Guys, gals, and others– ya’ll, our brains are magical. I’m telling you, after two months’ worth of vacay from the land of Austronesian languages, my brain is all tuned in to things I apparently had blocked because of saturation earlier in the year. Whatever language acquisition switch was turned off is now back on!!! It’s fantastic!!
I’ve picked up a handful of Javanese words this week and a surprisingly basic Indonesian word that I should have already known for a long time. No note-taking necessary to memorize. I just heard the word several times in conversation and eventually asked about it. It used to be that I’d hear a new word once and immediately note it; now it seems I’m picking up frequently used words and isolating them in conversation (without even knowing their meaning yet)… reminds me of the initial phases of language learning, when single words popped out and I just had to latch on frequently-used-in-spoken-conversation words because I had no other way of building vocabulary outside of language class. DUH.* This is the natural way to learn language. It’s a shame that a saturation point exists, but I suppose it’s got something to do with our brains protecting themselves from imploding (or exploding) due to excessively firing neurons… or the body in general going into survival mode and allocating resources accordingly after a period of mild yet constant stress. Hmm.
Maybe this two month respite was just what I needed to cross over the language plateau I’d felt I’d reached, especially in terms of Javanese. Love that idea. Now, if I could only get past the point of being able to understand more (in both Indo and Javanese) than I can quickly and accurately produce…
*Maybe I need to stop saying duh since I’m nearly 30?