Life Of A Blogger is hosted by the fabulous Jessi from Novel Heartbeat where we let people know more about our lives outside of blogging so they can get to know us better!
I have a very long history with different languages. I’m simply not good with languages. It takes a lot of studying for me to remember a language and once I don’t study the language or speak the language anymore for around two months, I forget most of it.
I grew up speaking Chinese, specifically Cantonese. I’m fluent in it, but not extremely fluent in it like some of my friends are.
In fifth grade, I was forced (because back then, I can’t say “no, I don’t want to study any languages!”) to learn Spanish. However, I was a lazy fifth grader and the only word I really learned was “hola.” Don’t ask me if I passed Spanish or not, I don’t know and don’t remember.
Then seventh and eighth grade came and I was forced to learn Italian. I don’t know how I got stuck in Italian while most other people were learning Spanish, but that was just life. Anyways, I was doing okay in Italian and realized how to get an easy A: just raise your hand twice during the semester and answer the question the teacher asked. Also, get at least two A’s on two of your Italian tests (there were four tests per semester from what I can remember) and hey, you got an A. I didn’t even try in that class. The only words I really learned was “ciao,” “ciao,” (one ciao is for hi, the other ciao is for bye) and “tempo.” Yes, I was a very lazy person in seventh and eighth grade and never studied a day in my life. Except for Earth Science class because I had to, but that’s a whole other story.
Then high school came and my parents bribed me to learn Chinese, specifically Mandarin, which I spent three years in high school studying: my freshmen year, my sophomore year, and my junior year until finally, FREEDOM. I didn’t study at all my freshmen year since my Chinese teacher was AWFUL and a complete pushover, resulting in me failing a semester. (Yes, I was a major, major, major slacker back then that didn’t care about my grades at all.) I had the same Chinese teacher for my sophomore year and again, I learned absolutely NOTHING since she was gone for a semester due to a tragedy in her life. Then junior year came and I had the strictest Chinese professor in the entire school. She soon learned that I didn’t know the simplest of Mandarin and went easy on me when she saw I was trying to learn a lot (this was the year when I started improving my grades). I even managed to pass the Chinese Regents (Regents are huge state exams NY has to take) and honestly, I guessed on more than 50% of it.
Now college came and to my dismay, I had to take a language class for four semesters since even though I passed the Chinese Regents, I didn’t pass with a high enough score. While I was busy shaking my fist at the world, my parents strongly urged me to take Chinese (again!) and actually learn it for real this time. They also said that they can also help me with Mandarin since they know it already (that’s like bribery). I managed to pass the first three semesters with As and even an A+. However, the fourth semester, aka the past five months, have been DEATH to me. The professor actually expected us to memorize 60 new words a week and quizzed us on a random twenty every week. I managed to get by that class with an A-. Thank god my experience with language classes are finally over.
So in the end, I can speak one word in Spanish, three words in Italian, and some Mandarin. I say “some” for Mandarin because it’s been two and a half month since I’ve studied or spoken Mandarin and it’s been slowly disappearing from my memory.
How about you guys? Do you struggle with languages like I do? What languages can you write and speak? I want to know!