I’m a little late writing this. I’ve just been feeling too lazy. I hate being so tired all the time. I blame summer and that horrible sun. Now at least the clouds have come back and it’s a little more comfortable around here. Still, warmer than the ideal, but at least it’s below 20 again.
There were more musical goings-on in our town this weekend when the NRK Sommertog (NRK Summer Train) came to town and there was a concert by the train station. I wonder if they’ve been making a telenovela this year like they did on the NRK Sommerbåt (Summer boat) that one year. It was the world’s longest drama series at 2 670 km.
I really need to finish watching it. It was pretty good, but I got sidetracked after about 12 episodes and never finished it.
My hunt for an apartment continues, but I wonder if there will even be anything much available this time of year when everyone is on vacation. I went to see three apartments last week. I didn’t like the one I thought I’d like, but ended up kind of liking two I thought I wouldn’t like… but not enough to buy them.
I’m still going strong with Glossika in Spanish. 90 minutes per day is a bit much at times though. And the Mexican Spanish course is terrible. The translation isn’t that great, but it also looks like they never even proofread it at all. Still, I do think it is making some difference in my fluency, at least it feels so. I should really do another tutoring session to see if it’s really helped, but I’m so tired and if it’s hot I have to have the windows open and then it can be too noisy. So, I’ve been a little reluctant to schedule any lessons lately. The sooner I get to move, the better.
One of the best uses of Glossika is as a sleep aid. It’s monotonous and requires a lot of concentration and somehow that combination puts me into a very sleepy state if I’m already a bit drowsy, which I usually am in the afternoons. So, I’ve actually taken a few naps lately, which I’m usually not able to do no matter how sleepy I am. Maybe I should try listening to it at night too.
I’ve also borrowed La trilogía de la niebla
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón from the library. I’ve read the first book and started the second. It’s a YA series, but it’s still pretty good and kind of spooky. I’m enjoying reading it. Now maybe I’ll finally make some progress on the reading portion of my Super Challenge. I’ve already done a double challenge on Spanish movies.
I’m struggling to find my path in German. I’m wondering if I should just put FSI aside for now and come back to it when my level is a little higher. I think I need to make myself an overview of the grammar with “green sheets” or something because I keep getting confused. German grammar seems so repetitive. They keep reusing the same bits. So, maybe a good plan for the next few weeks would be to make an overview, finish Duolingo, finish my A1-A2 grammar book and then maybe go back to FSI again.
For Finnish, I’ve started using Yksi, kaksi, kolme
which I picked up in Vienna. FSI was a little too much. I’ll need to leave that one for later too, I think. And the same with the rest of Assimil.
Esperanto has been ignored, like usual.
Japanese study still consists of watching Doraemon on Youtube. As with German, I’m struggling to find a good path for Japanese. I’ve started and stopped it so many times that I just don’t know where to go from here.
French and Czech are still just pronunciation work. I was a little disappointed that FSI Czech Basic isn’t to be found, at least not the recordings. There is a FAST course, but I think I’ll need more than that. I had a look at the DLI course as well. I haven’t used DLI for German or Spanish because the courses look kind of confusing. There are heaps of PDF’s and tapes and it’s hard to figure out what order things are meant to go in. However, since there wasn’t as much available for Czech, I decided to have a look at it. I think I figured out where to start, but the problem is, almost none of the drills seem to be on the tapes. So what’s the point then? I don’t know if a bunch of tapes are missing or if the DLI method just does all the drills in the classroom. I did find out by chance though, that my local library has a secret stash of language-learning materials in the back and one of them is Colloquial Czech, so I checked it out to have a look at it before August.
Anyway, it looks like I won’t find any very thorough pronunciation materials for Czech, just a few YouTube videos, but fortunately Czech pronunciation seems pretty easy and straightforward, at least compared to French, which is driving me nuts. I don’t think the French Phonology course is as good as the phonology lessons in the beginning of Spanish Programmatic. For one thing, in the Spanish course, you didn’t even see any written Spanish until about lesson 9. In the French course, they not only show you the written French pretty early, but they expect you to be able to pronounce things based on the written French right away. The first half of each lesson has you repeating after the voice on the tape for the most part, but the second half they want you to read things you’ve never seen or heard before and check against the tape. I’m wrong a lot more often than I’d like. I might do a bit better if I stopped the tape and took a little more time, but still, I think it might be better to spend more time on the pronunciation before seeing the language written at all and definitely before trying to read new material. I’ve started to skip the pure reading exercises because there isn’t anything recorded on the tape to check against.
I haven’t answered rdearman’s e-mail about signing up for the study yet. I’m still trying to decide which languages to do. Really, I wanted to be able to see how the whole thing works first and maybe test it to see how to make the Anki cards from a DVD, but I’m not sure how soon we will have the directions. I have four languages I could do: Japanese, Finnish, Czech and French. I’m not too concerned with how I study any of them at the moment. Spanish and German though, I want to study a little seriously and hopefully make some real progress on this year. I’ve just looked through my DVD’s and I have a bunch of Japanese anime films with Japanese sound, but no Japanese subtitles. I think they might be possible to find online though. My The Big Bang Theory
DVD’s have French for all seasons except 1 and 3 and my Star Trek: Voyager
DVD’s also have French. So I should be all set for French. I’ll have to look for some stuff for Finnish and Czech. I saw a few things at the library, so it should be possible. I know there some cartoons available with Finnish audio, but it’s kind of random what languages the audio is in, so I’ll probably end up buying something because of the audio track rather than something I actually want to see. With my luck, it’ll probably be Barbie
. Czech is a little harder, but they had some things at the library. One of them was Game of Thrones
but I’m not sure I want to SRS a bunch of violent deaths into my brain.
Maybe I could find Star Trek: The Next Generation
with Czech dubs. That could be fun. I’ll have to have a look and see if I can order it from somewhere. Of course, I’m not sure any of my DVD’s have subtitles that match the audio. I suspect they don’t in most cases. That could be a problem too.