funontheupfield: Echidna (Default)
funontheupfield ([personal profile] funontheupfield) wrote2016-10-09 03:09 pm

Wieso DuoLingo

It's been a good week.

On the grand final weekend we went to Sydney. It was a bit of an impulse decision. M'Lady is in studying and at that point where all the assignments are getting close to the due dates. She's been spending all of her time in her study nook and going a little stir crazy. She still spent most of the weekend studying, but this time her view was of Sydney Harbour. I spend the weekend 'riding the trolleys', exploring Sydney's public transport network, comparing how their system against Melbourne's. Its a rare city gets public transport 100% right, but I found a lot to like in Sydney's PT network.

Work keeps me busy organising a community breakfast event in to support Ride to Work Day. I really like these events (The event is happens in the morning of Wednesday 12 October). I really like these events. They are a chance to meet the people who use the bike paths and other stuff my colleagues build. We hand out food, people are happy to see us and most of the feedback is positive. Getting a 'well done' from the public means a lot to me and helps recharge the batteries. So thanks everyone who comes along.

Outside of work I'm making slow progress with German DuoLingo. I've completed about a third of the lessons but my comprehension is still pretty bad. I've hit that difficult spot in the middle of a course; too far in to quit, to far away from the end to be excited about completing the program. I also need to revisit the question "What am I learning German for?", at the moment I don't have a good answer.

I commenced learning German because I harboured a fantasy of using my British citizenry and thus EU membership to migrate. Germany is a fascinating federation of places and to paraphrase Hegel always seems to be the embodiment of global historical trends. It has socialised medicine, affordable housing and car-free university towns. Its a place I could see myself living in.

The Brexit referendum has complicated that fantasy. My British passport is no longer a gateway to permanent residency in European nations. Soon it will be no better than my Australian passport, which is to say I'll need a professional sponsor who can offer reliable employment before I can seriously entertain migrating there. Seeking professional sponsorship means answering the question 'what kind of work could I do in Germany (better than a local) and who might be interested in hiring me'. Accepting professional sponsorship would also put me in a rather vulnerable position if the employer turns out to be .... difficult. Brexit didn't kill the idea of migration, but it does make pursuing it more complicated.

All in all I'm too far in and have too far to go (before I can listen to and understand conversational German) for "Let's learn German because its a nice to imagine maybe living there" to be a motivating factor. I need a new source of motivation - possibly a binge of German Language films.

So if I start developing an interest in DDR nostalgia, submarines, the surveillance state, 1970s revolutionaries or running around Berlin you'll know I've been keeping myself inspired watching classic German films with the subtitles off.