It should have been Russian. In high school, Russian was offered in the language department. As far back as I can remember, I have had an obsession with all things Russian. The people, food, art, history, language, architecture. You name it, I was interested in it. Nicholas and Alexandra, the mystery of Anastasia, and what truly happened captured my imagination.
In 1973 a neighbor and her husband went to the Soviet Union and I couldn’t wait to see her photo’s and hear about their adventure. “Aunt Lou” couldn’t wait to share. She had a captive audience. She also encouraged me to save up my money and visit the Soviet Union. My dad was horrified when I told him what I wanted to do (I was a “bit” of a hippy at the time and I think he thought I would be sent to Siberia). However, he did not try to stop me. I saved my money and went in February 1974.
It was a little scary but very exciting and incredibly beautiful. I was young and it was a very different country back then. I am so thankful that I had that opportunity.
Of course I brought back many souvenirs including a small balalaika. Still have them.
So where am I going with this? It should have been the Russian language I was learning in high school BUT it was decided I would continue Spanish. “Why waste all those years?” Spanish was taught from 3rd grade through 8th grade. In high school you could branch out and oh I wanted to branch out. That didn’t happen. Instead I continued Spanish reluctantly. My heart wasn’t in it and as I look back, I think poor Mr L was just as frustrated as I was (can you even imagine me as the class clown)? There is a photo in one of the year books showing the two of us in the classroom. Good times…not. Hehe.
So, Mr L would be shocked to know that hubby and I have been learning Castilian Spanish. We love Spain, pure and simple. My native Spanish speaking friends are amazed at how we have embraced the language and are picking up the differences in pronunciation.
Pimsleur has a great product. I used it years ago for brushing up on German and hubby loves the French CD’s as well. It is very easy to commit to 30 minutes a day and I am amazed at how much you retain with their approach. To be honest, I have tried other language programs but they just didn’t work well for me. Must be the way I am wired.
I think Mr L would approve.
Always big hugs,
Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder says
What a surprise to read about your Russian connection!
Well, I guess I do share that love for Russian culture with you.
My Dad sang in a little choir back in the 70s, all Russian and Slavic songs and I proudly did sew his Cossack outfit, consisting of a red shirt and an Astrakan hat.
Those songs always made me feel melancholic and also husband Pieter loves them.
We do have a Russian friend who married Pieter's best friend in The Netherlands and she has three daughters.
And yes, I too did study Castilian Spanish, actually Dutch – Spanish. One thing I learned is that you can't study another foreign language, other than from your Mother tongue as base.
But I'm also a very strong believer that you never ever will manage any language if you don't study it in reading, writing and speaking/listening. That's the only way and of course speaking is the hardest part as reading and writing is easier than listening and speaking it. And when you start dreaming in any foreign language, that means you've really accomplished it since it became second nature and lives in your subconscious.
Good luck with your plans!
We certainly have connections Mariette! I actually ended up with a Russian "link" for many years (family). I would love to return to see how the country has changed-a different world now.
I agree that learning a new language is best from your native tongue. Reading and writing is much easier that speaking but it is coming along. We will get there!
Years ago when I was an exchange student in NL, I had no choice but to learn Dutch. Not an easy language but is was total submersion. All these years later, phrases are still embedded in my brain. I actually remember dreaming once or twice in dutch. I was so tickled.
I hope Pieter is feeling better.
Thank you for visiting my dear!
I did a year of Spanish, many years ago. It is a musical language. Clever you!
Hi Elizabeth! It is a musical language, totally agree. It is coming along.
Sending love and prayers to you and yours.
Thank you for visiting sweet friend.
Dear Barb! I do apologize that I took so long to reply to your precious comment left on my blog back in May! I suppose God knew I would need the encouragement tonight! I can't thank Him or you enough, and I trust He is blessing you with a wonderful summer. Sending you love and hugs, sweet friend.
Hi Cheryl! I am a firm believer that we see what we need when we need it! I'm glad you saw the comment when you needed the encouragement. It is a very hot summer but we are getting through. Hugs and love to you!