I read that you use a different part of your brain when you learn a second (or third?) language later in life. I wish I could access that part. I know it's there. I just don't do enough homework. I want to learn Icelandic but I have other priorities, chief among them to "finish" my book. So I go to my Icelandic class and flounder and flail - and fail.
I did my homework yesterday, but I didn't learn much. We had been given a recent copy of an Icelandic newspaper and told to pick an item and report on it. We had to translate it, of course, but we could report in English. I made pönnukökur - pancakes - not that I haven't made pancakes before, but Icelandic pancakes are different: thin, like crèpes, and rolled or folded around brown sugar or preserves, eaten at kaffitíma (coffee time), not breakfast. I followed the recipe and had to learn the words for teaspoon, tablespoon, etc., and also to follow metric measurements for the flour and butter, etc. I am still an alien on this planet, have been ever since metric measurements were introduced in Canada. Egg, I'm happy to say, is egg. So I took pönnukökur to class. Frábært! (Great!) But I still can't speak or understand Icelandic and I can't speak or understand metric, either. There must be something I can do. I keep trying every day.