Saturday, April 25, 2015

Learning Romanian: Nine Weeks In

Welcome to my life in the Romanian language. Here is what nine weeks looks like:

We're improving each week, little by little. We're learning how one connects two verbs, how to say sentences in the past and a little in the future.  I can say what I want, hope, and believe, too.  We (my husband and I) study a lot and we use many different methods to learn. For example, we watch Romanian movies, listen to Bucharest radio stations, read news articles and we have many conversations in class.  Now there are only women in my class, so on Friday, we looked at magazines and learned how to describe people, colors and clothing. 

I practice saying things in short sentences so that I don't go into a corner. It's easy to go into a corner and not have enough words to escape.  Last Thursday, I had my first evaluation. I talked about my visit to the countryside to see a historic town and the Appalachian Trail last weekend. I said I like being in nature. We talked about a volcano in Chile and climate change, and how it seems like the American Dream these days is just to buy more things, expensive things. I don't agree with that!  When I finished talking and reading, the lady said I was about a level 2/2. That means that I can talk about familiar things, I can give my opinion and I don't bother the native listener tooooo much. Yay! In August, I need to be a level 3/3, so there is still a lot to learn, but I think I'm learning well.  

Last week when I was on the bus, I was reading my class notes when suddenly the woman behind me asked if I spoke Romanian.  She was from Bucharest - what a surprise! I was happy that day because I had received the good result on my evaluation. But when I spoke with this woman - I forgot so many words! Ayyyy....  She was the first Romanian who I have talked to outside the classroom.  I was embarrassed and wanted to say more.  All my friends at FSI say that they don't like to chat with their teachers outside of the classroom because they forget the easy words and appear stupid.  I understand well; it is very common!

On Monday, we have a new student. He is the Consul General in Bucharest and he is learning Romanian, too.  We have a new Ambassador, too, but he is learning alone with a private teacher.  Romania is happy now because the Embassy has a new American Ambassador. Well, he is the "Ambassador-designate" because he is not yet confirmed by the Congress. We hope he goes to Bucharest soon. 

OK, that is all I can say now.  Thank you! Here are some nice pictures of spring. It is very pretty here in spring. Until soon,

Harper's Ferry, WV flowerpot

National Arboretum, DC

Tidal Basin Cherry Blossom Festival

Beautiful blossoms