2015 is going to be a year of firsts for me. A new house is on the horizon, before we end up living in my best friend’s shed, I’m still toying with the idea of doing the London to Brighton bike ride, but probably in September instead of June, and I am also learning a new language.
Languages were my favourite subject at school. We were only offered French and German back in the day, and as much as I loved German, I just wasn’t very good at it! All that ‘der, die and das’ business just confused me. But I was actually quite good at French and managed to secure a B in my French O-level, which I was delighted with. A company called FlashSticks got in touch with me recently and asked if I would like to try out a new way to learn a language, and my first thought was Spanish. I wanted to try something completely new and Spanish seemed as good an idea as any!
Coincidentally, I’m pretty sure that I read somewhere today that Spanish was voted the friendliest language in the world … but I could have completely made that up.
The FlashSticks system is a series of Post-it notes divided into different word groups. For example, feminine nouns, mail nouns, verbs and adjectives. The idea is that you stick the Post-it notes around the house so that you become familiar with them without sitting down and studying a book. I like to think of it as the words just being in my peripheral vision and I’m learning by osmosis! Or something.
Its early days, very early days, and I have only got round to putting one set of male and female nouns up on my bedroom wall. But picture the scene if you will … imagine me marching on the spot in front of them, trying to increase my step count for the day (as I’m part of my Fitbit motivational group), singing out Spanish words as I go, at the top of my voice. Quite a sight to behold!
I am in no rush to learn this language and am happy to take it slowly, but there are forms of support on offer for when I am ready to take the next step. At the moment, I know what the Spanish for bicycle is (la bicicleta) and I have much pleasure in calling Dexter ‘el chico’ a lot. He’s not a fan though. I’ve also found out that if you download the FlashSticks app and take a photo of a Post-it note, the online tutor will pop up and pronounce the word for you! I’m having WAY too much fun with that!
As I progress through this learning system throughout the gear, I will keep you posted (geddit?) on how I am finding it, and how many more random words I have learnt. I haven’t quite progressed to a full sentence yet but I hope to get there at some point!
Is anyone else learning a language? I would love to hear from you.