Friday, 26 August 2011

Life Time Language Goal

Have you ever wanted to learn new languages? How did you decide which ones? How did you decide how many?

In the previous post, I mentioned that my life time goal is to learn 7 more languages, which would bring my total languages to 10. When deciding this, I sat down and wondered what would be realistic but ambitious, and I figured that 10 is doable, especially because some languages are similar to each other - and though that creates confusion in the beginning, at a later stage, they should be easier to maintain. But in any case, that's the goal I am sticking to.

So what are these languages?


Spanish - This is my current focus. I love the language, and as far as European languages go this is the most practical one to learn, as besides Spain, you have Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, South America, and Mexico that speak Spanish. It's different Spanish sure, but so are American and British English. People may not be impressed with your pronunciation or words, but you can be understood.

Italian - I love this language. I learned little bit before I went to Italy. I love the country, and its food, and I want to learn Italian simply for the love of it. It's beautiful.

Latin - Yes, I know, it's totally impractical. But I LOVE IT. Just the sound of Latin is music to my ears. When I went to a Language Show in London, I bought a Cambridge Latin Book and tried to teach myself some basic Latin. It was great fun, and certainly I will pick it up again one day.

German - I like the country, and have some good German friends. I also like the language, and it's quite useful especially in business settings.

Japanese - I wanted to learn at least one East Asian language. Mandarin is obviously more widely used, but I prefer Japanese. When I think of Japanese, one word comes to mind: "Graceful" not unlike the people of Japan. The calligraphy is beautiful, but even the language itself, the sound is pleasing. Mandarin sounds too harsh to my ear. So I've decided on Japanese.


I don't at the moment have too strong feelings about any other language. There are many I'm interested in learning, but currently don't have any particular reason as to why, so they are all in this random list. Once I get to the five languages above that I REALLY want to learn, I will worry about the remaining two.


I guess ideally it would be nice to learn one Scandinavian and one Eastern European language, just to cover a wide variety.
So that's it. That's my language goal for the rest of my life. Hopefully, I might blog long enough to keep posting about it (unless by that time blogs are replaced by something else)


  1. When I was in high school (home-schooled), I wanted to study Latin & Greek...mainly because they were "scholarly" to me (and I was big into that back then). LOL I've always loved French too - I adore the way it sounds, though it's frustrating because when I studied it in college, I could never get it to roll off my tongue the way a native speaker would. Needless to say, two semesters did me no good when I visited Paris - I could read, at least, but speaking to the native French speakers was impossible (and they were so impatient, understandably so).

    I used to be able to read & write in Greek - the tattoo on my shoulder is in Greek, which looks cool, but is a pain in the butt when having to translate constantly (and I got it during my "religious" years, so having to explain that I'm no longer a terribly religious person is difficult too). ;-) It's an awesome language though, and I'd like to study it again just because.

    I've always wanted to study Latin more extensively, since so much of modern language has it's roots there.

    Sanskrit would be amazing to study, I think...and Hebrew & Egyptian as well. Not necessarily to speak, but to read and write. And I dare say that they'd be easier to study these days with all the digital tools we have at our disposal.

    I'm so glad you started this blog - I may have to add this into my own "to do" list as well... :-)

  2. Jamie,

    Wow...much more fabulousness of your history. Just when you think you know someone! It's interesting that you dabbled in these languages. Actually, I'm not at all surprised about French. They are not known for their openness to foreigners. French is one of the languages I am not bothered about. I might learn it one day, but it's way down on my list.

    I like the "scholarly" side of Latin too. Besides, I also like the sound of it, and how the words are spelled.

    Greek interests me too, as does Ancient Greek, but I figured I will focus on one dead language for now.

    Sanskrit is also interesting, and I've a slight advantage is being able to understand a few things, plus the script wouldn't be too difficult for me to pick up. However, it's the same issue - another dead language (though widely used in all religious ceremonies even now). Same feelings about Hebrew and Egyptian.

    To be honest, if given a chance I would like to learn MANY languages, so my current list of 10 is a priority list.

    It is definitely easier to study these days, and I will be writing posts about my methods and resources I use.

  3. That's a brilliant goal, Dolly!

    There was a time when I didn't think I even had the time to maintain the languages I know, and I certainly had no intention of learning another. Now, I have begun a new language, French. I knew a bit of Hebrew, but never very well, so I kind of let it go. I've still been looking back on it longingly.

    The French have a reputation for being difficult about their language, but it is a stereotype based on the experiences of loud-mouthed tourists trying out their phrase books on busy waiters. Advice I was given is to avoid places overrun by tourists if you want to practice your French. Especially Paris.

  4. Thanks, Jeff :-) If you are looking at a language longingly, never too late to start again. That's what got me back into this, after six months of not doing any language studies. I missed it.