I realised on Friday evening that my library books were due on Friday, so I rushed myself off to the library during my lunch break on Monday (it’s a ten minute walk from where I work) to renew them. Now here is the sad story about the libraries in the city where I live. For the past few months there has been a strike (as far as I know they are asking for overtime pay for Saturdays, though I don’t understand how they can demand that when they would have known from the start that working Saturdays is part of the contract) so the libraries have been understaffed. They have been closing for an hour at lunch time (just when I like to go) and closing for the day an hour earlier (at the same time as I finish work), opening only every second Saturday. All very sad for those of us who still read books.
Now there is a whole new issue. When I got to the library on Monday, there were two ladies sitting at the door doing renewals – nobody allowed in. They have been offline for two weeks and the backlog is too much, so they are not issuing any more books. According to the newspaper, the service provider of the new software has halted service due to an issue with their service level agreement with the municipality (and it was suggested they haven’t been paid yet for the past few month). Very frustrating.
One of the books I have out at the moment is Teach Yourself Russian. I have renewed it probably three times now ( which means I have had it for over three months) and I am only about halfway through the book. I feel very acutely that I have not progressed much. Oh the shame! The terrible thing is that every time the due date comes around again, it just reminds me that another month has passed and I cannot yet read Russian.
Yes, read Russian. That is my main end goal in learning languages. I’m an introvert, so I’m not likely to talk to many foreigners, but I do love the written word. My end goal generally is to be able to read the news in that language. (It’s also my main form of practice for French, Italian & Spanish). Understanding the spoken word and getting the pronunciation correct is also important to me. But reading is probably more what I would end up doing with the language. Also, if reading books in your native language can improve your vocabulary, then surely the same is true of foreign languages!
So yes, my learning process is a bit slower than some, but I’m happy with just understanding something new today that I would not have understood last week, or a month ago. I love the feeling of seeing or hearing some foreign word out of the blue somewhere and actually understanding it.