I’ve noticed something that has happened with my language learning, and I’m wondering if it’s happened to any other learners:
I’ve been learning German much, much longer than French. That being the case, I know a great deal more of German. The language has become increasingly transparent to me, and most of what I work on now is listening skills and vocabulary acquisition. In the case of many of the words I learn, I have a good idea of what they mean before I look them up, quite often due to them being related to words I already know. In other words, the more German I’ve learned, the less exotic it’s become.
French, on the other hand, while I’m becoming increasingly more familiar with it via Assimil, is still quite exotic. There’s so much about the grammar that I don’t know; there’s so many basic words I don’t know. I’ve definitely left the shore, but I’ve not yet explored much of the ocean, so to say. I’m not implying that I’ve explored all of the German ocean – that would be absurd – but I’ve charted a great deal of it. With the “French ocean”, I’ve explored very little, relatively speaking.
The result of this is that I find myself clamoring to spend more time in the French ocean than in the German. I like to devote a bit of time each day to both languages, but I get more of a thrill (for lack of a better word) during my French studies. My German studies have become mundane, in a way; not boring, by any means, but different than they used to be. For example, reading a German news article, while such an act used to feel like “language learning”, now generally feels like I’m just reading the news. I note the words I don’t know and look them up, but other than that, I don’t even really have to think about it. I read the news in German like I would in English.
Has anyone else experienced this? Have you had a language lose a bit of its initial charms after having learned a lot of it?