Learning German

Sometimes I develop an intense interest in something, pursue it and then either drop it outright or let it fade away. I stopped trying to learn Spanish (I have Spanish ancestry), although I still enjoy listening to music in Spanish. I also stopped trying to improve my French, which I did study in high school (I also have French ancestry), but I still listen to music in French on Canadian French-language radio stations. For reasons unknown to me, so far I’m sticking with learning German.

My husband was of German descent. (After his stroke, he was temporarily unable to speak much English but remembered the German he had learned as a child.) Three of his four grandparents were immigrants to the U.S. from Germany, and both of his parents spoke nothing but German until they started school. And recently I discovered through DNA that my great grandmother was not Dutch at all but was German.

I took German in college but remember almost none of it. So I’m using Duolingo, the language-learning website/mobile app, and also listen to German pop music every day. I don’t know how long this interest will last, but so far I’m having fun with it and progressing through the lessons very well. And just as an aside, I’m not young. They say it’s much harder for someone older to learn a language than it is for someone younger, but I’m approaching 70 years old, and I’m doing okay.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. I took four years of German in high school. The first three years, it was sort of a blow-off class (this was in the ’70s), but the last year, the teacher was so strict I really learned it! To this day, I feel confident with the grammar and the cases for the articles, but when I was in Germany in 2018, I was too scared to actually try speaking it to anyone. I knew their English was going to be better than my German, and I did not think anyone would be too kind about my attempts. šŸ™‚ Knowing the language did help me understand the street signs and navigate the neighborhoods easily though, while to my non-German-speaking husband, all those names were just gibberish. I hope you have fun with your new pursuit!

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    1. Thank you! As I progress through this, I’m finding I remember more from my college days than I thought I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. this post resonated with my own ‘pick up and drop’ learning attempts and gave me a renewed kick up the …. – I’m still doing Spanish at a snails pace – duolingo was my starter. We are of the same age for learning!
    p.s. I missed your post on the death of your husband – very belated condolences. Your blessings jar is something you must feel the need to dig in rather often

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    1. Thank you for the belated condolences. It’s been a hard year. Literally the day before my husband’s memorial service I had to begin taking care of things for my 92-year-old father, whose health steadily declined after that. Then he died two months ago. Yes, the blessings jar has been a great comfort.

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      1. the carer’s burden can be a hard one and so too when it is lifted – sending you my thoughts and prayers x

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      2. Thank you, Laura. I appreciate both your thoughts and prayers.

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