Into the Fog

100_0510Fog may make for a nice picture as it engulfs the Golden Gate Bridge, but I have never heard anyone say that they like to drive in the fog. However, five days a week, I get up from bed and go into the fog. The fog is not along the road, and I don’t recall ever seeing fog in Phnom Penh. The fog that I am speaking of doesn’t cause much of a visibility problem, but it does cause an understanding problem. I think that it was one of my Greek or Hebrew teachers in seminary who spoke of language learning being like driving through fog.

As you learn a new language, it always feels like your brain is in a continual state of fogginess, or so it seems. This is because most teachers are continually trying to teach their students new words and grammar structures. So as a language student, I often feel like I vaguely grasp a newly introduced concept or word, and then the next day something new is again introduced. Thus, it seems like I am always seeing blurry shapes on the horizon that I can’t quite make out.

However, it is amazing to look back on lessons that seemed so foggy at the time, and realize that now they seem so crystal clear. The other day, I flipped through the book from my level one class and realized that somewhere along the way, the fog lifted and now the lessons seemed quite easy. Even though, at the time when I was first learning them, the lessons seemed quite difficult and at times almost overwhelming. Really, I think that the only way to learn a new language is to persistently go into the fog, and hope that somewhere along the way the fog lifts…

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3 thoughts on “Into the Fog”

  1. The fog will lift, Luke. A little practice every day will work amazing results over time. Japanese was like that too. For a while I never thought I’d get it but then it happened.
    Rest is important too. The brain needs to sort things out after all that study.

    Thanks for keeping in touch.


  2. I feel like that with English sometimes. Khmer does not bode well for me. At least you will be able to translate for me!

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