Two weeks into my 3-month vacation. I have to say: if one does not have to work every day — there is much more time for languages! On average I am able to devote 3-4 hours to language learning activities. Latin
I continue with reading of Loeb's edition of Augustine's "Confessions". I read this books using parallel=text method but noticed that sometimes I just glide through Latin text (especially when he uses his favourite expressions and constructions). On the other side, sometimes he is going deep into reflection and philosophy, and it would be impossible for me to get through "Confessions" without using English translation. Effect of parallel-text reading is seen when browsing other text: my vocabulary got much better, including those pesky "q"-words, and I internalized much of grammatical structures I could not grasp just by reading their description in a grammar book (like, for a ten times). Conjunctive is becoming not an illusory but a definite possibility
I am nearing the end of first volume and probably will switch to the second part of Justus Lipsius' "De Constantia". Justus Lipsius writes in relatively uncomplicated style, and my main problem was having to use a dictionary too often -- even using modern electronic tools it was quite uncomfortable. I looked at the second part and it seems my enlarged Latin vocabulary should make its reading a more pleasurable experience that the reading of the first.Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese is going strong this month (about 20 hours already, though Latin is a close runner-up). I've re-read eight introductory lessons and proceeded to intermediate part, which no longer has grammatical desctiptions (though still featuring glossae and notes). But I found an interesting concise grammar
I also found and interesting resource: translation of all Du Fu's poetry in English
which might be of interest to students of CC (available for free). Hebrew
Isaiah is finished, at last! I moved to Jeremiah and he is much easier to read. Italian
I found a lovely "Grammatica generale delle due lingue italiana e latina" from 1845 that is written in Italian and uses a scholastic method, i.e. dialogs. It is actually much more interesting to read than a usual grammar, so I decided to give it a shot. It covers both Italian and Latin in parallel, so it might be especially useful to me.Japanese
I decided to make some adjustments in the Japanese department as well. While playing a multi-part saga about black-white bear's killing madness is, undoubtedly, a worthy thing to devote one's time and efforts to, it is not most effective one in terms of language learning. The main problem is that searching of unknown words is too time-consuming as I can not just copy it to dictionary. So, for now I am switching to reading ranobes. I settled on 狼と香辛料 (Spice and Wolf). German
I know. I said I will not learn German. Apparently, I lied. Or better say, I changed my mind. Abundance of philological resources in German, especially the mammoth Classical Chinese grammar (a link to which might be found few posts earlier), made me reconsider the wisdom of not-learning German. Still, I only have three month to lay a strong foundation, so I needed some plan to stick to. Here is what I came up with:
Karl C. Sandberg's German for Reading
-- seems to fit ideally for my goals. I already start to work though it and it is going nice. The book has 78 small units, so it should be possible to work through during my vacation (I already did ten of them, but they are getting harder). Assimil's German course
in parallel: for phonetics mostly. I need German only for reading but I prefer to get these phonic things right irrelevantly to whether I am going to use it for speaking or not. And you never know, German is actually quite demanded in my trade after all.
After getting through this two courses, I intend to read these natural method textbooks:Worman - Erstes Deutsches bookWorman - Zweites Deutsches BuchWorman - Deutsches Echo
They are printed in Fraktur
. I consider this to be a good thing as much of the older stuff in German on archive.org is printed using this font.
I also have a couple of readers in a similar venue.
It should be enough to get a foothold in German and being able to read the aforementioned grammar and Zuntz' Ancient Greek course.