A Lesson in Language

As I’ve had a guest at my place from Hospitality Club for the last week or so who speaks French as her native language, I’m reminded of how difficult it is to learn another language. She came here specifically to spend a semester abroad and learn English, while I’ve been spending the last semester attempting to learn Croatian. I suppose that the good thing for her is that I can understand the building blocks that one is trying to formulate when going from English to any other language and (I hope) I’ve been able to explain things better because of it.
At this point, I think the for both of us, we understand the mechanics and now, it’s merely the chore of learning all these new verbs and nouns of the new language, which takes forever. Luckily for her, as she is moving in to her permanent home for the semester, she’ll be surrounded by people speaking English and that will have a very positive effect on her skill set. For me, I’m still going to be trying to remember which damned case I have to decline in to in order to match whatever reflexive future tense I’m trying to create. In other words, at the end of four months, Astrid will be able to say, “What’s up?” with the rest of us, while I’ll still be saying things like, “I wish to be spending money with great force when traveling immediately.” No, that’s not how it translates in to English, that’s how Borat-esque my Croatian still is at this point. Perhaps that trip I hope to take to the Balkans this summer will happen and fix these things…