So, I am currently learning French and while I’m not quite good yet, I feel like I’m making slight progress. However, I feel like I’m moving up the skill tree quite slowly. After all, I’m learning on Duolingo and I finally got around to finishing Section 2 of Duolingo’s French course. I also don’t feel like I’m getting a good sense of past tense/future tense, even though I am learning a few words (like pleuvoir) that describe something that’s going to happen.
Now, I feel that the way I started did help me to learn a bit more with learning on Duolingo. The first bit of work I did was a French course in community college with a native French speaker from Africa. This helped me with my pronunciation and I feel like I focused a lot on that. This was critical for helping me to speak French better.
Further, Section 3 (which I am currently on) is still the equivalent of CEFR level A1. However, I had an evaluation with someone from the local Alliance française in my town. They placed me on level A2.1. They did mention that I don’t have the past and future tenses solid. However, they think I know enough to be able to flourish in the A2.1 classes.
So, what comes next, after Duolingo?
Honestly, I’m not quite sure. According to their course, they can get me up to level B2 on the CEFR. Even though I do have aspirations to learn a couple more languages, I do want to be just as fluent in French as I am in English.
So, what other languages am I planning to learn?
Well, it depends on when I get to level B2 of French. Pragmatically speaking, Spanish would be useful. After all, I’m planning to have three surgeries in two Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico and Spain, in case you were curious). And I feel it would be incredibly critical to be able to speak to people in those countries.
I also know that if I learned Spanish, I would be able to increase my reach. After all, I do want to be an educator on trans issues. To be able to do this effectively, I need to be able to communicate with more people. So, I would want to be able to communicate and relate to Spanish-speaking people. In other words, I have a mission-minded motivation to learn Spanish too.
Furthermore, I feel that Spanish would provide me a gateway to learning Hebrew. I know that statement would cause a few people to scratch their heads in wonder. However, it’s not that shocking. There is a Jewish language in the Diaspora called Ladino and it’s actually a language spoken by Sephardic Jews. Another name for it is Judaeo-Spanish. I also find it intellectually fascinating and a unique way to approach Hebrew.
However, my intellectual curiosity is pulling me towards German. I’m incredibly curious about learning German because English is a Germanic language. I feel that learning German would give me a greater appreciation for and understanding of my native tongue. I also distinctly remember wanting to learn German when I was a kid. However, I honestly don’t remember why.
Furthermore, I know that Yiddish has Germanic roots. I feel that increasing my knowledge in German would help me to learn Yiddish. And I feel that learning Yiddish, like learning Ladino, would help me to learn Hebrew.
Then, there’s also the weeb in me and as a result, Japanese is a contender for my next language. I’d like to be able to watch anime and read manga without dubs or subtitles. I also feel that it would give me access to more manga and anime. After all, I wouldn’t have to wait until some fan group dubbed or subbed a particular series. I remember waiting anxiously while a fan group of subbers were slowly releasing episodes of Bleach. It was excruciating and I’d love to be a bit more independent in this regard.
So, what resources do I plan to use to perfect my French?
Honestly, not sure. I’ve heard good things from Evan Edinger about Clozemaster. I also plan to read more French and Québecois news and listen to French-language podcasts.