I always thought I’m pretty good at learning languages. After all I lived in 4 countries and at some point in my life spoke fluent russian, two versions of romanian, and english.
But I’ve been trying to learn french for over a decade with no success. I used to think the reason is no immersion and no dedicated study but I have a new idea.
Perhaps there is a limit to how many languages I am capable of being a master of at the same time. I used to speaking russian and romanian, but not english. And I do still speak russian and english, but my romanian is almost worse than my french. Maybe that’s the answer. Even though the french language structure and vocabulary makes perfect sense for me (romanian is also a language of latin origin) and I have the desire to learn it – maybe there just isn’t room in that part of my brain.
That wasn’t something I thought of before. We’ve all heard of poliglots, and maybe even know some, but now that I think of it – I don’t really know any. So I don’t feel bad about my new decision.
After so many years of trying, and torturing my students with my french interface laptop I have switched back to english with the new version of Linux Mint. And the benefits were apparent very quickly. I found all kinds of software and settings on my computer I had no idea were here because I wasn’t looking for them and their french names didn’t jump at me. Cool!