language is a gift...

learning a new language is really a feat in itself. i am convinced that it takes more than motivation to truly communicate a heart-language of another culture. i am in my 2nd semester of learning mandarin and i have a huge respect for people who have mastered it. not only are there 4 tones, no alphabet, and new sounds to enunciate, but each word is composed of characters (pictures) that can be pronounced differently...depending on the tone, and mean something quite different. my studious husband has far surpassed my measly gibberish, but i believe he has a gift. that does not excuse my sporadic study habits, but it gives me a goal to aspire to. i just have to work harder!!
i really want to be able to converse with my chinese neighbors, to talk to the vegetable man (not just buy veggies), and understand the lives in my community. i need continuous motivation, practice and a humble heart... this mastery cannot rest on my own abilities or i might give up. i am not ready to even think about studying Uyghur (wee-gur). yikes!
with a bit of language-acquisition envy, Ali