Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ich liebe Deutschland


As many of you know by now, my wonderful, beautiful, and amazing fiancee is German. She is very fluent in English, but of course I want to learn the language of my soul mate. I have always wanted to learn a new language, so this is an amazing and serendipitous opportunity to do so. 

I have been studying my hiney off in the form of audiobooks, textbooks, and workbooks. I have also been using an awesome iPhone app called Duolingo. I have been devoting an average of about 1 1/2 hours a day to learning German. Plus, Beate is awesome enough to help me on the phone all the time. She is tremendously supportive and patient with me while teaching me a new language.

Let me be honest: learning a new language is difficult. Learning the dialect, the word order forms, and the grammar rules can be intimidating in the beginning. But you know what? Learning a new language is freaking awesome! I have grown to fall in love with learning German. It is truly a fascinating and beautiful language. And it is so awesome to now see German writing and be able to recognize and decipher entire sentences! That may not sound like a big deal, but trust me it feels great to be able to realize that the studying is paying off. And even if I do not recognize every word in a sentence, I can sometimes piece together what the sentence is saying by recognizing many of the words.

Ich liebe lernen Deutsch!

It is so funny how something that you may initially look at as a chore becomes something that you end up loving. Learning German is not something I have to do, it's something I get to do :)

And that is an incredibly important distinction.

Have you ever learned a new language? If not, is there a particular language that you would like to someday learn?

153 comments:

  1. did you write .. I like learning German?
    I'm so impressed with your enthusiasm and commitment.. well done you!

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  2. I'm learning Italian right now but I may have to switch over to French because my mother loves Paris and is talking about sending me and Rob to Paris next. I'm using Duolingo too. LOL! And some books as well as a CD and software (as soon as I download that last one onto my laptop).

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  3. My guy is a dual US/French citizen. We are planning to move to France in 2018. Guess what I will be doing starting this fall? :)

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  4. My mother tongue is French and I learned to speak English and I now feel more comfortable expressing myself in English after all these years.

    I learned by living with English speaking people.

    It's wonderful to be able to speak a foreign language. Good luck with your studies.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  5. thanks for the encouragement... i would like to learn Spanish, since we have a very large Spanish speaking population here in Florida.. i keep thinking it will be to hard... I am thinking of the Rosetta Stone to learn it.. congrats on your new second language.

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  6. a Half Century ago, literally, I was 19 years old, and went to the Goethe Institute in a small village near Munich. We were taught German six hours a day in a class of about 15 students from all over the world. All of us speaking different languages the only common language was our beginning German!
    Two months of these classes and I was dreaming in German! and went back to USA, to college and challenged 1st and 2nd year German and passed! Have fun!

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  7. Hi Keith - being English .. I had to learn American of course - nearly mastered that, then French at school and then Italian at school - neither so good! German after school - not good; Afrikaans in South Africa .. not good ... worked with Eastern Europeans ... albeit I speak little-o-English reasonably well the others are awful ... but on all that 'trying' I can at least pronounce words if I see them ... so young German friends in Hamburg were amazed that I could actually say some of their words ... with a surname of Butcher ... Slaghuis was easy!!

    Enjoy and I'm so pleased you're getting on with it - and it'll be hugely beneficial for your future together ... cheers Hilary

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  8. I think i would have to be immersed in a language where I had no choice but to learn it, otherwise I don't have the patience.

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  9. Oh Keith, when are you getting married? Are you going to move to Germany? This is so exciting. And yes, learning a new language is awesome. I haven't learned a new one since I was in school and learned Spanish. Now I'd have to relearn it, which I'd love to do.

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  10. Well.you know English is my second languaje but when you have a blog in spanish and enhlish reallly study all days I read recipes and magazines in english and finally is like you say.
    German is really difficult but is languaje I would like to learn.
    I love french too ! I study at school but always I try to read in french. And make recipes in french.
    A languaje Im learning now and I love is Italian I love it and I have many italians friends.
    Congrats by your new languaje Keith.
    A love/languaje for you :))

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  11. I grew up speaking English, but learned Finnish Swedish (my mother's first language) when I was very young. It was quite easy, as I was living with her, so had a constant teacher.
    I would like to learn Welsh someday. I'm not sure why, but it fascinates me. I love listening to the native speakers of this ancient language.
    So, hopefully, one day...:)

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  12. I love French! If I were to learn another language, I would be interested in German, too. I had a college roommate who was a German major!

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  13. Hi Keith!:) Well done! Love is a many splendid thing!:) Makes you the best you can be. The realization that you can understand a language, gives you a tremendous buzz. It happened to me, and I don't think you ever forget the exact moment when suddenly, isolated words strung into sentences suddenly make sense, for the first time,... really when you least exspect it to happen. Everything just clicks into place, and speaking is just a matter of course.After that, the next language you learn is easier.
    All the best.:)

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  14. I love learning new languages. Russian is one of my favorites. I love being able to look at a Cyrillic word and understand it while to other it just looks like gibberish.

    The biggest road block I've found in learning a language is not getting enough opportunity to practice. You're so lucky to have someone to practice with for the rest of your life.

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  15. Speaking a few languages, since the family travelled quite a bit, when I was young ... is fun to communicate with people in their native language (as long as they are patient ...) ... o, forget about the grammar aspect ... just talk away ... smiles ... happy for you ... Love, cat.

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  16. i love learning language. i learned German from book when i was in junior high. and french too. basically i love learning new language.

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  17. Learning a new language is not an easy thing, but with a passion and love it’s not impossible… like how you pursuing now :)

    All the best friend

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  18. Good for you! I learned Latin and Spanish in high school, and I still remember a little of them. I learned a little Italian before traveling to Italy years ago but I would love to really learn it. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  19. I learned Spanish in high school but I can't remember much of it anymore. I think I'd probably learn Italian, since I'd like to go back there someday. There were a few times that I could have used it!

    Cindy Bee

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  20. I've tried to learn Spanish but never did get it. I just know a few words. I think some people have a talent for learning languages. My sister in law learned Japanese for a trip to Japan with her quilting club. When they arrived in Japan she spoke for them all and was told that she spoke Japanese perfectly with no accent!! Amazing. I am in awe of people who know more than one language.

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  21. I am always impressed how people in other countries seem to be mostly bi-lingual while those of us born here struggle with English. How thoughtful of you to learn German but if you are planning to live there, it would be quite necessary. Beate can't be with you in all situations.
    I have no affinity to learn another language and have tried Spanish several times. Maybe motivation is the key.

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  22. My ancestry is English and German. Got the English down, for the most part, but I know only a few German words and phrases. I need something to motivate me.

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  23. it is a labor of love for you. :)

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  24. You stay young as long as you are still learning. I am in the process of improving my French, my chosen language to learn, as I was born in the States. French is everywhere in Canada, due to our dual language. I'm slightly partial to anything from France. Have no desire to live in Quebec however, I'm a west coaster.
    Good luck!

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  25. I have enough trouble with English Keith....I don't have the brain power for another language.

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  26. I studied French up to first-year university, but I have pretty much lost it all now (and never gained that much to begin with). Learning a language definitely is hard. Better to immerse yourself in it in real life I think. Enjoy!

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  27. Lass mal wissen ob Du hilfe brauchst. Ich bin auch Deutschland. Naturlich liebe Ich auch Deutsch!

    I speak German, English (duh) and Afrikaans, haven't tried another...

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  28. I speak English and not very well. I've not learned another language and probably won't.

    Good luck with the German language. Hubby was stationed in Germany during Vietnam. He learned a lot of German. ☺

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  29. i took spanish and latin...in high school...i know a bit of french from my wife....you have quite the motivation though...so best wishes, will be pretty cool when you two are fully conversing both ways...

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  30. German is a cool language. It's the one I learned in high school and college. Good luck learning it. I'm sure you'll pick it up quickly since it's something you want to do!

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  31. That's really awesome you're learning her language. It will help when you get over there and are immersed in the culture. Then you'll pick up the dialect faster.
    I lived in Japan as a child and used to speak it better than English.

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  32. Oh the incredible sense of fulfilment and joy in communicating with someone in a language that you initially did not know! You must read some of the German romantic poets and especially the works of Theodor Storm - truly beautiful :)

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  33. I took french in school, but only remember how to ask if i can go to the bathroom lol I suppose if the need arised I could, but do I want to? not really

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  34. Isn't it wonderful . It is nice too when you are learning it and actually have the pleasure of being in a land that speaks it.
    I learned 3 languages Spanish, French and Icelandic.
    Spanish and French I learned via school, Icelandic I learned whilst living in there !

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  35. Opps "whilst living there " hmm how did that " in " slip by lol

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  36. Ich liebe lernen Deutsch auch! A few months ago I wrote a little bit about the ups and downs of learning German. If you care to read it, you can find it here:
    http://justathriftygypsy.blogspot.com/2014/05/das-ist-mir-wurst-or-my-lovehate.html

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  37. My husband was from Norway. His parents brought their family. Gerhard, his father spoke and understood English fairly well but Liv, his Mom did not. So I studied Norwegian. So well worth it. I could understand more than I could speak but it made it so much easier to communicate. This kind of investment in your loved ones and their culture is invaluable. And as time went by I discovered the similarities made it possible for me to get the gist of written Swedish and Danish.

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  38. I think learning a language is definitely awesome. I'm bilingual although my Korean isn't as fluent as English. I learned Japanese for 6 years and while I do remember some phrases, words and can make super basic sentences, I wish I learned how to converse by really speaking with natives. My one regret!

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  39. I took two years of German in High School. I could of taken German 3 but the grammar got too hard for me to want to be graded on.

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  40. My mom is German (hence my name which I love) and so German came easy to me but I am definitely not fluent. that is wonderful that you love to learn it. It is rare when someone finds it amazing to learn another language. You are looking at it in the right lens. Germany is a forgotten place to visit-it is quite beautiful.

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  41. I loved learning German, studying it for 5 years at school. A surprising amount is still in my head but the best way to learn is to surround yourself with it once you move. You will be perfectly fluent amazingly fast!

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  42. That is great that you're learning German for your fiance! I'm part German, but I can't say a single word in German. haha I always wanted to learn to speak French.

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  43. I know southern...does that count? ;p

    Personal joke of mine is I know enough interesting words in different languages as to sound interesting in a conversation with a twenty-something. Although, amongst the many; Spanish, Mandarin, Tibetan, Latin, Swahili, Arabic, and Berber.

    P.S.

    Remembering what you commented about how we might all want to do what we like, but sometimes get held back by social expectations; in my perception you're doing something you really want in order to live your dreams. Bravely done ;).

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  44. All the best in your German studies! It is fascinating to learn new languages; it introduces a person to a whole new way of thinking and culture! I have learned and am still learning Spanish--if/when I completely master it I think German would be a good third language to learn. I have studied it very slightly since I have a cousin who married a German and lives there with her family.

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  45. Beautiful post :)
    German language is cool and I love it :)
    I am also learning it, it is really beautiful :)




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  46. French is my native language. I learned English, German and Latin at school, then Italian and Greek at college. About fifteen years ago, I started learning Swedish and I know a bit of Hebrew. I will start Spanish in a few weeks. Yet the only language I feel proficient in is English.

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  47. I took French in high school and Spanish in college. I remember more from high school than college. I cannot hold a conversation in either!

    That being said, we have a good friend who moved to Brazil for years. He came back with a wonderful wife who only spoke Portuguese. It took her a little over a year to be fluent in English, but she does great now!!

    Good luck to you with learning your new language. I'm sure it will be awesome to converse in German with your (soon-to-be) wife someday. :)

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  48. Best wishes on your goal of speaking German. I suspect that your enthusiasm for German is influenced greatly by being in love with a German speaking person. :-) I think the only language I'm really interested in learning is French, and that's because I'll run across a passage in French, occasionally, in a book I'm reading. I do know a little Spanish, enough to get by as a tourist, but nothing more. I'm striving to become fluent in English. ;-)

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  49. By learning a new language, the speaker often times learns a whole new way of looking at the world. I can say that there are certain expressions that can't be translated from one language to another without losing the meaning, so learning different languages is a must. There are Finnish expressions that, no matter how hard I try, I can't really explain to my American relatives. But I've also learned enough Hebrew to say that there are also lots of Hebrew expressions that just don't fit either Finnish or English.

    So. Keep on studying German. When you get good enough, you'll know what I mean :)

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  50. I like the, "I GET to do it" part! FANTASTIC . . .
    I do not know, speak any of the other languages . . .
    BUT . . . I took a basic class in understanding Italian before a trip to Italy.
    And I learned a bit of German before some exchange students lived with us for a bit. Plus a bit of Spanish too . . .
    Good for you Keith . . .

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  51. Oh, and my point was that knowing these different 'worlds' is the best.thing.ever. Especially when you meet people who are monolingual. They have no idea what they're missing out on!

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  52. Wow, Keith, I have just read all the comments & you definitely have a multi-lingual following! Good luck with German. I tried to learn it (outside of school) for a while when I was traveling back and forth to Germany more often; but my friend there knows such good English I eventually stopped. In high school I took Latin. Really wish now I had taken a speakable language.

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  53. good for you Keith! German looks hard, especially if you know some French or Spanish, totally different as you know by now!

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  54. I would love to learn French and Spanish someday :)

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  55. Keith, viel Glück. Ich glaube, Sie sind hoch motiviert.

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  56. Learning a new language is one of the hardest things to do! We have sort of a history with Germany. My brother-in-law lived there for many years. Also one of the men who grew up in our church lived in Germany for quite awhile and married a German girl a few months ago. You are totally awesome for spending the time to learn this and having such a wonderful attitude about it. Your fiancee is a very lucky woman.

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  57. I wish I did - wouldn't that be great! I have German in my ancestry!!

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  58. I can speak Spanish...and a little of French, Italian, and German [my ancestors are German]...and I think....just by reading..."I LOVE LEARNING GERMAN"...correct?

    German words so often look like the English version also that it makes it easier.

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  59. Old guys ae supposed to learn an new language to keep Alsheimer's away. I did have some pretty good French at one time.My daughter is bilingual.

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  60. Spanish would be my pick. I got a started in the language in college and continue to use a few phrases whenever we encounter Spanish-speaking folks in our neighborhood. It's fun.

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  61. I am fluent in French! My mother tongue is English, but the first language here in Quebec is French, so I am perfectly bilingual. I write French, speak it and read it and am surrounded by it on a daily basis. The next language I would enjoy learning would be Italian.

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  62. I can't think of a better reason or opportunity to learn a new language than yours. It's wonderful that it also fits with a long term dream. I love language and languages, in fact I'm a bit of a word nerd. German's a bit of a toughie to start with, but you sound like you are doing well. Before you know it, you'll be fluent!

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  63. I admire you so much not only for your attitude but also for tackling a very hard language...way to go man!

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  64. Yay! I love that you've been doing this, Keith. That's awesome. I used to be a vocal performer and sang in a variety of languages, learning bits and pieces to help me convey the key emotions, but I did learn about 70% of Spanish, and then forgot all but about 30% through a lack of use. I still hear people talking and understand the gist of what they're saying--which is uber-thrilling--so I totally get what you're saying, but many would I love to get back to it and really master the language. I just need a good motivator, like you. =)

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  65. Congratulations. I have a smattering of school girl French, and nothing else. And regret it.

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  66. Good for you OP, learning a second language would be awesome. I've tried but can't seem to make it happen. I did visit Germany once. Loved it there, so beautiful in landscape and in people. I did learn two phases that got me through though..LOL

    Eine Hefe Bitte and Ist dein badezimmer, I think that's how you say it :)

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  67. My deceased husband was German but didn't speak it. His grandmother did speak German but didn't have anyone to converse with in German after I came into the family. I did love his grandmother as my own.

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  68. Very good Keith, learning a new language IS awesome. I was learning French and above all Italian, a lovely language.

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  69. Totally agree with you-- learning a new language is incredibly exciting. I'm deep into Spanish right now. Good luck with your German lessons!

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  70. Good for you for learning German! My first language is English, but I learned to speak fluent French when I was a teenager (Canada is officially bilingual so it was encouraged). I loved it and it opened so many new cultural doors and experiences to me! But alas, after university my fluency deteriorated due to lack of use and the demands of other things on my time. But when I retire, I intend to study French again and regain my fluency.

    My mother spoke German as her first language because her parents were from Switzerland. She lost it once she started school. I'd love to learn German myself, the language of my ancestors!

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  71. German is a beautiful language. I should learn it being 100% German!
    My dad spoke fluent German as a kid. When he had a stroke, he spoke German. Very weird.
    Cheri

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  72. wow, how great that you are learning a new language. When I first read that you spent about 1 1/2 hours a day learning, I thought it said 11 hours, and I'm like, "what?" haha. I know bits of Spanish, but the one language I would love to learn is Greek. Hang in there, Keith. Before long, you will be a natural at it.

    ~Sheri

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  73. You bet it is awesome! I'm in the teaching business (shocking, I know) and seeing those smiles on my students' faces is really rewarding. And they're smiling not because I look funny.... Ich mir mich du dir dich... I remember studying a bit of German a long, long time ago. I tried a bit of Swedish in the early nineties, but the twins ditched me so I gave that up.... No, I'm not kidding. Good luck. Repeat after me: Ich liebe schöne Mädchen... Nein?

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  74. I am too old to try to remember a new language. Heck, I mess up English all the time!

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  75. Awesome! It's wonderful that you are doing this. Not only is it great to learn a new language, but it will certainly making living in Germany that much more fantastic, and a lot easier. Not to mention the fact that you are showing respect for the country you are adopting, and the woman you love. I speak English and Greek, my husband speaks English and French, and both my daughters speak English, French and Greek. I took a semester of Spanish and Russian in college, and although I got to a point where I could read, write and hold a basic conversation, I forgot everything I learned over time because I had no one to practice with. A real shame.

    Keep it up, and have fun!

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  76. Bryan and I went to Munich for Oktoberfest when I was 5 months pregnant. When people spoke to us in German and then realized that we were stupid Americans and didn't know the language they switched to flawless English. At that moment we decided that C would be bilingual. The problem is picking a language. Spanish would be most helpful here, but we are wondering about Chinese as well. There was a wonderful bilingual Montessori preschool, but we aren't in the district anymore. I have also thought about a bilingual nanny, but haven't investigated that yet.
    I took 5 years of Spanish in HS and college, but that was a long time ago. I understand words in sentences and can read a bit, but otherwise I'm lost. I've downloaded Duolingo onto my phone to play with some words. Do you like it I haven't used it much yet.

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  77. I am not fluent, but my sister-in-law is Spanish and I can carry on a decent conversation in Spanish now.

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  78. I love how you are learning German because you want to.. I've never learned another language but I have wanted to learn Portuguese and Spanish because those are my number one countries I want to visit in the future ;-)

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  79. I have learned a lot of Spanish (I can read a great deal and listen to Spanish music, but am not capable of engaging in talk with native speakers). I am sort of glad that I was born with English as my native language, because it must be a pain to learn as a second language. Consider the words "though,", "through", "rough", and "trough".

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  80. Yay for learning German! That will make you and Beate even closer. And it's good for your brain!
    I try to add more Spanish to my vocabulary because there is so much spoken in our area.

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  81. So excited for you!! That is awesome you are learning!!!!!!

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  82. I am so happy for you that you are enjoying learning a new language-it may go faster too once you have a good base and then move to Germany-and be around those that speak it

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  83. Good for you for learning German and to see the results of your studying! Really where I live I should learn Spanish (10 miles from the Mexican border at Tijuana) but that's another story for another day. My mom was Polish and spoke Polish; her parents never learned English, just words here and there. I wish she had taught us Polish when we were growing up. I think that would be neat to speak :)

    betty

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  84. A new language is like a gift of words

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  85. How awesome!
    I took the French Award at my high school graduation, and now -- many, many years later -- I can't remember much of it, or so I thought. Except, when my family visited Paris last summer, I discovered I could read more signs than I thought. Not word for word, but I knew the gist. And lately, I've been watching a show called The Returned on Netflix. It's French, with English subtitles. I'm remembering a little bit more.

    I tried learning German once in graduate school to please my boyfriend at the time. He wasn't German, but he thought Germans were superior. In retrospect ... that was kind of a bad sign, huh?

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  86. Good for you for studying with such consistent dedication! I studied Spanish in high school, college, and grad school. But I didn't really "get" it until I studied it while working as a health educator for the health dept. I really wanted to learn to help our Spanish-speaking patients. And the teaching was also practical. I was never fluent, but I got a lot better.

    I would love to study German, French and Japanese.

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  87. Oh how neat.... I took 2 yrs. of German when I was in college a LONG time ago... I don't remember much of anything since back then, we weren't taught to speak the language.. We just learned how to write it... I forgot it all very quickly. Beautiful language though...

    How neat that you have a wonderful soulmate.... Have you been to Germany yet --or has she been here???? How did you meet? I wish you both the BEST--and am excited for you and your future together... Congrats --and keep learning that language.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  88. I am jeallllllllous! I've tried with Spanish but...nothing. Congrats and have fun!

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  89. Oooooh languages! Yes! A passion of mine as well. That is so cool that you're learning German. I totally agree with you about structure; I find that fascinating. I would love to learn a 3rd language... I love Italian. My first language is French and my second, English :)

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  90. I have always wanted to learn Italian. French would be another one but it seems a little more difficult.

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  91. Deutsch ist mein lieblingsprach! By no means bin ich fliessend, obwohl ich kann ein bissen. Meine Oma und Opa Sie kommt aus Deutschuland and they were fluent. I mostly remember them swearing under their breaths at us enkelkinde. The best way to learn a language is to visit the motherland! Visit Germany and speak as mutch Deutsch as you can! When I visited I got viele komplimente for my "Denglish" :)

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    1. **much** it's difficult to schriebe auf deutsch und english at the same time!

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  92. I've love to learn Spanish. I took it in high school but didn't come away w/much. Except- Donde esta el bano? I figure being able to ask where the bathroom is in another language might one day be helpful, lol! And I love the sound of German, harsh but sort of beautiful at the same time.

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  93. My daughter's boyfriend and his family are from Germany. While he doesn't have the accent, his mom does. I LOVE it!

    I took 3 years of French in high school. I would love to brush up on it. Right now I am learning Spanish and am encouraging my children to do the same. In today's job market, those who speak Spanish have an advantage over those who do not.

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  94. I hated taking Spanish in high school, but when I was teaching school I really could have benefited from it with my Spanish speaking parents of English speaking children. It was so hard to communicate with them. Good for you that you are learning German for your fiancee. I've always heard it was a tough language to learn.

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  95. Hello Keith,

    Good for you and the German. When so many people in the world make an effort to learn English, one can become lazy about bothering with another language. But, it is important to be able to communicate with your fiancée in her mother tongue, a sign of respect too.

    Whatever the difficulties you may be experiencing with German, we can assure you that these are mere nothings compared with the impenetrable Hungarian language. Still, we say to ourselves, this must ward off the Alzheimer's.....

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  96. You fell on German and now you're falling on German language. Hope you get it quickly.

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  97. Its nice to know that your learning is paying off, I speak three language and that includes English but I want to learn more if I get a chance, Spanish or mandarin is my choice of language to learn someday. It's also nice to teach my kids my language in that way easy communication with my family back home. Have fun learning!:)

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  98. German was my first language but I've forgotten it. Once in a while a phrase slips into my mind and I wonder where that came from. Ha

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  99. Ihr Leben blüht in so vieler Hinsicht , Keith !
    That's awesome. You make learning a new language sound fun and romantic!
    As for me, I guess I MIGHT be interested in learning to speak whatever they speak in Mongolia, because that's the only place I'd like to visit as of today. :)

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  100. So cool that you are learning German. Learning Spanish has been on my bucket list for years. I think I'm going to have to get to it! :)

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  101. I was 15 when we moved to this country. Being a High School freshman I had to learn English. My grammar is not perfect...I think better and faster in Spanish. The kids have a blast when I have an "episode" in Spanish...just think Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy. Have fun learning German you have great help!

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  102. Way to go-- I only know some Spanish but I guess if I had to pick one it would be French :)

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  103. That is so cool Keith! You are opening new neural pathways in your brain by challenging yourself and embracing German. My dad speaks German but I am not fluent and can only understand some words.
    I learned Spanish but I love the way there are similarities between languages (Papa, Pere, Pater) Congratulations on your expansion and keep going. Hugs to you and Beate!

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  104. Learning languages is awesome! I live in Sweden so have now learnt Swedish...

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  105. This is awesome! You are awesome. I took French in HS - but only remember very basic stuff. I would like to learn a new language, though.

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  106. you're so sweet! I've learned some spanish from speaking with friends. my son learned more spanish from his friends than his spanish class. lol My son took two years of sign language in HS, a deaf friend motivated him. :)

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  107. Good job on learning German .. that is awesome.
    Sounds like you have great motivation ...

    I know some Spanish and French but wish I knew more .

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  108. Hi Keith! I've just finished reading the amazing posts that you have done while I was off-line. Yours are always thought-provoking and engaging. I want to comment on every one, but that would drain me; you've got so many things swirling in my brain! So I'll respond to the Robin Williams one. Anyone who calls suicide a selfish act has no comprehension of what desperation and pain drives a person to take his or her life. I'm sorry that your family has dealt with suicides. I've struggled with depression throughout my life, and I have been truly suicidal several times. I was lucky because someone always intervened without realizing what was going on in my head. Maybe one day I'll write a post about the Kansas driller who saved my life by pissing me off so badly that I swore I'd prove him wrong before I left to kill myself. Seriously! I have only love and compassion for RW who brought so much joy and laughter to my life; and for his family that is surely suffering such pain. Thank you for the lovely post about him that you published. And good luck with learning the German language. I came back from France wanting to retry learning French. I'm not very good at languages, but I think being multilingual would be a wonderful accomplishment.

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  109. I am really impressed, Keith! I think German is pretty hard to learn. Beate already told me how fantastic you are and I am pretty sure you will be fluent in a couple of weeks. I love that you are learning this language and that you are so excited about it. And I think it is awesome that you want to learn the language your soul mate speaks.

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  110. You are so awesome and so is your attitude!! I wish that I had one tenth of your enhusiasm and perspective when I moved to France. Bravo. It will be soooo worth it.... :)

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  111. Good for you. I think it's important that if you move to a place where English isn't the native language that you learn at least enough of the language spoken there to be able to communicate. My uncle lived in Germany for many years after retiring from the Army and learned to speak it really well. I tried to learn Spanish while in high school and it just never clicked for me.

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  112. You should be so proud of this achievement! It is so very hard to learn something like that as we get older! It will be wonderful for you when you move there to be able to converse and have an understanding of the place.

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  113. What fun, Keith! I am so having fun with that app! Reviewing my college minor, Spanish, and getting back in touch with the one year of German from high school. I follow your blog regularly. Thank you so much !

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  114. That's awesome, Keith! I went to Hebrew school for years as a kid. Though I can read it - poorly and with confusion - I can't translate for than tiny bits of what I read. I also took some spanish in High School, wish I stuck with it.

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  115. Hi Keith. My mother could speak German just from what she learned in high school. She found it easier than French.
    I would like to be fluent in French as half of my ancestors were French-speaking and my country, Canada, is a bilingual one.....English/French.
    You have inspired me to take the proverbial 'bull by the horns'!
    Happy you are learning German more easily now than at the beginning.

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  116. I know Hindi, Punjabi and some English. Since I have moved to a new place because of my new job, I hope to learn the language here: Marathi.

    Mostly, it is the same struggle that you mention. But of course, telling people that they said "that and that, and that", and the expression of surprise and satisfaction on their faces is worth it :-)

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  117. It would have been a lot easier to learn German when you were three. You missed the opportunity.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2014/08/life.html

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  118. They say it is much harder to learn a new language the older one gets. I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing to learn the language of your soul mate. You have a huge heart and energetic spirit.

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  119. I've tried so hard to learn Arabic...kudos to you for getting this far! Learning another language is no easy task!

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  120. I learned English many years reading only the manuals and could not speak at all. I think you have to have more practice, and don't doubt you will! 'Love is Power' - it's very wise proverb.

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  121. Good for you, Keith! Learning a new language is very challenging, but so exciting! I love that you are learning for your honey. I used to know French and Spanish pretty well, but I am very rusty now. I'm sure I could pick them up again, though. I just haven't had a 'need'. Congratulations on this exciting chapter in your life! xo

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  122. Does programming count? I've wanted to learn how to code.

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  123. "Learning German is not something I have to do, it's something I get to do."
    You have the best attitude! You really should bottle it up and sell it - I'd buy some!
    Congrats on the learning!

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  124. Congratulations on your new studies! I'm glad you've been enjoying German. I hope it continues to go well Keith!

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  125. I love your viewpoint of seeing learning a new language as a privilege not a chore! I don't speak German, but I reminisced on my blog today about some past travels in Germany.
    In case you didn't see the response to your question on my blog - I am sorry I have been unable to add the GFC button. Apparently it is not available to newer blogs - or at least that is my understanding. I'd love to have you as a reader - and hope you can follow my blog some other way, such as Bloglovin.
    Sorry for the inconvenience! I enjoy your writing!

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  126. Sounds like the language of love for you Keith!

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  127. Wow! Loads of cooments well done u! I am
    Hopeless snd omly have bar langiages. My husband is v good in german

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  128. Ah, how sweet. Nein, wie suess!
    Was man nicht alles aus Liebe tut. Die Liebe macht es moeglich.

    (sorry about the missing Umlaut, I can’t be bothered to work my way through the labyrinth of spellings)

    German is difficult compared to English/American, there’s a lot more grammar. I once learnt modern Greek because my boyfriend at the time was a slow and painful English speaker. I find languages come easily to me.

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  129. I studied Spanish back in college, and then 20 years later while teaching to Spanish only speakers, Spanish reappeared and I improved skills tremendously.

    A second language helps one understand the world, country by country.

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  130. Keith, I think it is awesome you are learning German.. I am sure Beate is so proud of you too for learning her native language.. I know you will do very well. Especially if is something you enjoy! Have a happy weekend!

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  131. Oh I loved learning German at school, it's so fun! It's such a good skill to have too! Good to hear you're enjoying it, sounds like a exciting time for you at the moment! - Tasha xxx

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  132. I took a conversational Spanish class many years ago, and also a beginning French class. I know bits and pieces of several languages (I can count to 10 in Japanese!), but am fluent in zero of them. I admire you for learning Beate's native language. It will become easier once you actually life there.

    Big hugs, honey...Guten tag!

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  133. Dear OC, I studied French in college but remember hardly anything I learned. I've also studied classical Greek and Latin and those also are but distant memories. But I do love to learn languages. I think doing so branching my dendrites and that leads to a more flexible brain! Peace.

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  134. When you have the motivation and guidance, learning another language is fun plus it gives you an insight to another culture and way of thinking ~ I took up Spanish before but never really had a motivation to use it now as I am rusty, smiles ~ Happy to read this development Keith & before you know it, you are thinking like one ~

    Grace

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  135. First, I had no idea you were engaged, so a hearty congratulations to you and your fiancée! Second, I taught English as a Second Language for 14 years, after first being a high school music teacher with English literature as my second specialty. It was a bit of a slow learning curve to fully appreciate the courage (my effort as a high school student to learn French was poor at best - music was my passion at the time) and enormous devotion necessary to acquire a new language and understand the culture to go with it. I applaud you! What I read here bodes very well for the success of your marriage.

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  136. Reminds me of the time I joined Max Muller Bhavan and tried to learn German.

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  137. Well done! The idea of a new language scares me - although I am tempted by Spanish!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  138. I tried learning Spanish when I was younger. It was so hard. I had a hard enough time learning our own language! I just struggled so much.

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  139. That's so cool that you're learning German. Knowing what I do about you, though, I'd be surprised if you didn't want to learn your fiancé's native language. :) And since you'll be living in Germany it'll be so helpful to know the language. Your knowledge will grow once you're immersed in it too!

    I've found learning a language to be both a joy and a pain at times. When I was younger I wanted to learn Spanish, so I studied it on my own and had a blast. I also studied it in high school and didn't have as much fun learning it in class. (I can't roll my r's and that always bothered when speaking in front of a class, but I had a wonderful Spanish teacher for part of it and another teacher who was good, but somewhat disappointed in me because I wasn't as dedicated as my teacher for the rest.) In college I had to take two years of a foreign language and instead of doing the smart thing and taking Spanish again, I decided to take French because it's the official language of Senegal. My first two semesters were fun, but I was always frustrated because I felt like with my other classes and work I didn't have a lot of time to devote to studying. My third semester was a pain because we had a terrible teacher. Half of the class dropped out and only half of the remaining class passed. (I just made it, literally, I was 7 points shy of passing after the final so she gave me an extra assignment and she gave me the 7 points that I needed.... I don't think she even read it, to be honest, she just needed as many people as she could find to pass the class.) When I saw that she'd be my teacher for the next semester I decided to take a break, hoping that she wouldn't be teaching that class the semester after that (she wasn't, I had a much better teacher), but to keep up with it I got a tutor from the French Alliance in Minneapolis. I had so much fun with him! We basically had conversations and he'd smile whenever I slipped into speaking Spanish (I can't believe some of that language is still stored away in my brain someplace) and nudge me back into France. We talked about my life and interests and his life in France before he came to America. I was really sad and kind of nervous when he moved and I had to find a new tutor, but she was wonderful too. I kept seeing her (as did a friend, who also had that terrible teacher with me) when the next semester started and the new tutor worked with our schedules so that she could meet us in the morning the day of tests to go over what we'd be tested on. She met with us leading up to our final and had us bring in our lesson plans so that she could make sure that we were focusing on what we were learning in class. Now I miss the tutoring sessions over at the French Alliance.

    I've been wanting to brush up on my French so I downloaded the Duolingo app and love it! Like you, I always feel accomplished when I can read French (which I can still do fairly easily--I was always good at understanding French when I read it or listened to it) and I love watching French movies and know what's happening even if I'm not reading the subtitles. And singing along to French music is always fun.

    Now I want to seriously study French again. That might be one of my goals for September. :) I'd also like to learn German. The biggest part of my heritage is German and I was never too interested in it until I visited Austria and fell in love with the country. At that point I decided I wanted to learn German, so I decided I should actually look into Germany and once I looked at pictures and read more about it I became interested in that part of my heritage. Also, I'd like to get back into Spanish. I switched from French to Spanish so often that it's in there somewhere so I'd like to pull it out again. I'd also like to learn Portuguese and Japanese.

    I once had dreams to be multi-lingual but that bad French class kind of squashed that dream. Your post has brought it out again!

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  140. I have heard that learning a language is fabulous for your brain. As a teenager, one of the first phrases in German I learned was "ich liebe dich." I'm sure you're using that phrase expertly.

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  141. Wish you all the best for this endeavor. I failed in it (I only know guten morgan in german). Since I live in french part of Switzerland, I can recognize few extra french words. After a short break I am feeling nice to catch up with all my old friends. How have you been?

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  142. Ich spreche nur ein kleines bisschen Deutsch. Started to learn Italiano, but am now learning Espanol to be able to speak with my husband's family in Peru. It is very hard work, but worthwhile!

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  143. German is a beautiful language! I studied Spanish and German in high school. I can get by in Spanish but have forgotten much of the German I once knew. Studying a new language is awesome ~ mind expanding!

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  144. German is a great language to learn, largely because the more you learn the easier it gets (unlike French say which seems easier to start with but reveals its difficulties more slowly). You can impress German speakers quite easily by remembering to put the verb at the end at appropriate times and remembering a few phrases that demonstrate your knowledge of the case system ('schones Wetter' is always a good one i think).

    I speak German, French and Italian and have discovered the Learn Chichewa Twitter account so am trying to relearn a bit of that language, which is spoken in malawi (where I lived for a couple of years long ago)

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  145. That distinction is one I've often noted, or pointed out to people. Sooo important! Das macht spass!

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  146. What a super cool time in your life, K. :)

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  147. My husband and I have been studying Spanish the past few years because we go to Spain so often. And yes, you do fall in love with a language. I absolutely love Spanish and feel so fortunate to have a reason to learn it.
    BTW: I left an award for you on my blog.

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  148. Good for you!! what a lucky lady that you have decided to do this and honour her origins. Being Canadian it is mandatory to take both French and English in school. Although my French is truly awful since I haven't spoken a word since highschool. and frankly I wasn't the best student at that time. so it wasn't so hot to begin with either. We were in Montreal a few years back where french is the dominant language and I sincerely regretted not paying more attention in french class.

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  149. I speak in nine languages, read and write in six, learning my tenth, Turkish. I find learning a language helps broaden my perspective. There is more to life than the way I was taught.

    Others from another culture usually beam a big smile when I converse with them in their language. It is a form of respect. I learned Classical Greek, Hebrew and Japanese while in school (U.C. Berkeley,) taking them as electtives.

    Many think because of my name that Spanish was first language. It was my third, learned while I lived in another country. It was prohibited from being spoken at home. My dad did not want us to have an accent.

    I grew up with English and learned Latin at ten, still using it daily. The schools I went to were pretty good, when I was growing up.

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  150. How nice you're learning German. Good luck with it. I know Italian fluently and a bit of French and Spanish. The romance languages have similarities, all deriving from Latin roots. But I think Italian is the only language with every word ending in a vowel. I'm probably biased but Italian is the most musical language to me. :)

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  151. I saw that app for Duolingo and have wondered about it. I may have to download it.

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