Wednesday, 1 October 2014

hablas español ? ελληνικά?

Apart from all the construction works, the barking and coming and going of people, there’s a weird notion going on in my house. Both JJ and I are in the process of studying a new foreign language! JJ decided to study Greek and I decided to study Spanish! Between the two of us, we speak 5 languages! Fine, we have English in common, but I don’t think we’re doing badly. After the courses, we’ll be able to communicate in (alphabetic order) Afrikaans, English, Greek, French and Spanish.

JJ wanted to learn to speak Greek for some time now. At first he started a Rosetta Stone course some years ago. But he had some issues with his laptop and the whole we-need-to-buy-a-house malarkey happened and he stopped it. This time around he found a course in the London Hellenic centre. Most of his colleagues are people who are in relationship with a Greek and want to meet the family!

Unfortunately for him, Greek is not an easy language. The alphabet and the phonemes are different and can be complicated. The only good thing is that after you’ve learnt them, you can read any given word. In Greek what you see, is what you can read. A bit like Italian, although a bit more complicated. The bad thing is that even if you can read a word, it doesn’t mean you can easily find its meaning. I can help him though (duh).

For me the decision to learn Spanish was a bit out of the blue. A very good friend of mine found some discount vouchers for foreign languages courses. It could have been Italian, French, German or Spanish. She knows German and I know French, so the logical option was Spanish. I don’t have anything against Italian, but between the two, Spanish sounds to me a little bit nicer and more useful.

Since there are discount vouchers included in the deal, to be honest, I don’t have tremendous high expectations for the quality of the course. My only hope is that they’d like to do a good job, so that we stay for the next level and pay the full price then. But in any case, I’ll try to enjoy the experience. The last time I studied a foreign language in a classroom was the year before my university graduation, more than a decade ago, for my DALF (iplôme approfondi de langue française) which I enjoyed tremendously.

Do you think Penny will be even more confused if we spoke to her in 5 languages?

She's bored already... 


  1. I wish languages came easily to me. They do not. I had funnybook Spanish in high school and college, but can barely read a word, and listening or speaking? Yeah, no.

    I think Penny will respond as she always does! (Most dogs react to tone of voice more than actual words, though they can learn about 60 different words!)

    Peace <3

  2. Are you learning Latin American or European Spanish?
    I would like better my German; around here knowing Spanish is very useful but the stanches won't learn it as dammit speak-english is their motto.

  3. What an interesting alphabet you have! G coming before F and all that ... ;-)

    I speak German and am learning Quechua, Cusco dialect version. It's an interesting language; agglutinative, meaning that you add multiple suffixes to words to change meaning.