Monday, June 27, 2011

Lousy at Latin Language Learning

After being on vacation for almost a week, I dropped back into my Romanian life at a picnic. No, there was no magic vacation miracle, I still am really bad at speaking and understanding this new language. While there are no excuses, here are my reasons:

I don't put enough time into it. This is all on me, there is no one else to blame. The experts say a little every day, but I tend to do it all wrong and put in giant chunks of time, which leaves me frustrated and brain dead. This is not the way to learn, it is the way to fry my brain.

I don't put enough energy into it. I know how I have to learn. I am visual, I do great with flashcards and rote memorization. I know this is a stupid and boring way to learn, but it works for me. But it means making Post-its to tack on my steering wheel, making refrigerator lists, making flash cards, playing the computer games and putting some effort in. The words I need to learn are not going to come from sleeping on a Romanian Pillow Dictionary.

My hearing is shot. While the really crummy vertigo part of my Meniere's Disease is over, I am left with significant hearing loss in my left ear. I can hear vowel sounds, but the nerve died and my brain can't process the constanants. Moldovans are loud at parties, but extremely quiet in normal life. They have the whisper gene.

I don't have the language gene. Or the singing, drawing or skinny thighs gene.

Romanian is very musical. One word blends into the next, and I find it very hard to know if it is a string of their very long list of two letter words, or one big honking word. If only people came with closed captioning.

Romanian has difficult grammar. It is easy to read, it is phonetic, but by George there are 35 different ways to say This, That, These and Those. The verbs are off the charts crazy. And adding Of, A and The at the ends of the words? Whoever made up that rule needs to be force fed Scrabble tiles.

The kids speak Romanglish. This morning was a great example. I had four teenage girls with me. Here was the conversation. Romanian...Russian...Yeah, like so cool...Romanian...Fa...Russian...That is so ghetto...Romanian...My Mom said to...Fa...Russian...Romanian...pimples....Russian...Cheetos..KFC...Fa...About the only thing my mixed up brain and lack of hearing gets is Fa, which is like saying Girl! They call each other that, but they say it is only to be used by the youth. Great, my new word is useless!

Teodora, Nina, Laura and Daniella

 The morning ended with driving them back to their apartments. They were singing songs in Romanian, so pretty, so sweet, such beautiful wonderful girls who actually choose to spend their time with me. Fa, I love Romanian!

How to Be a More Successful Language Learner (Teaching Methods)