Ekaterina over at In My Book has a wonderful summer challenge that I am joining! The aim of the Language Freak Summer Challenge is simple: you just have to read in another language then you normally do. For me, that means Spanish. Ever since I graduated college I haven’t had an opportunity to practice my Spanish and I have been worrying about loosing it so this challenge is perfect for me! I am going for the Beginner level committing to read only one book. The challenge lasts til August so I have plenty of time- if I’m lucky I might even get two books read!
Ekaterina also lists some questions to answer before we begin!
What languages do you know? Note: even if you are a beginner, it totally counts! And don’t forget to mention what your mother-tongue is!
My mother tongue is English! I know Spanish and very limited Chinese.
What is your history with these languages?
I studied Spanish for 3 years in high school- I even passed the AP exam! In college I studied the language for 4 years and minored in it. I took 2 years of Chinese in college which I enjoyed. When I went abroad my junior year the university I attended didn’t offer it and back home for my senior year I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule if I was going to graduate on time. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Chinese has severely atrophied; I’ve forgotten just about all the characters and I am very hard pressed to speak/understand more than very very basic Chinese. I am sad about that; I can’t believe that I used to have entire classes in Chinese with no English whatsoever! I would eventually like to re-familiarize myself with the language but I am not sure how. Maybe when I have the money I’ll buy Rosetta Stone. I won’t be reading in Chinese for this challenge because it would simply be impossible for me now.
Do you use them or are you out of practice?
Unfortunately, I am out of practice with Spanish; besides helping my sister with her Spanish homework occasionally, I haven’t read, spoken, or heard the language in about a year. I’ve been worried about loosing my grasp on the language like I lost my Chinese which I really don’t want to happen. I’ve been meaning to start reading in Spanish but I haven’t got around to it yet so I am very excited about this challenge!
Have you read some books in these languages? Did you like it?
Not since my school days, no, I haven’t. I can’t say I did like the books I did read for school; in high school we read a short novel geared towards second language learners of Spanish which I didn’t really enjoy and I still have all too vivid memories of fighting my way through a linguistics text book in Spanish. I am hoping for more success this time around with the book/s I choose to read!
What are your plans for the challenge?
Harry Potter! Or, to be more specific, Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal. I was a huge fan of Harry Potter in high school and have read every book, except the last one, multiple times. I know the story well which I think will be an advantage when reading it in Spanish in case I get confused. I eventually want to read the whole series in Spanish which I think will be cool, especially since the books start out as essentially kid books but get more complex as the series progresses which means that I should be challenging myself as I move along in the series. I’m excited for this challenge! So far I’m only planning to read the first book by August but who knows, if things go well I might even start Harry Potter y la camara secreta!