It has been a while now since I wrote about my language studies, but that doesn’t mean that I have not been staying busy with it! Now that my teacher, Bebe is also teaching here on the LiP site, I hope that some of you are also doing a little language study of your own!
Right now, I am currently studying lesson 44, out of a total of 60 lessons in the course. Of course, as somebody pointed out to me one time, even if you finish all 60 lessons, it doesn’t mean you stop learning! That is very true, because languages change and grow everyday, and as you talk to people out on the streets, you will always pick up a new thing or two about the language.
For those who don’t know, I am studying the Bisaya langauge, which is commonly spoken in the Visayas Region and Mindanao, with other smaller localized languages spoken in specific locals in the area. However, Bisaya is the language that ties these regions together. Now, some people speak of Cebuano, but Bisaya and Cebuano are the same, basically. There are slight regional differences in Bisaya, but for the most part, if somebody talks about Bisaya, they are talking about Cebuano.
Right now, I am studying my fourth different type of sentence structure, or “focus” and there are more to come. However, after this one, I have all of the major focuses of the language, and Bebe told me the other day that once I complete this focus, I can stand on my own with the language. Actually, I have felt that way for a while now. I can go anywhere and be able to speak to people without a problem, and understand what they say to me. It is a very liberating feeling, and a good one too.
So, today, I just wanted to update you that my language learning is going well these days. A few months ago, I had reported that I felt I was in a bit of a slump, not studying enough, and not doing as well as I had earlier. I feel now that I have overcome that slump, and am back on the right path again. I feel like it is a clear shot down the stretch until I will have completed all of my lessons, and I am thankful for that!
When my lessons are complete, though, I won’t be letting Bebe leave. I want to keep her coming for additional lessons – both more advanced learning, and also regularly reviewing what I have already learned. I would also like to delve a little deeper into cultural studies and cultural training after completing my language studies. Bebe is a valuable resource for me, and I don’t want to lose her, even if my formal language lessons are complete.
Bebe, and some others have also encouraged me to learn Tagalog next too. I have very mixed emotions about that. In many ways, I feel it is a smart thing to do. In other ways, though, I think it is perhaps unneeded, and also could cause me problems. The problems that I am talking about is that the two languages (Tagalog and Bisaya) have many similarities, and I fear that I will mix them up. At times when I want to speak in Bisaya, I might accidentally use Tagalog, and visa versa. Also, I don’t travel up North very often (it’s been 5 years), where Tagalog would be most useful, so I don’t know how much I would need that. On the other hand, I am learning Bisaya because I want to fit into society here. Right now, if I am out somewhere and people start speaking in Tagalog, I am in the same position as I was before I could speak Bisaya. So, as I said, I have mixed emotions on the Tagalog learning issue.
I’ll wait until the time comes before I make a final decision on learning to speak Tagalog. What would you do?