The move from Koine Greek to German was pretty smooth. I knew by my 3rd year in undergrad that I wanted to become a professor. And to become a professor I needed a PhD. In order to get a PhD I needed to learn two languages. Now, although I had Greek under my belt, my pursuit was intended to be Philosophical Theology. As such, Greek wouldn’t be considered useful to me. It had to be the typical German, French, Latin, Spanish, etc. Personally I never had any fascination with French and the only Spanish I had learned was in Junior and Senior High from a friend who I know was not teaching me the kindest of words.
In the summer of 2009 I visited Germany. I was deep into my courses at school and I was making great headway on formulating what I thought was going to be a new theory in Philosophical Theology; going to Germany was only going to deepen my roots both in history and my personal goals.
Germany was amazing. I had tested the proverbial waters of the language a bit but relied heavily on my teacher/guide during the trip. In fact, the only desire to learn German – outside of the awareness for PhD studies – was that I wanted to go back … very badly. I wanted to go back and get around independently. I wanted to converse, to survive on my own, to tell my friends I’m bilingual, and to maybe one day move to Berlin and work.
2009 was a long time ago – it actually does feel like eight years! Learning German has been off and on but the best thing I’ve noticed is that when I return to learning it (on my own), I find that I’m recalling the language very well. I can hold up conversations. I can say nice words in the guttural – and almost violent sounding – language when I work out with my buddy. Eins! Zwei! Drei! Vier! Funf! … DU BIST SCHWACH! Haha.
So most days I sit and open up Duo Lingo and learn, learn, learn (with the help of Google Translate, of course). I speak to my wife in German and she has no idea what I’m saying (even though she’s German). At work I speak German all the time (which is okay seeing as how I work by myself VERY often). But that’s how I language learn. Making an effort to speak with others (which always causes laughter) or speaking to myself when I work.
To this day I still have no interest in learning French. Spanish? Maybe, but probably not. If I were to dare attempt another language it would either be Latin or Russian. But I don’t see that day approaching in this lifetime. For now, I just really hope to get back to Germany.
P.s. I never did become a professor. I completed my Masters and not much has come from it in the field of my specific study. There’s no complaints here though. The schooling was worth it. The friends are worth it. And all the opportunities since graduating have been of benefit only because of my schooling.