A Language a Day Keeps Dementia Away June 30, 2008Posted by Fantastic Four in Language, Language Study.
YES! It is happening! In August I am going back to school to continue undergrad studies. I will be continuing with Russian and German languages. Spanish will be the brand new one this coming term and will have the duty of keeping me on my toes, as a beginner all over again. And I am so very excited about it, I feel like I should start studying right this second!
Over the years, I have been exposed to many languages. I usually pick up the grammar and vocabulary with the speed of lightning and can converse within half a year. When I say converse it is general daily chatter, not discussions over mechanical engineering.
I have studied German at high school for 3 years; learned Norwegian when I was living in Norway as an AIESEC student exchange; and I have taught myself Korean alphabet and how to read words during a 2-week trip to Korea. Some 15 years ago I used to be able to conjugate almost any verb in Italian.
The problem is, I never seriously pursued these languages with a view to add them to my translation portfolio, in the professional sense. This was the case until I enrolled at Macquarie University. You would think the rest is history. Well, yes and no. Russian was easy to pick, but there are so many languages available at Macquarie I didn’t know which way to go. German seemed the right choice as I had some schooling on it in the past.
I thought maybe Chinese or Japanese, or even Korean. Naturally, this will have to wait till I have completed my European Languages degree and actively started translating from Russian into English and Turkish.
I find that learning a language is just the right exercise for my forever inquisitive and challenge-loving mind. It keeps me thinking, asking, practicing. Then of course the fun of watching international films with the English subtitles, what a great and entertaining way of practicing! In every way languages have proved to be a passion for me and I am hoping in the distant future they will help keep dementia away, keeping my mind sharp and alert.
Next post: Few thoughts on Latin. Still beautiful even though it has been dead for centuries.