It’s been a goal of mine to be functionally bilingual for as long as I can remember. I had the option of learning either Spanish or Japanese in grade 6, and I thought at the time “when the fuck am I ever going to use Spanish?” (Great call eh? Considering I spent 6 years in California…)
I opted for Japanese, and really enjoyed it. Then in high school the options were Indonesian or Japanese, and a friend and I from grade 6 both opted for Japanese and were put into Indonesian classes, so we actually had to transfer out…
… which ended up being a mistake because my high school’s Japanese teacher was absolutely terrible and basically ruined all my enthusiasm for it for a long time. I had actually reached the point at the end of the mandatory japanese classes (Year 8) where if someone spoke slowly I could carry on a basic conversation in Japanese, but I chose not to continue into Year 9 elective Japanese because of how utterly terrible this teacher was.
I dabbled in learning Japanese, Spanish and German in the early 2000s, pirating Pimsleur books off the internet, but I never found that approach effective for some reason - despite Pimsleur having really really good reputations.
The other day I found Duolingo and decided to give it a go. I’ve been sticking to it for about three days now, and most of it is being retained which is rather good for my standards. The lessons are effective and the revision is great for getting things to commit to long term memory.
I just hope I have the self-control to stick with it.