Language is so profound. Without it, we have no way of categorizing or remembering what we experience. The words we have in our vocabulary literally shape our perception of the experiences we have. We can’t understand or process a concept we have no words for (part of why science, philosophy and art can be so difficult to understand — where concepts are created and discovered, words often have trouble keeping up).
And that’s not even to mention the value of being able to communicate with other people, which is another profound experience.
Because of all of that, and for the sake of my sanity in general, I’m starting to work on learning German. I bought a phrase book back before I came here to visit in 2010, and I rely heavily on Google Translate, but other than ordering in a restaurant, I mainly rely on the English skills and kindness of the people I encounter. I want to do better. (Although I doubt I’ll make too many strides in 2 years, but we’ll see. Lucky for me most people here speak English and are remarkably patient.)
I bought Rosetta Stone months before we moved here, but I haven’t even opened the box yet. Dan & I have researched language classes (and need to do something about registering for them). The problem with both of those options, though, is time — I have very, very little. So, I’ve started working with a site that Dan found, Memrise, which is working remarkably well, at least for vocabulary. I’ve only done two evenings so far, but I’m learning a little.
I still can’t really say anything useful, but I’ll get there. Off to study . . . tschüss!