I’m taking French, paid for by my office (and totally unrelated to my recent promotion). My skill level can be best described as various slug-like inching improvements. I’m getting better, but I don’t feel any smarter, until my French speaking friends tweet me something and I realize I understand it.
Rosetta Stone is a very weird way to learn. They just start by showing you pictures labeled “un homme” and “une femme” and they read them aloud, making you go “Oh, that’s a dude and a lady. Right.” Their theory is that this is how you learned as a kid. You didn’t get a list of words to memorize, you just were presented with words and people assumed you understood what they meant.
The problem I have found is that I have language. I understand words have meanings, so there’s no crystal moment where I go “Oh! There’s a WORD for MAN!” My brain continues to try to make that connection of ‘mot = word’ and so on. I have to keep forcing myself not to think too much about the words.
Lately I’ve been working on tenses (past, present, future) and because all the words sound so similar, I’ve been struggling. But for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, I ‘immerse’ myself in French to try and get this. I do bitch on Twitter now and then about how it makes my head hurt, and sometimes my friends reward me.
Mon dieu! Un illustré aujourd’hui seulement pour toi!
Apparently the moon is gay.