I met a good friend today who tried (again) to talk me out of learning Hebrew the way I am learning it and join a regular course at the university instead. I wanted to show respect (he was an older friend) by listening to his advice but at the same time I wasn’t going to change my study program.

Eventually he admitted that since I had learned Korean my way I could learn Hebrew the same way as well. I’m sure though that the next time we meet he’ll try to advise me to take a university course again.

Besides having no money for a university course, I think my way is vastly superior.

But it doesn’t look as good. That’s for sure.

I’m not trying to pay attention for five hours of class every day listening to a teacher talk about Hebrew and then doing three hours of busy work afterwards.  I’m not trying to cram for tests every three months.

Instead I’m trying to crowd my day with as much Hebrew content as possible. Hebrew radio, Hebrew youtube, Hebrew chatting, Hebrew emails, Hebrew books, Hebrew newspapers, Hebrew songs, Hebrew movies and (more and more  I hope) Hebrew speaking.

This doesn’t look like studying. It looks like playing. It looks like slacking off. It looks like not taking the language seriously.

But I am. I’m taking Hebrew much more seriously than I would if I were in a language course. I’m trying to understand real content. And it is only in interacting with real content that I will be able to learn learn anything at all. You learn by doing something. You don’t learn something and then do it. If I want to understand movies, I have to watch lots of movies. If I want to understand the radio, I have to listen to the radio an awful lot. If I want to read, I have to read a lot. If I want to speak, I have to speak a lot.

But it needs to be fun. Language is emotional and to understand it you need an emotional connection to the language. What better way to start that connection by having fun!

So fun I will have. Lazy I will be. It is only by that that I’ll really acquire the language. 🙂