So, today I’m trying something a little different. Today I had Le Frenchman (who happens to also be my partner in crime) write an article about what he thinks about the whole travel, expat, language learning life path thing. (For background: he is a French expat living here in America and is also an avid traveler) I gave him free reign in this assignment and here is what he came up with for you guys. I hope you enjoy!
As I was l was contemplating my wonderful thirties while taking a break from reading a Japanese comic (seriously, being in your thirties is great!), I randomly recalled that my grandmother could solve complicated math problems when she was well past 90 years old. Despite her age, she was witty and had an incredible grasp on the contemporary world. This forced me to conclude that I needed a crazy brain challenge if I wanted to avoid becoming senile by the time people only interact with one another through olfactory-enhanced Virtual Reality. Which is to say when I’m 90 years old.
Naturally, I think I have a solution to that. Being in a multi-linguistic relationship seamlessly led me to the goal of learning yet another new language. A very complicated one, if you will.
With four writing systems, it’s fair to say that Japanese is probably one of the hardest languages to learn for a westerner, if one wants to be literate. However, I decided that preserving my brain into old age was worth accepting the challenge. Being a longtime admirer of Japanese culture as a whole, it was an easy decision.
That was three weeks ago.
Now I can more or less read one of Japanese’s syllabaries (hiragana), and I have re-discovered the amazing feeling of learning something entirely new. It is an incomparable sensation of awe and pure joy! It is a mix between archaeology and the simple pleasure of tasting a new flavor of your favorite food.
Having fun while learning is the recipe that makes the dish delicious. So why not trying something entirely new and a tad crazy? If you’ve decided to get out of your comfort zone and dive into the unknown, please share!