August 15, 2010

About this blog and about me

Well this blog is a blog that is dedicated to my potential study abroad, school year 2011-2012. It's a while away, I know, but I'm so excited about the fact that I've decided to write about it. Plus I'm way jetlagged from my trip to Europe and it's 5 in the morning and I feel mildly nauseated so I'm writing this instead of puking over a toilet.

At the moment I'm 16 years old. I live within the vicinity of Washington DC. I haven't met anyone yet who wants to learn foreign languages like I do. I dream in different languages, despite the fact that I have no idea what's being said. It's interesting; to this date I've dreamt in Spanish, Swedish, French, Italian, Greek, Russian, Yiddish, Chinese and Japanese, and, of course, English. :P I've been asked a few times how I knew that what was being said in my dreams was actually a different foreign language and not just gibberish. The answer is that I don't for most of my dreams. I know when I'm dreaming in Spanish or Swedish because I'm semi-fluent in both languages.

So, yes, I dream in foreign languages. When I'm not doing schoolwork (or even when I am), I'm researching the grammar of different languages. I like grammar. In fact, I like it a lot. It's interesting to know how a language works. More than the grammar, I'm interested in how a language sounds. This may have been part of the reason that I quit Latin after four years of intensive study: I couldn't DO anything with it, other than translate Caesar's ultimate moment when he decided to cross the Rubicon. And that was interesting, of course, but not what I wanted to do with language in my life.

I thought that Spanish was a good language to learn, as so many people around me speak it. More importantly, it's a part of my heritage. My grandfather on my mother's side was born in the north of Spain and my mother lived there for a while as well (food from Spain is heavenly, for the record). Once I got into the language, I found it logical and I liked the sound of it (only if you use the notorious Spanish "lisp," though ;) ). My studies of Spanish are ongoing today.

My mother played her DVD of "Fanny och Alexander" for me one day. I remember being engrossed by the plot and thought the whole movie was beautifully made. And what could be more beautiful than the language that went along with it?
There is a certain melodic charm to Swedish. Kvinnan har på sig en blå tröja. - a sentence like this sounds beautiful, even though it just means that the woman is wearing a blue shirt (literally, Woman-the has on herself a blue shirt). How could anyone not fall in love with this language? I dare you to watch Seventh Seal or Wild Strawberries and not find yourself being lulled in by the soft sounds.

I found Swedish to be the easiest language to learn. Hate conjugating verbs (I knew this one kid who called it "congregating verbs" - omgwtfbbq)? Learn Swedish. "Jag är, du är, han/hon är, vi är, ni är, de är". That's the whole conjugation of the verb "to be" in Swedish. No noun cases. If English is your first language, go for it.

I'll admit that pronouncing Swedish was a little difficult. De, for example, is widely pronounced as "dom" - which, as far as I can tell, isn't intuitive for anyone who doesn't speak Swedish as a first language. :)

So, this post is rambly. It's probably because I'm getting progressively nauseated and writing this post is distracting me from being sick.

Next posts will have less to do with rambly matters, more to do with study abroad. No worries.