Language Is an Art

My College Courses

Right now, I`m really a full time student. Oh, sure, I`m taking only twelve credits of actual classes. But my studying isn`t just taking place on campus! I`m also learning stuff outside of the classroom. Call me geeky, but I could spend a week poring through all kinds of nonfiction books in the library. I mean, I could spend a month in the fiction section without getting bored, but I think a week is still beyond the tolerance or interest of the average bear.

The actual courses I`m taking are Western Civilizations II, Composition II, SDV which is basically a how-to be a student class that I`m required to take, and my elective which is History of Britain I. I know, it is a crazy choice as an elective, especially considering that I could have used that time to take an economics course! After all, business is the degree I`m aiming for, but I still haven`t taken a single class in it. Kind of backward, I know, but that`s just how the dice fell.

If Wishes Were Wells, I`d Have my Fount of Knowledge

I wanted to take an economics course, and a geology class, and a ceramics class. But those were all taken within minutes of registration opening! I suppose the saying ‘you snooze, you loose’ applies here, as I really should have stayed up the night to register in the early A.M. I guess I`m just an anomaly of a student, as I don`t actually like staying up at all hours. I don`t find it that fun. I`m a creature of the light (which is pretty funny to say, as I`m one of those weirdos that actually prefers rainy days!) and I get cranky if I stay up all night. I can hardly manage sleep overs!

Self Taught

Kanji___FireSo, in lieu of taking this courses at the college, I figured I might as well learn the content on my own. That means a lot more trips to the library to pick up some resources, but I really don`t mind! So far I`ve managed to work my way through a gem and mineral identification book, and I`m slogging through the Remembering The Kanji series. It`s not that it is a hard course, I just don`t want to speed through it so fast that I get worn out and give up on learning Japanese at all. I`ve been there, done that, and it is time that I really commit to learning this language! I think, once I`m tolerably skilled in Japanese, I`m going to work my way through French and Korean as well. French because it is a lovely language that I happen to learn very easily, and Korean because I`m surrounded by it. Our little Korea is bigger than L.A.`s Chinatown, and I`m pretty sure ours is much more authentic. Honestly, it is pretty hard to find any English subtitles on signs here, let alone people who bother to speak it. I think that I may also be rather paranoid, as I`m always sure that those around me are saying something about me. And I may or may not be an inveterate eavesdropper who wants to hear what people are chatting about, though I`ll never tell!

Learning Japanese, Korean, and French

I also really like the Japanese and Korean cultures. I love the fashion of Korea, (so much better than Paris`s fashion week!) and the music. I like the art and story telling of Japan, as well as the architecture and interior design. I love the food of the French, of course, but I think I want to learn that more to avoid judgement on my future trip through Europe. Of all the groups I`ve come into contact with (have you seen D.C.? This place is more diverse than Singapore, and that`s saying something!) I think the French are quicker to shun those who aren`t like them. Even the Russians seem to be friendlier, though it takes them awhile to do so, and they only really open up in the privacy of their own homes. I suppose that could be a holdover from communist Russia, though it could also stem from the fact that they always seem to have a dictatorial government. I do love them, their food, their casualness and innate elegance, but I can`t ignore such little details. If it makes my French readers feel better, I think Americans have an identity crisis problem, the old school Koreans seem to be unable to resist haggling, and the Japanese are too strict about manners and relative social class.  On a side note, I had considered learning Russian and Arabic instead of Korean, but I`ve revised that idea. It just seems too hard! I know that sounds wimpy, but Japanese is already a big project, so I think I`ll stick with that.

I love Learning!

I really love learning, and I hope to continue to do so. I want to learn to play the harmonica and guitar, learn how to take better photos, learn new types of cooking.  I want to do so much, and I have so few years of life to do it all in. But in the meantime, I can happily butcher Japanese grammar and pronounce bonjour as ‘bone gore’, and try to improve a little bit day by day.

How do you keep yourself sharp, and what are you learning about for fun? What advice do you have for studying a language?


4 thoughts on “Language Is an Art

  1. I am studying Arabic. It is slow going because I don’t spend enough time on it. Sooner or later one should go the total immersion route to really learn a language.

    • I feel the same! After I finish senior year in college, I have some dreams of spending a year or two as an English teacher in Japan. I love travel and meeting people, and I`d be learning at the same time!

  2. I think my greatest difficult isn`t in immersion, though. There is so much material in Japanese available to me, from movies to books. I think the hardest part has been my dyslexia rearing its ugly head, but so far I`ve worked past that rather well.

  3. Pingback: Food Adventures: Korean | The Great Zambini's Blog

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