As I mentioned in my last post, my first goal in choosing a language this year was that I pick something which I will have many opportunities to use. In that post, I listed out several considerations, and I think it's important to go through a similar process when choosing a new language project for yourself.
In my case, though, there are a few additional things to think about when choosing. Most of my readers probably don't have a language learning blog. And most of my readers probably won't be starting another language every year.
But in my case, these are important additional criteria. Having succeeded at Italian and then fallen short with Turkish, it would be a huge discredit to me if I were to turn my attention to another romance language. Whether fair or not, any success would be viewed with the advantage of my Italian success. (Not to mention the fact that I speak Spanish too!) Likewise, having dabbled in Polish for a month last year, and being a fluent speaker of Russian, I couldn't really choose a Slavic language either, for the same reason.
I don't want my poor results with Turkish to become an excuse for anyone to say that a language is "too hard", or that a year isn't enough time. My failure was mostly an issue of motivation, and the only way I can prove that is by continuing to attack difficult languages and to succeed when I do!
And so it is that I have chosen to learn Greek this year.
The Greek language is not slavic, not romance, not germanic. It has a new alphabet. It has odd spelling peculiarities and is not phonetic. In summary, there is nothing about the Greek language that can be said to give me any advantages in learning.
My only advantage, which it is my intention to prove, is that I will have opportunities to use the language. I work closely with a fluent speaker of Greek. The office where I work is located 2 blocks from Chicago's "Greektown". And I intend (hopefully) to move to an apartment in or near Greektown soon.
The bottom line is, this is a language I will be able to use. And that's the most important key to learning: you must use what you learn.
Well, that's it, then. Wish me luck!
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.