My "mother tounge" is English and I suppose if I had to choose one, and only one language to be fluent in, this would be it, since English is one of the more useful and widely used languages.
I've also heard that it English is somewhat of a difficult second language for those who try and learn it later on in life. I'm interested in knowing whether there is any truth to this - or if, for example, a German learning English as a second language would have just as difficult a time as someone who spoke English attempting to master German. (Or French, Spanish etc.)
I must admit that I am quite jealous of those people out there who are able to speak 2+ languages, as we here in Canada and the USA seem to be rather sheltered when it comes to learning other languages. (Basically because (for the most part) we can get by day-to-day without ever needing to speak anything except for English.) It would be a great transferable employment skill and would also come in pretty handy when travelling, etc.
Currently I'm studying French, as in Canada it is mandatory from grades 3/4 (can't remember exactly) up until grade 9. I decided not to drop it however, as I really enjoyed learning a new language and didn't really want to waste the 5+ years of knowlege that I'd already accumulated. I've convinced myself not to give up on it until I'm fluent!
I'm also taking Spanish, for my third year now and I enjoy that aswell - another language that I'd like to be fluent in, or at least improve my conversational abilities!
I think that the biggest issue most people have when learning a new language is the lack of practice. It may sound kind of obvious, but as someone who has been exposed to / trying to learn French for the last 8+ years, I believe that I would be much further along if there was someone to practice with, or a way to continue to review/study on your own. (None of my friends/relatives speak French) No amount of tedious grammar exercises will make someone fluent in a language. Granted, they DO
help when learning the basics.
Perhaps the solution to my problem would be just to up and move to France until I finally get it! Hopefully it won't take another 8 years!
Just my little rant on languages & contibution to this thread!!
Cheers - Skytrain.
. Wish me luck with my Spanish and French!