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Archive for April, 2008

Picking a Language to Study

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

As part of the linguistics MA at BYU, I have to study two foreign language: one to the 300-level, and the other to the 200-level. One of the languages has to be non-Germanic and non-Romance, so that rules out taking French and German together, which would be my first choice. I’ve studied French for a total of five and a half years (three in junior high and another one and a half in college), and though I can still read it decently well, I certainly couldn’t pick up again where I left off. I figured I’d go with French and something else (Russian? Hebrew? Welsh, assuming that it’s offered through at least 201?), but I’m not sure I want to keep studying French. I’m starting to feel like maybe I’m tired of it—or rather, I’m tired of having to start over again because I’ve forgotten so much.

My other option, of course, is to learn two languages from the beginning. The problem is that I applied to begin the MA program summer term, but none of the linguistics classes I need are offered then. My plan was to take just a language class that term, but it appears that of all the options I’m interested in, French is probably the only one I can take—101, 102, and 201 are all offered summer term, but 101 is not offered for German, Russian, Hebrew, Welsh, or most anything else.

And that’s where I start to get this crazy idea about starting with German 102. Brinestone took two years of German in college and got pretty good, and she’s taught me some basic vocabulary and grammar. And I took a semester of Old English, so that gives me a bit of head start. And I worked through several Rosetta Stone exercises last night (hooray for free access through the county library!) and then read most of a chapter in Brinestone’s old textbook. I was surprised at how much I understood.

So, the question is, can I get through all the German 101 material in under three months just by studying on my own? Or should I give up on that idea, stick with French, and maybe study German some other time? I guess I’ve still got a few months to decide.

Posted by Jonathon at 8:17 pm | 4 Comments »