Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Learning for Learning's Sake

I'm teaching myself the letters of the Hebrew alphabet with help from an app that gives me mini quizzes and practice. In the last 30 minutes I've learned to identify and name each of the 22 letters (as the app has written them -- not quite ready to take this knowledge for a worldly spin). I like the way my brain approaches learning new languages with characters that require learning. In school, I excelled at Japanese and Mandarin because my brain understood it in ways that I could never manage in French, German, or other languages that share the Latin alphabet. With non-Latin writing systems I am better able to disengage from English and its many rules; I'm more open to what I can learn and don't try to make bring it back to English. I like learning new languages (am still terrified at having to speak them) and am happy that the Jewish class has given me the perfect excuse to try my hand at another. The best part may be that I have a tutor in G whose many years at Hebrew High I now intend to put to use. We also recently found a class in Seattle to learn Yiddish, which I think we would enjoy as we've both picked up a smattering of fun Yiddish words from our respective grandmothers. Anyway. Learning. And back to Aleph, Bet, Gimmel with me...

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