I thought a lot about whether I wanted to reboot these blog posts. In a sense I felt sheepish about posting language posts given most of the languages I’m learning are through Duolingo. But then I thought about it: why are people being shamed for learning through Duolingo? Not everyone can afford language tutors or to travel abroad to learn languages. If people want to pick up an additional language through an (albeit imperfect) more accessible way, probably you shouldn’t gatekeep those people (trust me, I’ve been subject to a fair amount of language gatekeeping!)
As for me, I’ve stopped online Latin tuition for the past few months since my spine injury and resulting disability blues but they will resume at some point. In the meanwhile I’ve picked up some grammar/learning books to augment my learning of French, Italian and Gaelic (already have some tomes for Latin). French remains my most comfortable language which is a no-brainer because I started learning it at the age of 18 via a couple of aunts who had studied it (and one was in the Foreign Service) and who lent me a stack of books. At some point, I want to take the National Latin Exams but I think I should probably think of French exams too since at least I can make some use of my knowledge there.
I think one important thing about language acquisition, especially if you are learning multiple languages is that the patterns of language come easier to you with time. I started this particular journey in 2019 and I find I’m absorbing new vocabulary and sentence structures faster now with daily practice. It’s also helping me memorize things better, especially music. So, my language-learning is augmenting my music-learning, and vice versa.
I’m not faring so well with chess. I went from being able to defeat 1200-rated chess bots to struggling against 900-rated chess bots. And I fare waaay worse with actual players, to my everlasting chagrin.
I did get a couple of chess strategy books but unlike the other languages I’m learning, I’m completely lost in relation to chess notation! My brain will not compute! And that’s a problem because I can’t take my chess learning to the next level without a proper understanding of chess notation and strategies. Oh well. This year I’m going to make a point of watching more chess strategy videos.
This is probably my only update for the next few months. You probably don’t need to know how many languages I’m learning. 😉