Longships off the coasts of Panlingua

I have just started my study of yet another foreign language (this time, Spanish), blazing the way for it to be added to the great language Pangaea (Panlingua?) in my brain. I am now unable to remember a single foreign language with any consistency. Instead I can only form sentences made up of French nouns (none of them the correct gender), Latin verbs and German conjunctions (because I learned German most recently and thus the most common words emerge in that tongue), all given a vaguely Italian pronunciation. I must admit that I learned Old English shortly after my summer of German, and because of the greater similarity between those two than between English and its ancestor, I am afraid they are hopeless entangled in my mind. When I speak to Germans I must sound like a horned-helmet-wearing Rhine-maiden, ready at any moment to lay waste to some villages and flee in my longship (an impression totally out of sync with my meek appearance). I have to wonder what place Spanish will take in this totally incomprehensible linguistic cassoulet. Though mostly nonsensical, my one uber-language does have the wonderful side effect of throwing listeners into confusion and almost totally obscuring my Americanness, which is sometimes useful when traveling in Europe.

At any rate, I have decided to take on Spanish because a playwright who interests me tremendously is from Argentina, and much of her work exists only in Spanish. Rather than take a course, as I have in previous language endeavors, I have decided to undertake this project on my own, accompanied only by the rather-too-advanced-for-me "Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice," from a line of grammar guides that I have found useful for both French and German. This is a questionable choice, to say the least, but I remain optimistic. My masterplan for correcting both my understanding and my totally unfettered pronunciation is to take up a telenovela and follow its progress for weeks and weeks, hopefully someday coming to understand what it is all about. I will let you know how it goes. My only disappointment so far is that the telenovela based (VERY loosely) on "I, Claudius" appears to be over. Sigh.

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