Learning curve

Let me tell you something about a learning curve. You have always wanted to learn more about this, haven’t you?
To be more precise: the learning curve of a certain somebody (Ruth) in an Asian country (Nepal) who’s learning a language (Nepali).

Just like a good teacher should, I’ll use visual aids. And yes, they’ve been made using Paint. What’s wrong with Paint anyway?

The vertical is about the amount of absorbed Nepali, the horizontal about the time it took.

Here we got the first graphic.  This is about the first days, weeks and months. My teachers stood amazed, and taxi drivers simply didn’t believe me when I told them I’d lived in Nepal for 3 months (you mean 3 YEARS, right?)

Those were the days. This went on for about 5 months.

Now here’s graphic no. 2. A little dramatized maybe, but mind you: it’s all just based on my own insight and feelings.

Ups and downs. One day I’ll make complete sentences using ‘although’, ‘except when’ and ‘if – then’ constructions, the next day “I’m hungry!” and “how are you?” is all that comes out of my mouth. All connections are broken, my inner dictionary is closed, in the language department of my brain the lights are out and spider webs are hanging from the lamps.

Which gets me to the next graphic: how I’ve been feeling for the past week.There’s a strike! My head is not working with me anymore! In a conversation I open all the wrong drawers and I don’t find the right word – let alone grammar structures.

The worst is when during a good day someone will say: “You speak better Nepali than we do!”
It sounds very nice. But what it actually means is: the grammar you use is quality, it’s perfect, it’s polite…but that’s not how we talk.

The average Nepali uses a mixture of simplified Nepali and slang. I probably sound like a politician/official/press officer Or just like a foreigner who’s trying to learn a language.

But, as a matter of fact I have nothing to complain about. I inherited a few language genes and since I won’t be able to get rid of these in my life time, I’m just using them as well as I possibly can.  Despite the craziness, I’m going super fast, and maybe that’s why I just need a little break.

From next week I’m going for it again!

One thought on “Learning curve

  1. Ruth I totally understand! haha. But you are a linguist! You can do it! haha. Also, I am very proud of you. Not only are you learning a whole new language but every thing else about the culture and people! You are amazing.

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