WWP: My Language Learning Goals For 2017

In this Aussie English episode of Walking With Pete I talk to you guys about my language learning goals for 2017 and ask for your opinion after I run things by you all.

Hey guys. Welcome to this episode of Sitting With Pete, maybe we’ll call it, as I’m just chilling out here at the restaurant.

I had a meeting and (I) got to hang out with a lot of the other guys here at the restaurant. We had to do some training. So, it was sort of a training day where we had to sort of just go over the basics of having… I don’t even know how to explain it, but solving problems potentially with customers. So, any sorts of grievances or if someone gets the wrong meal or they don’t like something, you know, just going over the basics of what we have to do when dealing with customers and making sure that they’re all happy.

So, (I) did that for about an hour and a half with all the other waiters here and the managers as well, and I am now just hanging out for about half an hour until I start work later on tonight at about 6 O’clock.

And so, you can tell I’m speaking a little quieter because it’s actually quite quiet here. There’s no music playing and there’s people working downstairs. And, yeah, I thought, “Perfect time to make another video for you guys, touch base.”. And, TO TOUCH BASE means to get in touch with, to sort of keep up-to-date, to tell you about things, to see how you’re going. If I want to TOUCH BASE with my parents, for example, in general, it could just mean that I’m calling my parents up and saying, “How’ve you been? I just wanted TO TOUCH BASE with you. I wanted to see how you were.”. You can also use the phrase TO TOUCH BASE for wanting to see how something is, say, progressing. So, say, you are building a restaurant, and you’ve got plumbers and electricians and builders, carpenters coming over and doing bits and pieces, you could TOUCH BASE with all of them, you know, call them up. “What are you doing today? How’s this going? Is this progressing? Where are you at with this part of the project?”. So, it’s that idea of just communicating with someone to see where they are at, how they’re doing, seeing the progress of a project like that. You could BE TOUCHING BASE. Anyway, that’s one expression that I can just cheekily explain there for you.

So, I thought I would do this episode because I’m thinking of doing, or thinking of learning a new language next year just to change things up. So, to keep my language learning experience and progress sort of going. I felt like after I learnt French last year for an entire year, and really really enjoyed that, and I spent this year learning Portuguese, I thought it would be cool to kind of keep learning a new language each year and see how I can progress, see what sort of level I can get to, you know. I’m probably not going to get anywhere near, you know, really high level in fluency, but at the same time I’m going to obviously learn the basics, be able to communicate, and just immerse myself in the culture a little bit more than if I was to otherwise stick with English while I’m in Australia.

So, (my) thoughts for next year. Obviously, I speak French and I speak Portuguese and I speak English, I’m thinking of learning Icelandic though. And, Icelandic is a Scandinavian language. It’s the language that’s spoken in Icelandic, funnily enough. And, there’s several reasons why I want to learn Icelandic, and I thought I would go over those with you and see what you thought. One, I love the country geographically. The geology of the country’s amazing, the volcanos, the different parts of the scenery, mountains, beaches. Everything up there in the Northern Hemisphere right up near the North Pole, it just looks like an amazing place, an amazing country. Aside from that, I love what I know of the people and of the culture and of the history. The history as well, and the vikings, the Sagas, that has always really really interested me. And so, I’ve always been really fascinated with being able to read the Sagas potentially in the language in which they were written, which wasn’t Icelandic, but it was Old Norse.  And the other aspect or the other part that I guess that I want to get to is the fact that Icelandic is a Scandinavian language like Swedish, Danish or Norwegian, however, it is very different from those three in that it is grammatically more complex and shares a lot of the grammar that Old Norse has or had once upon a time.

So, Old Norse is the language from which Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and a few other languages stem and, or originate from, but a lot the other languages, or at least, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, have all been simplified. So, their grammar has become more simplified, it’s not as difficult for foreigners to learn. Whereas, Icelandic still has incredibly different grammar with cases, with genders… I think with genders or at least with cases.

And so, it’s just more of a challenge. It’s more of an interesting challenge. Seeing as I speak English, obviously, and I’ve learnt two Romance languages, French and Portuguese, it’d be interesting to learn a Germanic language other than, obviously, one that I already speak (English). So, learning a Germanic language with incredibly different grammar. So, that is part of the reason why I want to learn Icelandic.

Other than that, I would like to learn Spanish. That would definitely be on the high priority list. The only thing is that I want my Portuguese to be at a very very high level before I go anywhere near Spanish. I don’t want to go anywhere near Spanish until my Portuguese is at very advanced level, because I feel like I would confuse the two languages very easily, because they’re so close to one another. If I was to suddenly start learning Spanish from a beginner’s level when my Portuguese was only at an intermediate level I feel like I would have the potential to really confuse myself with words, with grammar, with different nouns, you know. They may only slightly be different between the two languages, or they may be false friends where the same word is used but that means completely different things. So, I feel like I have to, at least for a few years, focus on levelling up Portuguese to a very high level until I feel like, “Ok, maybe now I can go near Spanish without worrying about confusing the two and CROSSING them OVER.”. So, TO CROSS OVER is obviously TO CROSS something like this and to get them confused in that figurative sense. TO CROSS the two things OVER, to confuse them.

So, yeah, I definitely want to see what do you guys think? Do you think it’s a good idea? Other than, I guess, the idea of starting to learn Icelandic on the 1st of January, ’cause I like starting languages at the moment on the very 1st of January and learning them all the way through until New Years as at least my primary focus for that one languages. I’d still keep doing Portuguese and I would still keep doing French on the side, and probably just more passively. Once it’s gotten to that point where I can read pretty well and listen pretty well that is what I would probably focus on more until I had the chance to be able to go to countries like Brazil or like France where I could potentially more fully immerse myself and then work on my speaking.

So, the option is, yeah, starting Icelandic on the 1st of January and showing you guys what I can achieve, I guess, in a year. So, doing these 1-minute daily episodes that I’ve been doing on Aussie English, and I’ll put a link below to the Instagram so that you guys can go and check out the ones that I’ve done in French and in Portuguese for the last week and a half. I think I’ve done about 9 episodes. I’m going to try and keep doing that every single day. And so, I would try and do that with Icelandic. And I guess this would be an interesting one because I’ve never met anyone from Iceland. So, this would be a language that I would be learning completely on my own with no help from natives at all. So, it would be interesting to see what I can achieve doing that.

The other option would be to just continue with French and Portuguese, and focus on those two together and level them up at the same time for another year. And so, yeah, those are my thoughts at the moment. I thought I would RUN this BY you guys. And TO RUN something BY someone is to sort of get your opinion, to tell you about it, to gauge what you think. If I run my idea by you guys it means that I tell you the idea and that I wait to hear what you think. TO RUN it BY you. So, I wanted TO RUN the idea of starting Icelandic next year BY you guys to see, what do you think? Is it a good idea? Is it a challenge? Maybe you think with that kind of language, “What’s the point?” It’s such a minuscule language with a very small population. Maybe I should focus more on learning another language that’s a lot more common. And maybe you’ll think, “You should just do Spanish! You’ll do it!”, you know, “It’s fine. You won’t confuse it with Portuguese.”. I want to hear what you guys think.

So, make sure you jump on Facebook, send me a message or a comment. Subscribe to this channel and also like it, and drop a comment below. Tell me what you think in a comment. Should I do Icelandic? What do you think I’ll be able to achieve in a year’s time? And, yeah, is there a language that you’re learning at the moment aside from English, and would you like to join me in the 1 minute per day challenge that I’m doing on Instagram? Where I just record and upload… excuse me. I record and upload a video once a day of one minute talking. Anyway, comment below and let me know what you guys think. See you later!

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