Sometimes the stock market increases 15% year over year. Sometimes we bump up interest rates because growth and inflation and moving too quickly. And sometimes ordinary people buy unaffordable houses with strange loan products because the home is guaranteed to double in value (in a short, short time). That sometime is not today. While the country’s fiscal vitality is showing signs of a perk up (except for a certain symbolic flagship auto manufacturer, that is), us ordinary Toms are having a tough go of it.
Rather than cry in our Mad Dog 20/20, we can make our own fun. We don’t have to drop ducats on theater tickets, surf-and-turf specials, trips to St. Bartholomew’s or season passes to Six Flags to have a great time on a date. You can get creative and do something much better. This time around, learn a language together.
I know, I know, learning a language is hard. But, like most things, it’s much easier with support and a practice partner. I’ve long been weary of people who claim an implicit superiority because they’re multilingual (or multilateral, for that matter), but there’s something pretty impressive being able to converse in another language. Due to the plastic (elastic, spandex-ic) nature of the brain, picking up a new language has great long-term impact on learning, reasoning and maintaining lucidity as we age. Good things. Plus, after picking up a little language you and your opposite number can say nauseatingly lovely things to one another without your friends being any the wiser (“No, te quiero mas”). Or you can even arrange exit strategies from awful, awful social situations (“Voy a matarme si ella dice una cosa mas”). But how does someone go about learning a new language? There are three main ways:…
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–Written by Tom Miller for YourTango.com
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