Español or English, which is more difficult
I like to think I have a head for languages. I have learnt, French (at school) Greek (in the field), Swahili (in the field) and now I’m learning Spanish, so which one is the most difficult to learn?
I love languages, I love speaking languages, I love listening to languages and I kinda love learning a new language, OK after the initial hurdle that is, once something has clicked, like a lightbulb moment.
I learnt French at school, I’m sure you all know what school was like ‘back in the day’ lots of drilling and not much theory, but I loved it, I even begged my parents to send me on the school trip to France so I could practise, and I did, and I was good at it. Until the exams came and I completely froze, I couldn’t remember anything I was too nervous. It was unfair, I loved French and I could speak it but put me in front of an examiner and I speak gobbledygook!
Some time after I left school, I left the UK…..to go and work in Greece, I needed to have this experience before settling down, getting married and having babies. It changed my life! I got a job in a family run taverna and away I went with the language. I was eating, sleeping, drinking Greek, I would spend my mornings with Papa Niko, coffee for me, beer for him, and we would talk, or he would talk and I would listen and learn. That’s what I mean by ‘in the field’. There were no rules, I didn’t have a teacher I just picked it up, I was like a sponge, but I know I made so many mistakes.
10 years later (I was only supposed to go to Greece for a couple of years) boyfriend and I ended up in Zanzibar, another language to learn, crickey. We got the Swahili cd and started listening to it, but it wasn’t very motivating, so again, we learnt ‘in the field’. We had a 3 month power cut in our first year so there was nothing better to do than sit outside talking to the locals and practising, we improved but not much because we didn’t have good teachers to correct our mistakes or explain certain rules. Swahili was easy, everything seemed to have the letter ‘i’ on the end of it, so if you didn’t know the vocabulary, just use an English word and add i, ici creami, caulifloweri, peanuti butteri.
So now Spanish, we are learning this one in the field AND in the classroom (in Las Palmas) which is great fun. We need to get this one right, and we are, but boy oh boy some of it is difficult, past tense is a nightmare but slowly slowly with more practise it’s getting easier. I’m having more and more lightbulb moments which are great. I’m learning the rules and making less mistakes which has given me more confidence to get out there and show them what I can do.
Over to you guys, are you learning more than one language? Do you find one particular language more difficult, or is it a walk in the park? When was your ‘lightbulb moment’? We would love to know.