I’ve always been a fan of traveling, I think because I am constantly looking for things that are out of the ordinary. Visiting foreign cultures, one is surrounded by strange environments where things are totally different from the typical day-to-day. This probably leads to my recent increase in interest in foreign languages. It is cool to explore other countries, but you can only learn so much by observation and that which an English speaking guide will tell you. Anyway, it is probably not worth the effort it would take, but I have recently renewed my interest in getting better at new languages. I’ve had four years of high school Spanish, so I am pretty decent with the basics of that, but I still can barely understand a native speaker. At various points, I have tried to read some Spanish news sites to get some experience, but it is pretty hard to jump in and understand. Most recently, after my trip to Germany this summer, I bought some language software to start learning German. It is pretty interesting. I think I’m making some good progress, but am nowhere near my level of understanding of Spanish. I do wonder, however, if it is even possible to learn a language well by self study, and if so, how long it would take if you were pretty dedicated to it.