During my educational years I attempted to learn two different foreign languages. The first was back in my pre-high school days, when it was Spanish. Needless to say, I did not like the class and did not do well in it. So I never went back to it. During high school I made it though 2 years of German. I attempted to continue this during my first year at college, while attending BYU. I was taken back by the “level” of teaching. Maybe I wasn’t prepared. But the first day of class, not a word of English was spoken. I guess this is the “immersion” style of teaching a new language.
Now some 20 years later I return to learn a foreign language to learn. I decided to start with Spanish (Latin America) because we ARE in California and it makes sense, as this is sort of the basis for other similar languages such as Italian and Portuguese. I had been looking at Rosetta Stone.
The only setback to learning with this program, which received some excellent reviews was the price of all three levels, $549 based on their website. A steep price no matter how you look at it or attempt to justify it. So talking to another ham operator on IRC the other day and I was able to “obtain” the language packs. I was also able to find the core Rosetta Stone program.
After about 30 minutes of decompressing, installing and configuring I was able to get Rosetta Stone up and running as well as all three levels for Spanish. Interesting to note, while at BYU, they did have one of the best linguistic centers in the Missionary Training Center (MTC), where young men and women are sent prior to going on their “Mormon Missions” in order to learn their new language. Rosetta Stone uses a similar “immersion” process in order for someone to learn.
I started Spanish Level 1 last night while at work and was able to learn some basic words (nouns) and actions (verbs) as well as some simple sentences. I was rather impressed to see what I retained and could say in 30 minutes. Again, this is an immersion process, where you read, write and speak in Spanish, there is no English to supplement the learning process.
As for my reasoning to learn a new language, it was somewhat perpetuated by the fact I play soccer with seven Mexicans and the running joke was I had no idea what they were saying when we were on the field. I would like to see my son grow up knowing a second (or third, Morse Code counts as a language, right?) language. It can only be beneficial as they grow up.
So hopefully three months from now, sooner possibly, I will be fluent in Spanish and be able to read, write and speak Spanish. Once learned, I do hope to try Italian as well.