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Nadine – spelled Nàdine on the ol’ birth certificate.  My German mom and Canadian dad pronounce it Nuh-deen, the rest of America says Nay-deen.  I can roll with both ways.

Novice in Language Land – the rookie’s book of tips and tricks, a trainee’s guide to starting a second language.  This is my roller coaster with trying to learn languages and hopefully one day actually becoming fluent in something.

Attempt No. 1: Learning German in a German language school

I actually learned German pretty quickly, but when I reached a level where I would have to graduate from the children’s class and move to the adult class, my 7 year old self said, “game over.”

Attempt No 2: High School Spanish

I originally wanted to take the German classes, but of course they were cancelled the very year I was to start them.  Of course.  So Spanish it was.  Three years later I walked out of those classes knowing probably two useless sentences more than I did going in.  Hooray for high school foreign language classes!

Attempt No. 3: College-level German

My biggest takeaway was becoming a fanatic of ‘Globe Trekker’ and its hi-larious oddball host Ian Wright.  Basically, my native German teacher was a red-faced drunk who may or may not show up to class and more often than not, would show up only to push play on the ‘Globe Trekker’ Austria DVD, then mysteriously leave again.  Hooray for ‘Globe Trekker’!

Attempt No. 4: Icelandic via Talk Now! software

Trying to figure out the “s” and “sh” sounds on a fuzzy software program was the worst.  But I distinctly remember kvennaklosett means women’s restroom and karlakosett is men’s restroom.  Unfortunately I’ll never be able to use those two gems in real life since I’ve already been to Iceland and found they speak English better than most native English speakers.  They can probably out-English me.

Attempt No. 5: Fluenz French

After college my inner nerd busted out and I found myself dying to learn something new.  Enter French.  After meticulous research (didn’t want another Icelandic experience on my hands) I finally decided to try the software program from Fluenz.  I. LOVE. IT.  Since my mom gave me the “look of disappointment” when I said I wanted to learn French instead of her native German, I caved.

Attempt No. 6: Fluenz German

Fluenz is a relatively new company, so they didn’t have German when I started French.  As soon as it came out, I started German right along side French.

…and this is where Novice in Language Land begins.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 11:11 am

    I love your drive to learn so many languages! And I’ve never heard of Fluenz before – would you recommend it?

    • January 27, 2012 11:18 am

      I would definitely recommend Fluenz. Actually, their Facebook page (just search “Fluenz Facebook”) is a cool way to see how other users like it, any questions they have and how the Fluenz team answers them.

  2. danielalvis permalink
    November 6, 2012 6:48 pm

    I have all the Fluenz languages, and I love them. I was also really excited when German came out and I can’t wait to see what language they decide to do next.

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