OK guys, let me just say it:
I’m seriously struggling with motivation right now.
Not with Spanish. My love affair with Spanish continues unabated. If I could do nothing but watch TV in Spanish, read books in Spanish, twirl in flower-filled meadows with Spanish, then I’d have no major complaints.
But Tagalog? Tagalog and I are going through A Rough Patch.
I’m not sure what it is…
- The fact that I still babble like a toddler after nearly six months of daily study?
- The fact that native material is so far beyond my grasp that the only texts that I can sort-of-kind-of-mostly understand are in my textbook?
- The fact that I still find myself falling into the trap of translating word for word every time I try to express myself?
- The fact that I can understand every single word in a sentence, and yet have no stinking clue what the sentence actually means?
I’m going to go with all of the above.
This isn’t a post about ways to keep up motivation when it’s lagging. It isn’t a post about pulling the positive from the negative. I’m not looking for encouragement, or tips, or suggestions.
No, this post is about complaining! Whining! Grumbling and groaning!
Oh come on, don’t tell me that you don’t enjoy a good whine every now and then.
Here’s the thing: I don’t really like doing packaged language courses.
When I was learning Spanish, I had so many resources to pick and choose from. I could play games, read interesting articles with full audio, watch TV made for learners, listen to great podcasts, even read simple books within a few months.
(And yes, I do realize how annoying that last paragraph is if you’re currently feeling about Spanish the way that I’m feeling about Tagalog. Sorry. Please feel free to tell me off in the comments.)
Only a bit of what I did in Spanish felt like work: anki, grammar exercises, audio drills. But it was ok to do the boring stuff, because it helped me have more fun with the fun stuff.
Well, in Tagalog right now, everything is the boring stuff.
I want the fun stuff! Where is the fun stuff?
It’s OK. I’m OK.
This is just that predictable 5.26 month itch.
I’ll keep doing my daily study for the month of October: anki, memrise, reviewing what I’ve already learned, working a bit in Elementary Tagalog, clawing my way through every painfully tiny bit of progress.
This too shall pass.
In the meantime, please grab some cheese and a glass of whine, and share your language-learning woes in the comments. Come on guys…tell me I’m not alone in this.
(Please note: this is a positivity-free zone. I reserve the right to delete any inappropriately upbeat or helpful comments. Remember what no one’s mom used to say: if you can’t say something grumpy, then don’t say anything at all.)