Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Buon giorno!

I'm taking an Italian class now, and it's a lot of fun. The language is beautiful, very musical. Also, it's similar to both French and Spanish, two languages I am familiar with, and a lot of the vocabulary and grammar are similar to one or both of those languages, so that makes it kind of easy.

On the other hand, the similarities also make it confusing, sometimes; sometimes I'm using Spanish instead of Italian words, or expecting the grammar to be the same as French--and it's not!

Still, it's an interesting contrast to when I was first studying Korean, a language so totally different from English. I really had to study the vocabulary, because there was no similarity whatsoever to the English words. The grammar, too, is very different; most sentences are in S-O-V order, with adverbs and prepositional phrases popping up where you least expect them. Not only that, but where we use an adjective in English, Korean sometimes uses a verb. And then the pronunciation is sometimes tricky too!

I remember that there were Japanese students in my first Korean class who seemed to be so much smarter than I was, picking up on things so fast, and remembering them so easily. I felt stupid until I realized that their language was similar to Korean in a lot of ways, just as French and Spanish and Italian are quite similar to English. So it was easier for them.

If you are a CESL student, you can probably relate to what I'm saying! But don't give up. I'm not going to. I still want to improve my Korean, and I hope someday to be able to go back to Korea and try speaking Korean in real life!

Languages can be frustrating--but they're fun, too!


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