I'm going to learn Icelandic today. (I might have the wrong declension on the word Icelandic.)
I have so many things going on, I have been neglecting my homework. Yeah yeah I've been busy. That's everyone's excuse now and it's true and valid and justified - all that. But it's also a matter of choice. There are so many projects and commitments and pleasures vying for attention that it's all too easy to choose only one or two and let the others slide. When guilt or shame outweighs pleasure, it's time to come to terms with one's commitment. So today I choose Icelandic.
I was talking to my granddaughters the other day, both gifted young women (I told you that already), and they were discussing their travel adventures and their efforts to learn other languages. One of them, who spent a couple of summers in Africa setting up outpost clinics for children (as an undergrad medical student), learned Swahili. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro before she went home one year and was so fluent that she managed to complain about her physical aches in Swahili. She said to her guide that even her little finger was sore. And the other one, the artist, a product of French immersion in her Toronto schooling, and of a mother (my daughter) who spoke French to her at home and took her to Montreal to practice, described the day, after she had spent several months in Europe, when "the veil dropped" and she was understanding and thinking in French. Wow.
Well, I studied Latin and Classical Greek at university (so I have a very large vocabulary and a good grasp of grammar) and I took a double honours degree in French and English. I was almost bilingual, though I never had a veil drop, maybe once when I'd had too much wine. So what am I doing, studying Icelandic? I am so sorry I didn't learn it when I was a child, listening to but not understanding my mother and her mother and sisters gossiping over coffee. It would be so easy now, I can tell, even from the few remnants that my grandmother taught me; i can pronounce the word for bread exquisitely.
The trees outside my window are laden with snow. It's a lovely day to stay inside and study. So blessed!