I was really torn about which language to focus on this year. The two I was most interested in were Italian and Polish. Italian, because it's really the link between all other so-called romance languages; and Polish because I live in Chicago, where there are more Polish people than anywhere else in the world, outside of Warsaw. Also among consideration were Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and French.
Among the considerations for my first official one-year challenge are the following:
- What prior knowledge do I have of the language I choose?
- How useful will this language be for me, both at present and in the future?
- How difficult is my chosen language for a native English speaker to learn?
- I'm starting one month late, so how can I make up that time?
For 2010, I have chosen to learn Italian. By the end of this year, I expect to be capable of understanding and participating in casual conversation in Italian.
The reason for the choice
First, I've already layed a little ground work, having done some basic study in recent months, so I have a little bit of a jump start. Also, the similarities to Spanish and French should make it easy for me to acquire new vocabulary.
And my second reason is... opera! I've always wanted to know what those people were saying when they're singing. Already, I've examined the lyrics to Con Te Partiro, by Andrea Bocelli and found that I understood a lot of what was going on in there. I'd love to be able to simply hear the song and understand it. Or Figaro...
And third: who doesn't want to understand all that stuff in The Godfather? or Sopranos? That's just cool.
It's not going to be easy, but I've got 11 months to do it, and a little bit of a head start. So here's hoping for a little buona fortuna.
So I've chosen my language, but that's only half of the goal. Next I will define the other half...
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.