die Wechseljahre: Why Learning a Language Has Changed My Life

All aboard the language boat! Not too fast, or we'd sink, then float. 
It was a long time ago now that I was in elementary Spanish, half-assing every assignment given to me. Don't get me wrong, I was a studious child, and always wanted to succeed higher than my peers, but language learning was never my thing. In fact, although I learned Spanish for 5 years during elementary and 2 during high school, I really can't say more than 'yo tengo frio.' I mean, is that even accurate?

Anywho, I ended up taking German last Spring semester for reasons that included my birthplace of Wiesbaden, my dad speaking German and mainly wanting to get abroad. It was only one semester before coming over here to study the German language, and that one semester, involved a very excited me in the first month, and then a slouch who slacked off for the next four. (I still ended up with a B+ :) )

Even as a journalism major, I was just so bored out of my mind actually learning the language. When would I need this? Why were there so many rules? Why couldn't they just ship me out across the Pacific already??

However, here I am. It's around nine months later....and freaking loving it! I can't imagine going away from Germany and not being able to speak German everyday.Or going back to my first 6 weeks here in Germany when I stayed with my host family. It was so hard to be so challenged everyday by not knowing the language! I'll need to find some tandems and penpals ASAP upon my return to the States!

Making new friends that I only speak with in German was a strange phenomenon but now just an amazing piece of life. Sometimes after messaging a friend in German, I'll stop and think, I just wrote that in another language, freaking cool! Knowing another language just seems quite special. (It also means edging closer and closer to having enough languages down pact to join the FBI or CIA for Linguistics....shhhhhh)

There is one benefit of speaking your native language (at least for me) and thats subs and additions! By that I mean changing things on like a food order. Every time I ask to change something it always comes out wrong or something is added when I meant to take it away. It just seems like more of a task to ask them to make it over or take something out in German because I always think I was in the wrong! What if I actually asked him for onions instead of zucchini? It's also quite funny, because I know the first restaurants I go to when I return the States are going to be annoyed with me. I think I'll start changing everything on my meal for the fun of it!!

What do you like about learning a language?

Weeks left in Germany: 6.6
Minutes run this week: 44
Apples eaten today: 0 (just bought some today!)

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