Forays into learning a new language

After much deliberation and some discussion with friends about the best Scandinavian language to learn, I purchased “Teach Yourself Norwegian”. It was available on iTunes as an e-book with audio, which seemed like a good option.

Over the years I have gained a passing familiarity with a number of languages: I studied Latin to O-level and French to A-level. I subsequently worked my way through books on German, Italian (Latin helped) and Spanish (a Spanish friend was amazed to find that although I spoke no Spanish I could read good chunks of a website she was looking at - French and Latin helped there). At university I took a year-long course in Welsh. I wanted to see if I had any affinity with my ancestral language. It turned out that I didn’t really. Welsh is not the easiest of languages to learn - though it is probably far from the most difficult. I think it is just very different from the group of languages I have experienced thus far in my life. I can do the accent fine, just not the vocab. And as for the mutations at the start of words…

Other than my French and Welsh studies, most of my learning has been theoretical rather than practical. When I was studying there was no internet, no easy access to foreign language programmes other than twiddling the old shortwave radio knobs late at night and hoping. Living in the UK meant very little exposure to anything “foreign” back then. Nor was I/am I a great traveller, having left these shores only five times in my life.

So here I go, off into unknown territory. I have no idea how far I will get, or even what use it will be, but any attempt at furthering knowledge has to be good for the soul. One day I will get round to learning (or trying to learn) Esperanto, another language which fascinates me.