I haven't updated for a while because I spent half of January/the end of December "repatriating" from Serbia to Australia and then sitting in quarantine. Since I've been back in Brisbane I've been prioritising spending time with my parents, sister and friends from school, going to events to meet new people, and looking for work, so I haven't had so much time for languages.
I've reduced my "main focus" decks in Anki to 3 new cards per day. 5 is insanity, especially since I'd like to (bit haven't managed to...) slip Urdu in there at some point.Portuguese
One of the things I have managed to do since I've been in Brisbane is finishing off the show Coisa mais linda
. Sometimes the political themes are a bit hamfisted and overdone, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I got to the point where in the second season I was already at the point where there were very few new words. For the first couple of episodes I watched it on my computer and made audio cards for each sentence with a new word, but later I couldn't do that and just noted down words from the subtitles while watching and then went over them in a different session.
I can't wait to watch another show in Portuguese and see how much new vocabulary there is. I might also get a local Brazilian tutor at some point (my comprehension is pretty good already, I think there's no sense in delaying interaction much longer), although I think I'll wait to get full-time employment so it's more obvious how to fit it into my schedule.
While I was in quarantine I also read two Portuguese books, both fairly short and simple. One was an old detective novel I read while also listening to the audiobook, and the other one was Veronika decide morrer
by Paulo Coelho. Funnily enough, Veronika decide morrer
is the first book I ever read in a foreign language, but I read it in the Spanish translation (about a decade ago
). I had the sneaking suspicion that it kind of relativises the concept of mental illness in a fairly pseudoscientific way, but I guess I don't have enough expertise to really comment.
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Veronika decide morrer - Paulo Coelho, 210 pages
Um cadáver ouve rádio - Marcos Rey, 126 pages; 3 hours
Total fiction: 236 pages
Audiobooks: 3 hours
Maja - Jostein Gaarder, 340 pages
A funny coincidence: about a week after I'd finished reading the Serbian copy of Dukkeføreren
, a Polish friend lent me this book. It's definitely a book that gives you a lot to think about: it's not every day you read philosophical themes explored through a character imagining himself talking to a gecko. I'll have to admit I found the "connection" between the Sanskrit maya
(delusion) and the Spanish maja
(f. nice, pretty) kind of jarring and forced due to the difference in pronunciation; presumably the Norwegian transcription of maya has the same spelling as Spanish maja
, as happens in the Polish translation (I wonder what they do in the English translation?).
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Biegnij, chłopcze, biegnij - Uri Orlev, 230 pages (translated from Hebrew)
Maja - Jostein Gaarder, 340 pages (translated from Norwegian)
- Aleksandar Pavlović, 128 pages
A fascinating look at how the discourse and themes of Serbo-Albanian enmity were historically constructed around concrete land disputes, and how Albanians were often perceived positively by Serbian authors in the 17th and 18th Centuries (IIRC, I may be slightly off on the timeline). The book also draws on progressive Serbian authors who criticised Serbia's 1912-1913 invasion of Albania (and Kosovo and parts of Macedonia IIRC, of course at the time the modern borders had not yet been established), such as Tucović (whose "Srbija i Albanija" I read quite a while ago). The book is available for free in pdf format here
I also listened to a radio interview of the author. I find this is quite good for language learning as non-fiction authors generally speak about their books in a way that is quite similar to their writing style, so you're getting repetition in a different format. One thing that surprised me was that Pavlović claims that Todorova, whose "Imagining the Balkans" was the main inspiration for this work, based her own work on that of Edward Said (Orientalism), while I remember Todorova herself (I read Imagining the Balkans
in the Serbian translation a year or so ago) claiming to reject Said's more postmodern analytical framework. I haven't read Orientalism myself so I'm not sure where the difference lies.
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Ana Marija me nije volela - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 184 pages
Javna ptica - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 303 pages
Uho, nož, grlo - Vedrana Rudan, 172 pages
Mundo libre - Marko Krstić, 232 pages
Ostrvo - Meša Selimović, 198 pages
Sjećanja - Meša Selimović, 256 pages
Američki derviš - Ayad Akhtar, 354 pages (translated from English)
Glad - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 224 pages
Derviš i smrt - Meša Selimović, 369 pages
Ono sve što znaš o meni - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 235 pages
Tvrđava - Meša Selimović, 373 pages
Niko i ništa u Parizu i Londonu - George Orwell, 180 pages (translated from English)
Neoplanta ili Obećena zemlja - Végel László, 257 pages (translated from Hungarian)
Dvojnici iz tame - Morea Banićević, 282 pages
Elitna prostitutka - Jasmina Ana, 192 pages
Lutkar - Jostein Gaarder, 235 pages (translated from Norwegian)
Bljuzga u podne - Predrag Ličina, 243 pages
Roman o Londonu (Prva Knjiga) - Miloš Crnjanski, 388 pages
Paunovo pero - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 497 pages
Nova lica jezika, Ranko Bugarski, 250 pages
Mađarska revolucija 1956 - Ivan Ivanji, 325 pages
O psovanju - Predrag Krstić, 125 pages
Imaginarni Albanac - Aleksandar Pavlović, 128 pages
Total fiction: 5174
Total books: 6002
I did a major cull of all my Memrise decks a couple of weeks ago. I fell behind while I was traveling, but I think my decks also became a bit bloated and there's not much sense in revising the same cards again and again. I've made a spreadsheet where I note down how many words each deck had, so I still feel like I'm progressing as I prune my collection. I think maybe I'll delete decks once I get to around ~100 cards in them.
I've decided to do new cards on the browser version of the site, and do revision in the mobile app. I find having to type out the words helps a lot, but is generally overkill for revision.