Share your "aha moments"
Hi everyone, I thought it would be interesting to share my “aha moments” and read others'.It could be getting a concept in a language after a frustration, or hearing or knowing words before (but not their meanings), and now realizing their meanings, anything.
In some middle eastern counties, there's a brand for baked goods called(luzine لوزين), I always thought it sounds fancy, but couldn't put my finger on the origin of the word. After starting to learning French, I was having breakfast(a croissant from the brand)I realized the fancy name just means a plain (l'usine “factory”), nothing fancy or magical about it.
As a kid I loved movies and watched lots of them every year. Having seen waiters in fancy restaurants being called (garçon), I thought it just means waiter, seeing the word meant boy in the first basics lesson was surprising to me.
3.learning the word(medvěd ) and then the name Dmitry Medvedev popped up in my mind.Such a cool last name.
4.understanding a bit of Polish, Slovak,and Russian after doing some Czech lessons.
My main "aha moments" are when you learn some new vocabulary and/or new grammar and then you suddenly hear it all over in the media you use to learn your target language. It was there all the time, but having learnt it created immediate awareness.
In Swedish att springa means to run. In German springen is jump, and rennen means run but in Swabian (a dialect spoken in Southern Germany) we often say springen instead of rennen for to run. So weird how a word is used another way in the North of the country and then if you look even further North in another country it again has the same meaning.
I also noticed that there's actually an English expression "smorgasbord" meaning a wide variety. Funnily enough, I didn't ever pay attention to it (and probably have heard it since I've noticed it more than once now) , that is until I learned Swedish and realised it means "sandwich table". It also took me a while even after I learned the word smör (butter) to realize it's part of the word smörgås. And I'm German where we love to combine nouns...
I only realised a couple of days ago, that the French chercher and search, probably have the same etymology because they sound similar. But then again, I didn't learn one language from the other.
Honey-eater sounds like a cartoon character, not like one of the most powerful men in the world.
Being able to understand some Dutch and Afrikaans through German.
Being able to read some Russian letters after learning the Greek alphabet.
Before I started learning German I saw a German production of CATS. Sometime into learning German I realised I knew enough to translate a lyric from one of the songs. Proud moment.
When I finally began to understand Korean Hanguel was probably my biggest ''aha'' moment.
I'm just beginning to get the hang of conjugating some of the verbs in Spanish. I know, I'm slow. But I'll keep on plugging along! Great to hear everyone's stories.
When I flipped through a Sumerian dictionary, I came across the word "udún" meaning "furnace". At that point I realized another source of JRR Tolkien for the names of the locations in his world! (Udun being the name of the valley behind the Black Gate and also a synonym for Hell)
When I realized that if I ever needed to use the phrase "twenty-one wet cats and a first apple", -in Dutch nonetheless- Duolingo had my back.
I had one with my brother... He had a Russian piano teacher, that told him "you molodetz" when he did well. He was always sure it meant he was clever... then I told him it just meant "well done"...
Also after one lesson that included many house-hold words I suddenly began to understand a lot of things my grandmother said without translation. It was certainly an "aha" moment for both of us:)
I remember somebody using ''of course'' and I was so shocked that it's actually meaning something when I used the translator xD... I don't know, I was 10 and always have to think of that moment.
A la your Medvedev revelation, there's a famous economist named Simon Kuznets. He immediately came to mind when I learned the word... кузнец ("Kuznets"), which means "blacksmith." So, basically, he's the Russian answer to "Professor Smith" :)