I am taking French and German language classes while in London. Really when the hell am I ever going to be working part-time again without a giant mortgage hanging over my head - uhm never. I may as well take advantage of this time and not totally blow through two years overseas without anything (but some really cute clothes I've bought) to show for it.
I an under no illusions here. I know that unless you continue to speak a language regularly, you will forget it. Therefore, I am probably better off learning Spanish since I can at least practice that with friends back in California. Whatever. At least now I will never be in Germany or France and want to order a beer or find the toilet, and not be able to do either - which is really my goal. I really just want to speak enough to avoid looking like a complete asshole.
In learning a foreign language, you learn a bit about the culture too. This is going to be terribly stereotypical - but the German have a million rules in their language, there are like 10 rules for use of the little word "to". And the French rather randomly change the endings of words so they sound better when spoken, oh the French.
Here are a few awesome words I have learned in the last few weeks. The first two are French and last two are German:
La Lune Du Miel - Honeymoon. That is a quite literal translation (the moon of honey), but for some reason it sounds way more romantic, sexy, and hot the way the French say it.
Depaysement - There is no translation for this word in the U.S., but it is that amazing feeling you get in a new country where things are so different and wonderfully exotic and your brain is buzzing.
Handschuh - Glove. Literally a shoe for your hand - get it.
Stadtbummel - This is the equivalent of a long city walk/hike. We don't have this word since there are only about five cities in the U.S. that you actually want to walk through/around for more than 10 minutes. You'd just drive or whatever.
Anyway, get out there in the world and feel some depayesment during a stadtbummel. And don't forget your Handschuh!