Saturday, September 18, 2010


One of my favorite parts about being in Bulgaria so far is the constant language recall. I studied Bulgarian for two semesters at Boston College and did two summer sessions in Veliko Turnovo, a small city in the center of the country. At the end of my studies I would say I was at about an intermediate level, with a decent conversational ability.
Coming back to Bulgaria after a year in Korea, however, has diminished me back to a bumbling pre-elementary student. Sure I remembered hi and a couple of basic verbs, but most of the vocabulary I had viscously studied in University had retreated to the far corners of my brain. This was quite upsetting.
Well, it was until I started walking around the city. I'll just see a word on a sign, and there will be an instant recall. If you would have asked me how to say, for example, 'real estate agent' five days ago, I would have had no idea. But the other day I saw 'PEMOHT' and thought to myself, 'hey, that's the word for real estate agent' and in no time its back in my lingo. Not like I can use that word very often, but it feels good to have these 'aha' moments.
This must be similar to the life of a person with photographic memory. To just see a word and instantly be able to use it. I worked hard, years ago, to memorize these vocabulary words, but now I just need a quick reminder and they are back on the tip of my tongue, ready to be used. I haven't really picked up my Bulgarian books yet, but I know I will need to soon. After these initial weeks of just recalling vocabulary that I had already learned, I will be back to the grindstone- memorizing words and studying grammar. Luckily I love grammar. And I love getting paid to do what I love.

1 comment:

  1. How I wish I had studied a language when I was younger.. Now it feels almost impossible.