school had long ended.
The more fluent I became, the less of a concern Waldimar was for me. I actually forgot he was the reason that I made the effort to learn German until I was asked by a previous German employer how did I come to learn German so well. As a result of living in Germany and making the effort, I am fluent in German and have a certificate from the Goethe Institut. I even passed the German CLEP exam and earned 12 semester so that I could expedite graduation for my Bachelor studies. #BlackExcellenceAtItsBest
So that's my language learning story. There was a lot of frustration, delay, confusion as well as senses of achievement in the journey. But the journey never stops! I'd love for you to accompany me and for us to learn together!