I’ve returned from my trip to Switzerland as usual with a renewed wish to learn German, but I generally lose the impulse once I’m back in my English-speaking environment. However, I’ve made some small steps, and I’m now trying to read simple stories.
I never properly learned another language — French was what I studied in school, and I even earned a certificate for it in college, but I would not consider myself fluent. However, I would really love to get to that point sometime, particularly so as to be able to read foreign-language works in the original and appreciate something of their special nuance. This goes beyond being able to understand and translate the literal meaning; I really wonder what it would be like to get “under the skin” of another culture to the extent that one can experience the ineffable beauty of poetry, for example.
I’m curious whether any of you have had this experience. Do you read in languages other than your mother tongue? What is it like? Do you feel like you are still missing something? Do you have any tips for someone wanting to achieve reading fluency?