I may not be up to full speed yet (any Korean students reading this?) but I am a little surprised at the progress.
Perhaps it is connected to the fact that the languages are not related, but each one is staying in its own little box. It may also help that the boxes are so little at this stage; only a handful of words and phrases so far.
But, in thinking about this I have realised that my experience may not be too far removed from what happens to everyone in a different environment – the living room.
Think about your TV-watching schedule. Assuming you watch a reasonably normal amount of TV (6 hours a day?) I’m guessing you have a few favourite shows; a gritty inner-city drama, a trashy soap opera, an inspirational family saga and perhaps a reality show (WARNING – the preceding link will make you laugh out loud).
How does that work for you after a couple of weeks of watching? If I ask you about the inspirational family can you remember who is who, or do you confuse them with the gritties. Can you tell your Desperate Housewives from your MILF’s?
When you watch a show, the pilot makes a big rush to introduce everyone, and then they let the stories and the characters evolve. As you watch, the episodes form a coherent whole and each development clarifies the image of each character. In time these stories, these episodes stick.
How many characters from Seinfeld can you remember? from M*A*S*H? from the Simpsons? Which numbers were Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect and Professor Pat Pending?
Just in case you thought you were no good at languages, think about this. Each language is a long-running TV show, and if you relax and get into it, you may just be able to remember enough of the cast, and the story arc and the vibe, to be able to join in when you go to a Star Trek convention – or a foreign country.
Right now, each language is in the pilot stage where the sounds are being introduced; the choking frog; the angry drunk at the opera, the battling cats and the hiccuping lion. Already, I can distinguish each show from the other and I hope to enjoy the rest of the season and to be able to bring you starring reviews by the end of the year.