Running to keep up

united-kingdomSo, I’ve got to be honest with you guys. Trying to balance the reemergence of my social life with trying to do as much overtime as humanly possible without reducing my brain to sludge has proven a little trickier than I had anticipated, and as such the advent of October has taken me completely by surprise. I am therefore, I’m ashamed to say, woefully underprepared for my blog post this month. I’ve got nothing prepared (at least nothing that is currently fit for human consumption), so I thought I’d do a bit of a candid update – catch you guys up on some of the stuff I’ve been working on. I hope that’ll suffice for now.

So, as I mentioned, I’ve been working a lot and I’ve been trying to make time to go out and see people, to try and get some semblance of a social life back after a year and a half of hermitude. I’m not sure hermitude is a word, but if I use it often enough, it’ll become one, right? Hermitude, hermitude, hermitude. I’ll be publishing this on the internet, and we know the OED loves a written source they can point to. Keep an eye out in the next edition, in any case. So yeah, I haven’t had a lot of time for language learning recently – I’ve been reading books and watching films, I had a brief flirtation with Mandarin after watching Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell. It would be weird to say that Awkwafina inspired me to learn a language, but in a way, it’s kind of true. That definitely isn’t a priority right now, though. I’m still chugging along making slow progress with both Welsh and Korean, but they’ve kind of been put on the back burner. At the moment I’ve probably only been spending about an hour a week each on them, which definitely isn’t a path to fluency within this century. But even slow progress is progress.

IMG_5056The thing that I’ve spent most time on over the past month, surprising even me, is Spanish. I know I’ve written about an encounter with Spanish before, but this time… I don’t know. It feels different somehow. I’ve got people I can actually practice with, for one. I’ve mostly been sticking to Duolingo for this, but I’ve been trying to do a bit of reading and the Duolingo audio lessons are a fun little thing I’ve never had before – I guess because the Spanish course is much more developed than any of the others I’ve tried in the past. It’s been just over a month since I started, and while I’m still very much in the una mesa para tres personas, por favor! stage, I feel like I’m starting to get a feel for what makes this language tick. I’m painfully aware that it’s only going to get more complicated as I move forward and (hopefully) progress, but I think I’m ready for it. Who knows, maybe this time I’ll actually manage to get a Romance language under my belt! I’ve tried pretty much all of them at this point, so… if not this, then what?

I’m still holding onto the dream that I’ll end up as a translator, working with a small European language. Someone posted something similar on Twitter the other day and it really lit a fire under me… I’ve got this dream and I’ve got all this passion and interest but at the moment it’s completely directionless. If I close my eyes and think about it, I keep coming back to Slovene, or maybe Greek… but learning either one of these from scratch will be a huge undertaking I’m just not sure I have the time for right now. But on the other hand, if I don’t start soon, I’m going to be stuck doing the same thing I’m doing now for the next twenty years. So that’s a nice little source of anxiety and fear that’s constantly bubbling away at the back of my brain.

But that depressing note isn’t where I want to end this. The frustrating thing is that I know these are all goals I can achieve, I just need a kick square up the arse to get me off the sofa, rotting in front of Netflix and actually doing something. That’s something I need to work on. But for now, I’ve worked hard this week so I’m going to be kind to myself and put on another episode of One Tree Hill. As always, thank you for reading – if you want to get in touch you can do so on Twitter or Instagram (I’m @sprakskatan on both), take care of and be kind to yourselves out there. See you next month for Polyglot NaNoWriMo!

– J.

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