Saturday, December 29, 2007

language learning

I decided I'm going to Germany. Now here's my question: How insane is it, precisely, if I hand over the month of January to the German language?

The Goethe-Institut, which is conveniently located on my way home from work, has an intensive course at the right level for me. It meets four nights a week (Mon-Thurs), starting this Wednesday and going until January 30th. With January holidays, that means two weeks with four classes and three weeks with two to three classes. I took German in high school in college, so theoretically I speak it (although it's been kind of supplanted by Norwegian).

Pluses: I love studying languages; German is fun; Revels is over, so what else am I doing with my time; this would mean I'd be able to talk to people in stores and understand TV shows and stuff. (If I were an extrovert, I'd also be able to, like, talk to strangers and make new friends, but I've pretty much given up that battle.) Also, I'd have a useful language in my head, and you never know when you'll need another language.

Minuses: I like to sleep; I'd get home two to four nights a week at 9:15 or 9:30; it costs money (although I'd use birthday money for most of the fee). And I have other options for brushing up my German, like podcasts and Netflix and my office neighbor, who is a translator and teaches a short free class once a week.

So. How insane is this? Weigh in. I have until Wednesday to decide.

10 comments:

I Blog, You Blog said...

Do eet! You'll need to learn to live on less sleep before traveling anyway! And it'll probably boost your Free Rice level to a squillion or something. :D

Allison said...

I say go for it! It will get you all excited for your trip. :)

miss shirley said...

It will be totally fun, and it is only a month. Do it! Do it!

Talentedhands said...

I vote ya, ya, ya! Bold moves yield the best results, in my book.

erin*carly said...

i vote yes, too. because really, i think we're in the same boat. (well, vaguely.)

even though i've only been playing for two weeks, i'm practicing the fiddle like mad for the next month so i can go to a workshop that sounds really fun in february.

Racine said...

Hmmmm.... I don't know what YOU should do, but, von mir aus, I would consider an additional option: depending on how communicative/accessible your office neighbor is, I might offer him a sum (up to what I'd pay the Goethe folks) to spend time with me in one on one instruction. Given that I (you) already know grammar and sentence construction, what I'd mostly need is VOCABULARY (including slang) and PRACTICE.

Courses are fine (social, fun, etc.) if you have the luxury of time. If not, I'd rather spend time/money for intensive one on one sessions rather than watching other people struggle with the same things as I'm struggling with. Packs more learning into the same amount of time, methinks. Plus, I'd save the travel time!

If, for whatever reason, I didn't think the office neighbor thing would work, I'd def go with Goethe. And check out the many free online options (including Skype, there have got to be people in Germany who would like to help you learn their language...)

Have a wonderful time -- and take a bajillion pictures!

towwas said...

Ah, Wurzy, I knew you'd have good analysis. I shall consider....

J-Vo said...

You + learning languages = big fun.

Why WOULDN'T you do it?

Sarah Moffett said...

GO FOR IT.

Disclaimer. Written by a complete masochist who still doesn't understand why God will not give her 32 hours in a day.

J.Bro said...

I was going to say GO FOR IT, but now I will have to say YOU WENT FOR IT. It's less encouraging - more passively observational.