During my year off between school and university (1988-1989) I had a vague notion of trying to find a job in Iceland. Why Iceland? Well it seemed like a good idea at the time. I bought a Linguaphone Icelandic course and had a go at learning the language. After struggling with a few lessons I gave up and haven't summoned the courage to have another go since. One of the main reasons for my lack of success was the labyrinthine complexity of Icelandic grammar, which makes German grammar look easy in comparison. I didn't go to Iceland in the end but would like to one of these days.
While I was studying Chinese in Taipei in 1990 a Korean classmate tried to teach me some Korean. From him I learnt the Korean alphabet and a few words and phrases then the next semester we were in different classes and lost contact. Since then I haven't learnt any more Korean.
In preparation for a trip to Budapest in 2000 I learnt a bit of Hungarian using a Berlitz phrase book and by listening to Hungarian radio on the internet. In Budapest my limited knowledge of Hungarian was useful, as was my knowledge of German because many older Hungarians speak some German.
I taught myself a bit of Turkish in preparation for a trip to Turkey in 2001. I used a Collins phrase book, which comes with cassette featuring a pronunciation guide and some useful words and phrases. In Turkey I found the little Turkish I knew very useful and will try to learn more if I ever go back there.
I first encountered Latin in the Asterix books and also while studying Roman history at school. Ever since I've been very interested in the Romans and particularly enjoy detective novels set during the Roman period. Eventually I thought I should try to learn some Latin. To date I have worked my way through only the first few lessons in Peter Jones' excellent book Learn Latin and hope to learn more eventually.
In 2004 I dabbled briefly with Urdu, mainly out of interest. I hadn't studied any Indo-Iranian languages before and was curious about them. I learnt the Urdu script and some basic phrases, and would like to learn more one day.
In 2008 I started learning British Sign Language (BSL) using online lessons, and have continued to dabble with it ever since. I find it fascinating and can have a basic conversation in it, though have yet to met any other BSL users or learners.
In 2011 I was given free access to an online language course on Rocket Languages in return for writing a review. I chose Hindi as I thought it would be an interesting language to learn, and because I wanted to try out the course in a language I didn't know at all, which narrowed the choice down to ASL and Hindi. I chose Hindi because I know a number of people who speak it and I thought it might be interesting and useful to know.
I worked my way through the first part of Rocket Hindi and learnt greetings, how to talk about myself, ordering food and drink, booking a hotel and such like, and also learnt to read and write the Devanagari alphabet. I found the course quite interesting and might get round to learning more one of these days.
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