Seriously, it may sound crazy seeing as how I’m living in Taiwan and my wife and daughter speak Chinese, but. . .
a. Chinese is such a pain in the ass, with the tones, the characters, the weird grammar, etc. After 9 years living here it seems pretty clear I’ll never be able to do more with my Chinese than order dinner and give directions to taxi drivers.
b. Spanish, on the other hand, is simple. While I didn’t get very far with my 2 years of high school Spanish lessons, I was just a kid then, who didn’t know how to truly apply myself and had no great desire to really learn the language. Now, if I applied myself seriously – even without a teacher or classes – I would think it shouldn’t be that difficult to become conversational. I would love to finally be somewhat conversational in a second language.
c. Half the people in the US speak Spanish and 2/3 of those in California do, I will move back there some day and would like to be able to communicate with them in Spanish, as well as on trips to Mexico/Latin America.
d. Based on my daughter’s experience with Chinese/English/Taiwanese, I get the impression that young kids can just as easily learn 3, 4 or 5 languages at once as to learn 1 or 2, so I’d enjoy introducing her to Spanish now, while she’s still a young sponge. It would be great for her, too, to speak some basic Spanish if she moves to California at age 6 or 7, as she may well have the opportunity to study/speak it in school there.
What do you think? Would it be nuts for me to finally quit working on Chinese for good and switch over to Spanish?
Do you agree it shouldn’t be too difficult, if I’ve got the motivation, even with just books/cassettes/cds and no teacher?