Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope (ES, PL, RU)

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Amerykanka
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:23 pm

Well, this is embarrassing. . . .

1 Greek recitation, 4 papers, and 6 finals to go - but then I'm done for the semester. And then I will return to the forum for at least a few weeks until classes begin again.

I really must get better at managing my time so that I actually write updates during the school year. I just tend to get off the internet once I get stressed, which I suppose isn't actually a bad thing, in general.

So, language news: Latin has never been better - I've been sight-reading Sallust with great success. And who knew it would be so much fun to memorize Latin prose? Greek too is going strong; I finally got used to weird Homeric conventions and now I am just mildly (sarcasm) freaking out about my translation and grammar analysis finals.

Spanish has suffered a bit - I simply haven't had much time. I watched another season of Águila roja, which was good, and I work as a Spanish tutor, so I'm not completely disconnected. I did decide to wait on the DELE til next spring sadly. I just didn't have time. Next spring my course load is heavier on languages, which means less stress and more free time for Spanish.

Polish - ha. Definitely need to work on this.

And now - a new arrival. My Classics professors have been telling me that I'll never get into a first-rate grad school if I don't pick up some German immediately, and I, of course, put up an ENORMOUS fight and was heartbroken at the thought of learning ANOTHER language . . . In other words, I am thrilled to have an excuse to explore a language that I've been wanting to learn for years. I'll be starting as soon as classes end.
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Chmury » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:39 pm

Why is German so heavily preferenced in high-end universities over in the states? Or is it simply highly valued in the field you're studying (which is?.. Linguistics? Classical Languages? Language & Culture? Translation?) and not a general blanket desire?

And don't worry if you're not posting during the semester due to working hard on your languages, that's awesome! Agreed, definitely not a bad thing that you're not wasting hours of your life scanning through rubbish on the internet. And congrats with all the progress you've made with Latin and Greek!
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Amerykanka
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:08 pm

Chmury wrote:Why is German so heavily preferenced in high-end universities over in the states? Or is it simply highly valued in the field you're studying (which is?.. Linguistics? Classical Languages? Language & Culture? Translation?) and not a general blanket desire?


I would say it's more of a field-specific thing - there is a lot of good Classics scholarship in German. But then this is also true of scholarship in a lot of different fields, so who knows. In any case, for grad school in Classics, German is a necessity. And I am happy to oblige, since I've been dying to start German for years. :)
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:23 pm

Finals are (finally) over, so I'm back! For at least a month or so, until spring semester starts. However, the goal is to manage my time well enough next semester that I can actually be present on this forum AND get the desired grades in my courses.

I need to sit down and evaluate The Language Situation, and this post is theoretically the beginning of the process. But first, I'd like to introduce my new challenge: the Poetry Challenge. For several years I have been telling myself that my knowledge of poetry is abysmal and that I would like to have more Shakespeare memorized (this is what happens when a lot of your friends are into drama), and now I have decided to combine my desire for exposure to poetry with my ever-present love of languages. The challenge is simple: to memorize at least one poem every day for 30 days. The only rule is that I have to switch languages every day; note, however, that there is no restriction against switching from English to Polish one day, for example, and then back to English the next day. My primary languages in this endeavor will be, of course, English, Polish, Latin, Greek, and Spanish. But who knows, maybe I can add some German in by the end!

For my Homer course this semester, my professor gave us a choice between either writing a term paper or memorizing 50 lines of the Odyssey. I picked memorization and saw immense growth in my knowledge of meter, vocabulary, and grammar, as well as in my overall "feel" for the language. The addition of even 30 new poems to my repertoire will cause exponential growth in my languages - and it will be incredibly fun! It seems like the perfect holiday combination.

I technically began this challenge on the 13th, so today I will be reporting several days. Also, I often get carried away and memorize more than one poem, so there's that, too.

THE POETRY CHALLENGE
12/13/15 - "Z nie odbytej wyprawy w Himalaje" by Wisława Szymborska
12/14/15 - Horace Carmina 1.22 ("Integer vitae scelerisque purus" etc.), Horace Carmina 3.30 ("Exegi monumentum aere perennius" etc.), "Atlantyda" by Wisława Szymborska

Okay, now I should go an evaluate The Language Situation. Also, I should start looking into German resources.
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Amerykanka
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:44 am

Ok, I really must get better about this every-day-update thing.

So, poetry!

12/15/15 - "So we'll go no more a-roving" by Lord Byron, "Hope is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson
12/16/15 - Rimas XXX y XXXVIII de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
12/17/15 - the first 28 lines of Lucretius' De rerum natura
12/18/15 - "The Destruction of Sennacherib" by Lord Byron
Last edited by Amerykanka on Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mooby
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Mooby » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:46 pm

Cześć Amerykanka!
Every language nerd needs a handy Professor.......the perfect justification to wander / dabble!
I like Szymborska of course, have you read Jan Twardowski's poems?
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Amerykanka
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:57 pm

Mooby wrote:Cześć Amerykanka!
Every language nerd needs a handy Professor.......the perfect justification to wander / dabble!
I like Szymborska of course, have you read Jan Twardowski's poems?


Cześć Mooby! Yes, professors can be very useful in that way. :)

I have read some of Twardowski's poems, just not recently. But thanks for reminding me - they seem like good candidates for memorization.
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Amerykanka
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:25 pm

GERMAN. IS. AWESOME.
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Amerykanka » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:56 am

Well, I have good news, and I have bad news. Let's start with the bad news.

I have never been good at sticking to any sort of routine, because I end up feeling trapped and rebelling and then - shocker - not accomplishing anything. This tendency of mine is currently being exacerbated by the fact that I have a (very temporary) respite from my studies, so my mind is in relaxation mode. As you may have guessed, the purpose of this mini-exposition on the workings of my brain is to excuse the fact that I have done an abysmal job this last week and have not memorized anything.

However, I have decided that I need a break from scheduling and so I am abandoning the Poetry Challenge until next Wednesday, when classes will have resumed and I will be able to embrace a more organized study scheme once more.

So, the bad news wasn't actually very bad, I suppose. But in any case, let's move on to the good news.

I took my little sisters to the library a few days ago and, of course, gravitated toward the "Libros en español" section. I was looking for El juego del ángel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and the library website had indicated that there was a copy available at this particular branch, but alas! some wicked soul had slipped into the library in the hour or so before I arrived and stolen (*ahem* checked out) the book. After the necessary weeping and wailing, I calmed down enough to look for substitutes and ended up with Spanish translations of Pride & Prejudice and Harry Potter 7, as well as Inés del alma mía and Retrato en sepia by Isabel Allende.

Since then, I have read snippets of Orgullo y prejuicio, because Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors ever and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Spanish was just too tempting. But more importantly, I started Inés del alma mía and I am now 180 pages in (roughly half way through). 180 pages in three days is not bad, and wouldn't be even if I were reading in English, given the amount of Christmas shopping I've been doing (I believe in quality over quantity, but trying to find one good present for each of my siblings is insanely time consuming!), and I am quite pleased with my progress. Furthermore, I'm going back to school on Monday, so I have to return the book to the library by Sunday evening at the latest, which is good motivation to finish it quickly.

I have never read any of Allende's adult novels before, although I read a few of her short stories and two of her YA novels (La ciudad de las bestias and El reino del dragón de oro). At this point, my Spanish will benefit most from lots of exposure, and I would like to familiarize myself with literature in Spanish to a much greater extent; Allende's writings seem highly useful from both perspectives. I've decided that after Inés del alma mía at some point I'd also like to read at least two more of her books, La casa de los espíritus and El juego de Ripper, so that I can say I've had a good sampling of her writing. Retrato en sepia also looks fascinating. Of course she has written so much . . .

I'll post a review once I've finished the book, but for the time being I'll just say that I am enjoying it. Although no matter what Inés says, I can't think of Pedro de Valdivia (as presented in the novel, who knows what he was like in reality) as a hero. I don't care that all the conquistadores abused the indigenous peoples, and that it was a common thing, I still can't consider anyone a true hero when there is so much brutality and injustice in his behavior. Furthermore, Pedro isn't exactly a saint when it comes to his relations with Inés, either, and it's a good thing that this book is not primarily intended as a love story, because if it was, I would stop reading it - seriously, all the characters need to figure out that passion does not equal love. Honestly, I can't figure out why Inés stays with him. . . . Okay, end rant! I'll save it for my review. After all, maybe the last half of the book will resolve the Pedro situation in a way more to my liking.

In addition to this Spanish reading, I also checked out a copy of Living Language's Ultimate German Beginning-Intermediate. I've read through the first 10 or so lessons, and I've added a few hundred words to my new German Anki decks. I'm starting slow, but I'm hoping to have a good base knowledge of grammar and a thousand or so vocab words by summer, when I will have time to crack down on my German studies.
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Re: Amerykanka's Adventures - A New Hope

Postby Chmury » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:15 am

I would highly recommend Cuentos de Eva Luna by Allende. It was the first book of hers I read, and as the title says, it's a collection of short stories. However they all have a central female character as a protagonist and/or the narrator, which I love. I especially love the short story Walimai, which really questions and puts our western customs and values into sharp relief. It's a beautiful story. You can read it here - Walimai.

Also nice work with the 180 pages in 3 days, that's awesome! I would be very happy with that even if I was reading a book in English!

Y ¡Feliz Navidad Amerykanka! ¡Que tengas un día maravilloso!
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