I apologise for not updating this blog for a few months, I began to work over the summer and never really had time to update my blog, nor did I know what to write about. Nevertheless, I’m back now, and this will be my first post whilst I’m at university.
Multilingualism at university
I am now studying International Relations and Politics at the University of Lincoln, and so far i am loving all that university life has to offer. I chose this course mainly because it suited me to the ground, I could combine my love of Politics, languages and learning about world cultures all into one. My Tutor group is extremely international which makes it all the more better. I feel at home.
So far I have heard many languages spoken at my university. I’ve heard Swedish, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and some German. it really is like music to my ears. This has inspired to not only begin a new language, but also to practice and maintain my current languages whilst learning about other cultures. As you may remember from my last post, the last language I decided to learn was Hebrew, and now after studying everyday for around three months, I’d say I’m pretty comfortable having a casual conservation.I wouldn’t consider myself fluent in Hebrew, but then this takes us onto the problems of defining fluency. Some may define fluency as speaking like a native and discussing rather complex topics. I on the other hand, like many other polyglots, define fluency as the ability to socialize in a language, to make friends in that language. Because of this, I’d consider myself Fluent in English, Swedish and Afrikaans, and conversational in Dutch, Hebrew, Greek and German. But then again, each person has their own definition.
The add1 challenge
Recently my friend Brian Kwong introduced me to the Add1 Challenge. A brand new way of learning languages in which we all set ourselves a challenge to learn a new language, or improve a language we’ve already learned. I saw this as a great opportunity to dive into a completely new language. Now my first choice of which language to learn was Japanese, as you can see in this video. This plan to learn Japanese, has however backfired. and I really don’t feel like i can continue or that i will make any progress. So what was i to do? Do i just quit? No, I change language. As pointed out by many people, I’m very unorthodox when it comes to what languages I learn, and I like this. Mainstream languages such as Spanish or French do not interest me, whereas uncommon languages such as Greek and Hebrew do interest me.
The new language
So the new language i will be learning as part of the add1 challenge (a video announcing my change will come in the next few days) will be…Hungarian!! now, you make read this and think that I am absolutely mad for deciding to switch from Japanese and choose to learn Hungarian. well, let me explain. I plan to approach Hungarian as more of an experiment than a challenge. Despite being regarded as one of the world’s most difficult and complex languages, I feel like this will truly test my skills as a language learner. My challenge starts as soon as my course book arrives, and I plan to study for no more than an hour a day and my challenge will finish on January 1st 2014. , I feel like this will give my enough time to try to absorb the language. I will post monthly updates on my progress, and on the last day, I will broadcast a 15 minute Interview in which I will be interviewed by a native Hungarian speaker.
I plan to update more regularly now that I’ve gotten back into my old routine, and I hope you have enjoyed reading this new post. Firstly let me say good luck to all those taking the add1 challenge, and to those learning a new language.