Language learner’s lament
How can we maintain our languages and learn new ones? I will find out over the next year or so.
I am just back from a 4 week trip. Montreal, Prague, Portugal, Spain, London and Berlin. A high point was my last evening in Prague where I felt that I was really comfortably conversing in Czech, understanding almost all of the discussion and generally able to get my ideas across. Then I flew to Portugal to join my wife on a golf holiday and my Portuguese let me down it seemed. In Spain, even my Spanish was not where I wanted it.
Off to Germany, and again my Geman was not where I wanted it to be. On top of that, in trying to speak Russian at the Sprachen und Beruf language conference, I kept on coming out with Czech. Luckily I had a Russian speaking taxi driver on my way to the Airport in Berlin and as we spoke I started to feel a little better about my Russian.
So now I am back home. I want to do a 5 days to fluency challenge in Korean, leading up to a visit to Korea in the spring. Yet I don’t want to lose my Czech, and I want to recover my Russian. In addition, I was really stimulated by my visit to Berlin. I read three newspapers, Handelsblatt, Die Welt and Suddeutsche Zeitung from cover to cover on the flight back. I have been listening to an audio book of Golo Mann’s Preussen Erobert Deutschland here while cleaning up the house. I would love to focus on bringing my German up to a decent level, and yet I bought some Portugues and Spanish books while in those countries, and I want to polish up those languages.
There are only four languages that I can speak any time and anywhere without too much slippage, English, French, Japanese and Mandarin.
But today my wife and I are going to play golf, and tomorrow I have to go to the office. There is not enough time in the day. Help!!!
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