To tusind og tyve (2020): my language review

Corona surprised this teacher out of work and while I had worked out a plan for my professional future before lockdown became our new (temporary) reality its implementation depended very much on the evolution of the situation in the place I call home since 2016: Spain’s bustling capital, Madrid (siesta 😴! fiesta 🥳!); though I spent most of 2020 in a small village south of Madrid called Ocaña.

 Stress and how I tackled it (un)successfully

Unfortunately, temporary lasted until summer and lockdown actually continued in fits and starts for the remainder of the year (and as it seems for a part of 2021). All the while, uncertainty reigned in the world and in my head. I tried, sometimes successfully, to fight the resulting stress with gardening 👨🏽‍🌾, spending loads of time with Rubi 🐕 and Óscar 🐶 and mindfulness 🧘 (Headspace‘s Andy Puddicombe’s voice became – once again – my new best friend). Professionally, I looked into the Cambridge CPE (C2) exam (one I haven’t taught yet), focused on idioms (undoubtedly many students’ wet dream) and dove further into /ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ/ /fəˈnet.ɪks/  (English phonetics).

 O português do Brasil, dansk and català

When our first lockdown was lifted, I knew there was little hope of finding something professionally: the labour market enters in a dormant state till well into September. In dire need of a new challenge, my loving husband proposed to get back to Brazilian Portuguese 🇧🇷.

Except for an attempt at Japanese 🇯🇵 and my daily practice of Spanish 🇪🇸 and Italian 🇮🇹 (which I speak to my dogs … and with my Italian hubby), my passion for languages had been limited to fulfilling my vocation as a language teacher. For a few years it didn’t seem to make much sense to study a language I didn’t/wouldn’t need, hence why my 2017 attempt at 日本語 (Japanese) failed. 

Be that as it may, at the end of the year we all known as Corona, I not only surfed once more through Assimil‘s Il Portoghese brasiliano senza sforzo (which should equal a B2 level, at most to be honest), but I had also made a daily habit out of studying Danish 🇩🇰 and Catalan 🇦🇩.

Why? No “real” reason, not due to any present or future usefulness, just out of passion and that probably is the difference between a language learner and a language lover.