For as long as I can remember I have wanted to learn how to speak German. At school I wasn't allowed to learn - it was French or nothing. I was gutted when the year below us were allowed to. Mind you I wasn't allowed to do Woodwork either as that was classed as a "boys" trade (can you imagine telling a girl that these days?). I chose to drop french (I've been there only once in my 46 years on this planet - except the time we drove through on our way to Spain) but the yearning for German never went away. A few years ago I booked myself onto a course (finally having one near me that I was able to work around) only for them to cancel because they didn't have enough people wanting to learn (so very typical!!!).
Anyway, at the beginning of the week I thought I'd have a look to see if I could learn a few welsh phrases as my friend is taking me there soon - I have heard the language spoken on my many visits there and always wanted to at least show that I'd made an effort. I've found an online course and an app that helps you say the words correctly. My problem is I have a brain which is unable to soak up the information. It goes in one ear and out the other. So far I have made it to level 5 via the online one but I literally have no clue what I am going on about. I can read it ok (I can read French too even though I was never taught) but to remember what word is which when I am speaking and my mind goes completely blank. Earlier I was doing a lesson and was getting on fine translating what was in front of me from welsh to English but when I had to do it the other way I had a complete mind blank. I know it is all about the practice and I need to do as much as I can as often as I can but somewhere deep inside my tiny brain is a voice saying "Stop - we can't cope" :) I think my biggest problem is how other languages work. To us Saturday is Saturday. In Welsh it's Dydd Sadwrn. They put the day bit before. It's like French with their La's and Le's or German with their Ein or Eine's. I've never been good at English when it comes to verbs, nouns, adverbs etc so not being able to do it in my own language I'm finding it even harder in another. I'll keep at it and hope by the time I get there I can remember something (I do know how to say Good Morning, Good Night, Good Afternoon or how to ask for 6 apples - that's something, right?).
This is why visiting America is always such a good idea. They may leave out letters, have a few words which sound the same but mean different (rubber = eraser, trousers = pants) but they put their words in the same order that we do and I means I, you means you. There aren't extra e's or a's/e's which mean the same but different. I can get by over there. I think that's another reason why the English aren't as liked as much as other countries. We often make no effort to learn the lingo in other places we visit, expecting everyone to speak to us in English. I did find in France because I tried they were far more willing to meet me halfway which was a nice thing, and I did apologise for not being better at their language. I know in Wales most people speak English (or at least they used to). Having said that when I was there 10 years ago with another friend I heard Welsh spoken a lot more than at any other time I had visited previously - and so it should be. It is the countries language after all. I just didn't realise it would be quite so hard to learn!! I'm sure if I had one of those brains which retains things well it wouldn't be such an issue for me. Like everything in my life though I will not give up. If I can remember some words then eventually I'll be able to remember others. Maybe not in this lifetime, but at some point. I never quit on anything if there is the slightest chance I will achieve what I set out to do.
That's why I won't quit on my fund raising. I truly believe it will happen. All it takes is that one person to make the breakthrough - same as with the language. It takes that one moment to make it happen. Could you be my moment? Could you be the person who helps me breakthrough the fund raising barrier? I know I'll master (well, not master as such but I'll get there) the Welsh (I'm moving onto German when I get back from Wales) just as I know I'll succeed in the fund raising. I've never failed on something I've set my heart on to do before - I'm not going to start now.!!