There was a great story in the Sunday
Edmonton Journal about an Albertan soldier who learned Pashto while on duty in Afghanistan. Definitely worth a read! [update11/11: Journal story removed from website, but it’s still posted on the National Post site]
“By the end of his 2008 tour, the member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, 1st Battalion, could converse. But it wasn’t until he returned to Edmonton that his studies took off. Grove bought a computer program and sought out local Afghans to talk with. He watched Pashto videos on YouTube and covered the subtitles with his hands. He’d never learned a second language before, no classes in high school, and had no previous interest.”
This is exactly the kind of person that I’m hoping to interview for my successful language learners project— do you know anyone else in the Edmonton area who has learned to speak another language as an adult?
The photo gallery that accompanies the story has a picture of Cpl Shawn Grove, but check out this picture of his notes—- crazy to imagine having to tell someone that “Engineers are setting off bombs”!!! [too bad the Journal story is gone– the picture gallery included a close-up of Cpl Grove’s notes, which included the Pashto for “Engineers are setting off bombs nearby” (!)” updated: 11/11/11]