So, cards on the table here… this isn’t the post I’d had planned for this month, but it seemed kind of in bad taste to post that, given everything that’s going on in the world. So I’ve relegated that until next month, and instead, I wanted to share a little impromptu check-in about my language-learning journey. Because surprisingly, quite a lot has been going on. It feels good to be back into the swing of things. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
First of all, it seems appropriate with today being St. David’s Day, that we talk about Welsh a little first. To all of the Welsh people reading this, I’d like to wish you a great big Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus, and shower you with virtual daffodils. I’m having a great time learning Welsh. It’s been on my list for years, and now, with this new textbook (which you can see to the right), I feel like I’m finally making some progress. We’re still covering the basics, but I can string together a semi-coherent sentence nowadays: Dw i’n mynd i’r sinema nos Fercher ar y trên! (I’m going to the cinema on Wednesday night on the train!) I’m lucky to be living in the UK because I’ve even been able to get sucked into S4C (the Welsh-language broadcaster)’s long-running soap opera, Pobol Y Cwm. And believe me, when I say sucked into… I mean it. It’s only on a couple of days a week, and I’m completely lost without it when it isn’t on! I’ve got a couple of episodes to catch up on when I’ve finished writing this, actually, so… best to crack on.
Aside from Welsh, my fabled textbooks arrived for Korean – all the way from South Korea! I’ve done bits and pieces on Korean before, but I’ve decided to restart and go with the Talk To Me in Korean series (TTMiK for short). I ordered the first bundle – the textbook and workbook, and so far I’m quite enjoying the slow-drip method of releasing new information. I already knew how to say 안녕하세요, but the extra information about levels of politeness is new to me. So even though I’m still in the process of re-covering old ground, I’m learning new bits and pieces every time I sit down. It’s been a very pleasant experience so far, and while I know it shouldn’t really matter from an academic perspective, the fact that these textbooks are beautifully designed really does help. Don’t get me wrong, they’re expensive, but from my experience so far, I’d say they’re worth it.
Aside from those two, there’s not that much else to tell. I’ve been very good at avoiding my usual vice of dabbling, though I’ll admit I’ve been tempted to blow the dust off my Ukrainian textbook once or twice. I’ve managed to resist thus far, but who knows how long that will last. I’ve also started trying to electronically compile the notes I took in my Latgalian classes, but that’s really just reviewing and writing up old information rather than learning anything new – it’s been helpful, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t really feel like learning so much as typing practice. I do hope to advance a little with my Latgalian, but that’s for the future. For now, I’m going to keep crawling along these twin language learning paths at my own pace, trying my utmost not to compare myself to other learners and just to do what I can, when I can. I honestly think this is probably the healthiest way I’ve been able to express my love of languages for a while.
What have you been doing with your language-learning over the winter? I’d love to hear from you. If you want to get in touch, you can leave a comment here or find me on Twitter and Instagram (I’m @sprakskatan) on both. As always, I’d like to say thank you, diolch yn fawr and 감사합니다 for reading, and I’ll see you when we return to our regularly scheduled programming next month.