Something encouraging!

We are grown-ups. We may not always look like it, perhaps not even act like it, but check the dates in our Passports and you’ll see both Rowan and I are the other side of thirty. We’ve both worked extensively in youth work and in schools work. Between us we’ve taken assemblies, taught in classrooms and run group workshops and one-on-one tuition one subjects including mountain-biking, music and computer skills. In the light of all this I don’t understand why I get so stressed about our language lessons. It’s not like the learning environment is a far-off, foreign place. But I feel it – not in my fingers! – in my shoulders and neck. It’s stressful. Perhaps it’s the thought of yet again having to watch a red pen make substantial adjustments to my homework.

Tonight, as my work book was surrendering up the results of this weekend’s blood, sweat and tears, an interesting thing happened. Our teacher began to flick back through the pages, searching for something. Eventually she found it: the date of our first lesson! 22 Rujan 2008. (Rujan is Croatian for September.) She started making positive sounding noises and muttering things we probably should have understood. I’m going take the drift of it to be that for six weeks of study we’re doing pretty well. This is encouraging because we still feel distinctly disadvantaged in so many daily situations. For all my complaining it is an exciting challenge. Knowing how embarrassingly, if understandably, lazy most English people are when it comes to learning another language it is rewarding to know we will shortly be joining what must be a minority of those who have a working knowledge of a second language. But only so long as we keep doing our homework!


David said…
So far all I have managed is "dobar dan" and "hvala." I hope I can learn a little more before visiting Leah. The largest Bosnian expatriate community in the U.S. is only about an hour's drive from where we live. Maybe I could get some help there. I studied German in school, but so far that has been of almost no use to me.
You are doing a whole lot better than we are. Our first lesson is scheduled for Thursday and we have been here since August. My Bosnian is entirely based around food and games for kids. I am currently being put to shame by my 22 month old. But I feel better as someone told me the other day that Bosnian is supposed to be the 3rd most difficult language in the world. What occupies the top two spots I have no idea!

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