I am an unapologetic linguaphile. Languages and words are my lovers, but they are of the native English persuasion. I want some foreign ones! My dream is to make the transition from English fluency to fluency in another language, preferably written and spoken. Fluency, what a lofty goal, right?
In my lifetime, I’ve studied other languages (in addition to English, natively), but I’ve never achieved fluency. French and Latin were my starting places in high school. In college, I continued with French, but put it down for Italian. After just one semester, I transferred into Biblical Hebrew when I fell in love with the bible in my Biblical Literature course. The bible went from a prop at church to this mystical document to be studied and parsed. I added New Testament Greek in seminary while continuing my study of Hebrew. What was I missing in my language studies? It was ongoing communication that was divorced from some course where I was trying to get a grade. No communication. No fluency. Know communication. Know fluency. I think of all the new dendrites I could grow!
Along with traveling–this is my other aspiration–I want to add fluency in another language. I’m thinking that the language should be Spanish. The Latin American Association has free coffee hours for informal conversations with others who want to practice. They also offer formal classes. I neither have the time nor the funds to do either right now, but I will soon. There are a plethora of language apps on which I can practice, but I’ve never been able to maintain those. I know they won’t give me the fluency I crave. I need people, real live people I can communicate with consistently. If only there was some online forum of language exchange out there. Perhaps it could be a sort of PenPal Foreign Language exchange. Until I find it, I’ll continue to be on the look out for foreign language opportunities.