Recently, I had this sudden onset of desire to learn a new language. And the language I picked to learn was German.
Personally, I think German is one of the easier language to learn if you already know English because they did share a common history in the form of Anglo-Saxon. There are certain words with the same meaning looked or sound approximately similar that makes it easy to recognize (e.g. offiziell – official, feuerwerk – fireworks, musik – music).
I am also able to recognize the following:
- ich – I
- was – what
- du – informal version of ‘you’
- die/der/das – the
- auf – on
- und – and
- für – for
- seit – since
- Deutschland/Deutsch – Germany/German
- mir – me
And instead of going for paid courses, I decided to go the self-taught route through the use of songs.
However, I also know that German language has more than one word for the same word in english depending on the context. Take ‘you’ for example. Sometimes you want to use the formal version of ‘you’ in german which is ‘sie’ when you have to address people you don’t know instead of ‘du’. Then the word ‘the’ has masculine form, feminine form and neutral form (der, die and das respectively) and it highly depends on what noun follows. Like you won’t use ‘die auto’ (the car) and you will use ‘das auto’ because a car has no sex or gender.
And yes, it does feel overwhelming but I see it as a way to improve my brain function by forcing it to rewire again through learning a new language. Using music or watching shows in the target language I want to learn will make things easier.
I also see it as a challenge.
And you know what are biggest obstacles to learning a new language?
It would be close-mindedness and prejudice.
Finally, I also hated any other languages because I think they are ugly and not expressive enough.
That’s why my learning journey was difficult.
And now? Ever since I took on my current job that require C# only, I have learnt to let it go and see a learning a new language as a way to express oneself or your ideas better. It’s after all a tool. What is important is your problem-solving skills.
So I see learning German the same way. It’s a way for me to express myself better in writing and see things differently. The intermediate goal would be to have the ability to read an article in German. And I hope one day I can write a full blog post in German as a demonstration to myself I have done it.