Chasing Calm
Random lessons in life, love, and transition. — From Los Angeles, California to Stuttgart, Germany — March 2010

Learning German and Greek – I can do this!!

Earth boy
I’d like to think I’m fairly smart. Overall, I did well in school, stayed on the right side of a 3.0 GPA most of the time, but for some reason learning a foreign language always intimidated me.

I remember in 7th grade Spanish, on the very first day our teacher, Mr. Pasella flamboyantly strolled into class spouting five long, rambling minutes of intense Spanish without even so much as saying hello – or maybe he did but I didn’t realize it.

My mouth hung open in that “oh shit” kind of look. I checked my class schedule to be sure I wasn’t in the advanced class. I knew I would need to see my guidance counselor immediately to order a class transfer, anything!…cooking, wood shop, Angolan history, anything but there. I’m sure Mr. Pasella had good intentions, but from that moment forward I was shell-shocked. The brain cells that help you learn stuff seems to short out anytime I attempt to learn a new language.

Secretly, I’ve always wanted to be multilingual, but never mentioned it. I mean, ya know, it seems pretty cool – kinda James Bondish, especially being that I like to travel so much. But, I suppose it took meeting my Greek fiancé to finally commit once again to learning her native language as well as German – where she and her daughter currently live and where I will be moving in a few months.

This brings the question which language do I learn first? Greek; because it is her and her daughter’s native language, German because that is the country we will be in, and they both speak German anyway. Or, maybe I’ll really get bold and try to learn them both at the same time?

I think what really made me finally decide to learn these new languages was finding out we were going to have a baby. After the initial sobering shock and then elation, I had a bad vision of not being able to communicate with my own child until SS assured me he (or she!) would learn English from my talking to the baby, and he will learn Greek and German from their talking. Hmm…It already sounds like a pretty brilliant child. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I found out about a great website called, Livemocha. It reminds me a lot of the Rosetta Stone software, add in an interactive online community of people from around the globe who are all learning different languages of choice.

In your lessons you learn everything from basic verbs, nouns, negatives, possession, vocabulary, speaking, and writing by forming basic sentences from whatever you just learned. There are helpful review exercises, and those in the online community (your “friends” – a la Facebook and My Space) can check your exercises with helpful and supportive comments. Likewise, you are encouraged to review their exercises. It’s similar to Rosetta Stone (minus the online community) in that it uses pictures to associate with the words, supposedly this is more of a natural, real world way of learning.

I’m probably not explaining it so well, but if you want to learn a new language, I’d definitely recommend at least checking it out here.

Right now, I’m in my first lesson: German 101, and I’m pretty excited about it. I think ultimately I’ll be fine and sooner than later will be at least good enough to speak conversationally at a beginners level. As long as the average German knows what the hell I’m try to say!

I’ll keep you posted!


2 Responses to “Learning German and Greek – I can do this!!”

  1. I want to learn already learning French101 and Italian101 at livemocha. Have made alot of progress in learning these two new languages. Could you please help me to start learning German language/beginner
    Tallat Ayesha

  2. That’s an excellent site! Thanks for sharing it. I’ve always thought that it must be so much easier for those in other parts of the world to learn other languages because for most they merely have to travel the distance equal to what we might travel to another state to be in another country so it becomes second nature to know other languages. Of all the languages I’d like to learn I’ve always wanted to learn Latin & Greek since they are the root of so many other languages. I figure if you know those many others become easier to at least get teh gist of. Good luck and btw, CONGRATS on the expected baby! That’s so fantastic! You know I always wish you the best and you deserve all the happiness life brings your way + some! *hugs*

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