No Es Imposible/It's Not Impossible

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"'You must be pretty fluent by now.  Did you know Spanish prior to arriving there?'

'I didn't speak the language at all when I arrived, but I'll tell you it's a lot easier to learn than Czech.  When I'm nervous, I lose my Spanish almost entirely; on the other hand, when I'm angry, it improves, and I start talking really fast'" (Lemire 171).

Although I sometimes disagree with Lemire's ideas, I do really enjoy reading the Q & As because it gives a real-life perspective on English majors.  I found this interview to be particularly interesting because Nancy Strauss took a chance, went overseas and started teaching in the Czech Republic, decided to write a novel about the Spanish Civil War, moved to Spain and LEARNED A COMPLETELY NEW LANGUAGE.  I always hear (and there are scientific studies to back this up) that adults find it almost impossible to learn a foreign language.  This woman was straight out of college and even a few years passed before she lived in Spain.  So she was probably like mid to late twenties when she actually started to learn the language!  I just found this to be an important point to make that it is not impossible to learn another language when you're an adult.  You just have to learn it in a different way. 

I also admire Nancy for having the guts to go out and live overseas for her first real job.  As entrepreneurs (since we are always talking about being entrepreneurial), we should be willing to take risks and go outside our comfort zones.  We can learn so much from travel and we should take advantage of it when we can. 

One final point:  It is really reassuring to see a few people mentioned in this book who are specializing in English but learning other languages as well.  When I first came to SHU, I thought that I was doing a strange combination when I picked Spanish and Creative Writing (along with Secondary Education).  But reading this gives me confidence that the two are more related than perhaps I originally thought and that I can do something in my life that includes both of those subjects.

Come on, vamanos!  Everybody let's go!  Come on, let's get to it!  I know that we can do it!  Where are we going?  Back to the homepage!  Where are we going?  Back to the homepage!  Where are we going?  Back to the homepage!  Where are we going?  Back to the homepage! 

Back to the homepage!

(You know you loved my version of the Dora travel song.)    


Stephanie Wytovich said:

I liked your entry Lauren because I think that it is easily relatable for a lot of students. I know that in my two majors, English/ Art history, everyone is always like 'how are you going to intertwine the two?'

But it makes sense with an English major (or writing major)because it equpis you with valuable skills that can be used in almost any job. You are learning to read more closely, write better, and present yourself in various ways.

Good entry!

Cyril said:

I like your post and I totally agree!

It indeed isn´t possible to learn a language when you are older. Some people say older people don´t learn as fast as younger people, but it is proven that there are certain good learning methods for older people. With these methods they tend to learn as fast as younger people! The only thing which is required: have fun in what you are doing!

It is indeed true that an entrepreneur has to take a lot of risk. While traveling or living abroad you do take a lot of risk and you will learn a lot. Next to this you will learn a lot about other cultures and about the people and how they think, which is very important being an entrepreneur!

Viktoria ironpride said:

It IS impossible for an older person to learn a foreign language! I was 43 years old when I first went to college, and signed up (bad idea, as it turned out) for what was then called "German 1"--"elementary" German. Believe me, there was nothing "elementary" about it! Though we were supposed to "have no previous experience with the language," the TA said cheerfully the first day that "We're going to start speaking German from the first day." Great--we weren't supposed to know any German, but we were supposed to "start speaking" it from the first day in class. Now they say that you will pick up the second language the same way the first language was learned. However, there is a very big advantage when one is a child--the brain then is like a sponge and absorbs everything quickly and easily. The brain is pretty much calcified at about 12-13, so forget learning a new language. I would have gotten a double major in History and English if I just had the foreign language credit, but that first class did it for me. i managed to get through it somehow, but I never went back. Foreign language requirements are ridiculous, anyway--every student (and I mean EVERY student) with whom I have spoken who took four semesters of any foreign language has forgotten anything they did manage to learn, and usually within six months--

Actually, I'm surprised just how much German I remember. I took four semesters in college (I was 21 or 22, and at that point in my life I had more time to study so that I could hang around with other students who were also learning German and practice the names of colors and the days of the week.

I also took 3 years of Latin in high school, so I was more than ready for the complexities of German grammar. Both languages helped me strengthen my knowledge of English grammar. I remember being shocked when a PhD English student in my "History of the English Language" course said she didn't know what a direct object was.

Completely off-topic... I'm absolutely fascinated by the name "Viktoria Ironpride."

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