|Yes, Daniel, you may certainly ask how I learnt German (O.K. but not brilliantly well) - with
passing remarks on how I learned, or failed to learn, Latin, French, and Norwegian and
Russian. (German last) - all under the title: ''Introspection on learning a foreign language." I
note the importance of my emotional relationship to the language I was learning.
Latin. None. Learnt little. All grammar, vocabulary and translation.
French. Quite interested at the age of 11, much more interested at the age of 33 or so.
Learnt to speak and understand adequately. No reading or writing to speak of.Something
remianed of what I had been taught at school where we were taught in a traditional way -
vocabulary to learn, translations, grammar. But I really began speaking French when I
shared an office with a Frenchman who didn't want to speak English.
Norwegian. None. Learnt little, though did manage to talk to my 4-year-old daughter, who
was fluent. I learnt from her and a bit from watching English films with Norwegian sub-titles.I
learnt nothing from my Norwegian teacher, who taught in English.
Russian. Very interested. Learnt to speak, understand, read and write. Our teachers were
native Russian speakers who had very little English and never used it.
German. Resistant. (Did not want to be in Germany). Can talk freely though inaccurately and
understand the majority of what I hear. Read little, and my writing is embarassing i.e. quite
inaccurate, and will remain so. Did a 6-week course at the Goethe Institute, but didn't really
learn my German there. We wrote down lists of vocabulary and grammar notes in lessons.
Learnt, and go on learning German from talking to German relatives and others who don't
speak English. Also by persevering at attendance of plays, readings talks in German, even if
I only partly understand. I watch a little televsion, but the emphasis is on the little.
This is a re-cycled account for some members. My apologies.