Tag Archives: learning language

Æ, þad mikið um að vera!

I’ve been learning Icelandic.  Rather, now that we’re going, I’m cramming with a vengeance, trying to make up for a year’s procrastination.  Less than three hours a day is nearly no progress, and I’ve spent upwards of six hours (up early/up late) trying to feel like I’m getting somewhere.  It is hard.  It is so hard (and I usually put an obscenity in that sentence), I don’t think I’ve ever done anything more difficult with my brain.  Nothing in school, nothing at work, not even writing websites in HTML in 1991.   It requires such a complete concentration that time just flies, while the subject matter and exercises do NOT.

Icelandic is so different and complex that it makes a passage of Spanish or French look positively relaxing to me now.  After hundreds of hours, no exaggeration, I am probably able to make a sentence as elaborate and clear as I was able to in Spanish on my first day “studying”.  There is a little improvement.  I’ve got a vocabulary learning system that shows me the words I knew last time I checked, and now, and every time I run through my list of words, there are more that have become naturally available to me.  I’m glad for that, at least, because my overall progress is positively slothish. Continue reading Æ, þad mikið um að vera!

Next up: Icelandic!

I’ve been making an effort to learn Spanish and Latin American Spanish with a CD course and a small pile of textbooks and dictionaries.   I listen to it in my truck whenever I drive, when I can talk out loud unselfconsciously.   I’m determined to be passable in Spanish before I go back to Cuba.

I would have never guessed I’d dive into it with such a hunger.  I’ve always frowned and humphed anyone who’s suggested I’d probably enjoy languages, but (one of the best signs of total absorption) I get trapped in concentration so complete that I don’t notice the passage of time. Continue reading Next up: Icelandic!