As if I didn’t have enough to do already this summer.
Christine, from Almost Fearless, put out a challenge a couple months ago to complete all 25 levels in Duolingo, a free online language practice tool. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to hone my language skills before we leave, even though we won’t be hitting any Spanish-speaking countries for quite some time. It never hurts to get started early.
A little background
Growing up in a bi-cultural family, I overheard a lot of Spanish. My mom is Mexican, but my dad didn’t speak Spanish, so we didn’t grow up with in the house, other than listening to conversations between my mother and her relatives on the phone. We also lived in Seattle, so I wasn’t really immersed in it. A lot of my cousins didn’t grow up with it either, but I was always envious of those who did.
I know what you’re thinking…the resemblance is overwhelming. On another note, I just realized I look like a floating head up there at the top.
I was really interested in learning the language, though, so I studied it in school. I graduated with a second major in Spanish back in 2002. I spent 6 months studying abroad in Spain in 2000 and have even held jobs where I actually had to translate on a fairly regular basis (frightening). In the last few years, though, I haven’t given myself the opportunities to use it. That old saying, If you don’t use it, you lose it, is painfully true.
So here I am, trying to sell our stuff, pack up our lives, and prepare for the biggest adventure we’ve ever taken…and at the same time not make a little owl cry.
Don’t cry Duo. I promise I’ll do better next time!
I’m trying not to worry too much about finishing, as evidenced by how far I’ve fallen behind during our recent vacation. Usually it’s just a good distraction from doing the things I’m supposed to be doing, like cleaning out the attic. Besides, it’s fun to learn a language and realize I’m starting to understand more day by day, even if I’m not great about practicing.
It’s never too late to start. Find me by my username, nopogal, and you can taunt me too, like Steph from 20 Years Hence loves to do.
Have you ever learned a new language? What other distractions do you recommend to keep me from cleaning out my attic?