After spending some time last weekend with my niece (almost 2) and nephew (3), it occurs to me that learning a language at their respective ages and at my very adult age has a lot of parallels.

We’ve watched these children store words and then delight in the sounds when they come bursting forth from their mouths. My nephew read the word “Tarrytown” off a white board when my mother wrote it and I almost fell off my chair. Clearly, he’s past the storing stage and now feels bold in his delivery. My niece appears to be taking the words in, readying herself to use them at the opportune time.

I’m somewhere in between. Not with English, of course, but with French. I work for a real estate company partially based in France. The president is French. Many of the agents are either French or speak French. I am almost constantly surrounded by people speaking French. In my nearly two months there, I have gone from a paralyzing fear of speaking the language to actually trying some on for size. I ask more questions about expressions and uses. I pick up more of what people around me are saying. And I’m certainly storing some for future use.

It’s kind of a fun adventure. At any age.