Wednesday, May 5, 2010

wishing for fluency

Once again, it is Wednesday and time to wish along with Kelsey over at Seattle Smiths!

'I wish' .... I was fluent in another language in addition to English,
and it would be....

You know, this is a really hard question for me! I love learning languages, and I think that it is so important to be able to speak other languages. I am not currently fluent in anything, but I have a good grasp of Polish and Spanish. I speak some basic French and German. Also, right now, I am taking an Albanian class, though the last class was last night (so sad!). I also taught myself some Norwegian when I cam home from Poland. I wrote my Master's thesis on Norway and Iceland, so it seemed logical to learn one of those languages :)

I truly wish that the U.S. was like Europe in the sense that they teach second (and third, and fourth!) languages in elementary school. If I am still living in DC when I have children, I plan to send my children to one of the international schools where they would have half of the day in English and half in another language of my choosing (most offer French, Spanish, Mandarin, German or Arabic). I really want bilingual children. When I was in Luxembourg and then Poland, I wanted to find a man to marry, so I'd have bilingual children and an EU passport. Clearly that didn't work out ;)

When I was in Luxembourg, I lived with a family. It was a mother and a daughter, Laura, who was five years old. She had a five year old vocabulary in French, German and Luxembourgish. One morning, I was in the kitchen preparing juice when I heard the two of them in the living room. They were having a conversation about school, and were speaking French. Then, mid-sentence, Laura paused for a few seconds, and suddenly switched to German, because she didn't know the French word. I remember being so amazed that she could just flip a switch in her brain and change languages, just like that. I wish I could do that...

I'd like to be fluent in French, because that is the second language of NATO and widely spoken around the world. Many jobs that I see request French fluency. Same goes for Spanish. My Spanish is better than my French, but I am still far from fluent. I'd also like my Polish to be better. Now that my Albanian class is over, I think I may try a new language. I'd love to learn Russian and Mandarin at the moment. I'm also considering Swedish and Portuguese!

Or, maybe I should take an upper level of French/Spanish/Polish, to get closer to fluency in one of them. What would you do? Take a new language, or improve what you know?

Are you fluent in another language? Which one? What languages have you learned and do you hope to learn more?


Mrs. Potts said...

I wish we as a country were more open to the diversity that different cultures bring - as well as more open to learning more languages. We're one of the few countries where it isn't normal to have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language.

Anonymous said...

How fun that you are so well- rounded in languages! :) I applaud you in your continual search for knowledge!

I'm just popping by from Wishful Wednesday...Hope you have a wonderful day!

Kate said...

I agree with teaching 2nd and 3rd languages as soon as possible! You are very well rounded knowing all those languages!

Sara said...

Wow, that is a neat story about the little girl in the family you lived with abroad. It is amazing how little children are such sponges, isn't it?

Good luck with your language studies. Maybe I will learn more as my daughter is learning!

Shoshanah said...

I am no where near fluent. I can speak really basic french with an awful accent, but I'd love to be able to be fluent in it.

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

I found this so interesting, and I am thoroughly impressed with your diversity in being able to speak so many languages!