Sunday, November 4, 2012

Little Victories

Language learning is about making LOTS of mistakes...and along the way, while you make them, you also have little victories that keep you going. Since our language learning journey began in Vienna last Monday, that has been my focus. Every time I have a language learning victory, I try to remember it, recount it and celebrate it! And that way, I don't focus so much on the times when I didn't succeed.

Here are a few little victories from last week...
  • We were standing at the bus stop, and a young woman approached us with a question. She asked us the fastest way to get to the U2 ubahn (subway) station. Not only did we understand what she was saying, but I successfully told here where to catch the bus and where it would take her.
  • I took my watch to a jeweler, because it needs a new battery (looking up the word for "watch battery" beforehand). I was able to tell the clerk what I needed and ask how much it would cost. I also understood when they told me that the watch repair man would be in on Monday and they would call me when it was ready.Yay!
  • Last Tuesday night, we went out for drinks with a few people from our language class and our teacher. I thought if we spoke German the whole time, I would never survive. But we enjoyed the experience, communicated successfully, and our heads didn't hurt at the end!
  • So far, our relationship with our landlord has been in English. A few days ago, I needed to email him because we have a package at the post office from (he needs to get the package slip out of the mailbox and get it to us so we can pick up the box). This time, I emailed him in German. In his German response, he said "It pleases me that your language knowledge is good enough that you can write me in German. Thank you!" Hopefully our relationship will be in German from here on out!
These are just a few of the stories I can share. There have been many more, and I am convinced it is because people are praying for us and our ability to learn German. God is working!

When I think of these "little victories", a song by the same name by Matt Nathanson keeps popping into my head. In it, he says "I'll learn to get by on the little victories". I hope I do!

Photo credit: jdurham from

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