Some of you may be aware, each year Sarajevo hosts an international film festival, welcoming actors and directors from far and wide, and treating locals to screenings of several independent films. Here’s the website: http://www.sff.ba/ba/main?site=sff.
I’m sorry; I know many of you can’t read that, but I don’t think there is an English version. And that connects to the title of the post — the festival, unlike most cultural events, is not a good way to continue learning Bosnian, because… all the movies are subtitled in English. And, mind you, these are not all Bosnian films, either. Many are from various countries across the wider region. So, when you are sitting and watching a Spanish movie, for example, with English subtitles, it really doesn’t contribute to your language learning, even though you are attending an event that is central to Sarajevo pop culture.
But it sure is fun, which means it could contribute to your desire to learn the language, for one good reason: it makes you want to stay in Sarajevo longer. People tend to stay in places that they enjoy. So, maybe my title is not quite right. I’ll think about it some more and get back to you.
I am the biggest advocate of finding a good textbook or making a connection with a qualified instructor when you want to learn a language. Or anything, for that matter. If you have to learn it, you probably shouldn’t rely on yourself to be the teacher, coach, and tutor. And relying on others usually takes some kind of money. So, you pay your tutor, instructor, buy your expensive textbook, and work on exercises until you think you know something about this language you want to learn. And then, one day, long, long, after you started… you finish the book.
Listen to the song. Wait for it. Wait for it. If you fall into a certain age range, then this famous song from the band Journey probably comes to mind every time you hear the words “Don’t stop believing” uttered in one sentence. It does for me, anyway. The song is perfect for what I had in mind for this post, partly because of the title, but also because of the fact that you must wait until the song is almost finished to hear the famous line “Don’t stop… believin’! Hold on to that feelin’!” » Read the rest of this entry «
I scraped my knees while I was praying
And found a demon in my safest haven
Seems like it’s getting harder to believe in anything
Than just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts…
And the worst part is
Before it gets any better
We’re headed for a cliff
And in the free fall
I will realize I’m better off
When I hit the bottom
These are words from the song Turn it Off by the popular rock band Paramore. At the moment, I am impressed with how these words relate to learning a new language, or anything else from the journey of life in general…
I haven’t read this book, but I hear it’s good. A review recently appeared in my stack of things to read in my Google Reader, and the title has stayed in my mind for the past couple of weeks. Anyway, today I had to speak in front of a group of people at church. I play the guitar, and the leading of the singing time fell to me this week (several people who usually do it were sick). Everything was in Bosnian: the songs, the prayer, everything.
I realized last night that yesterday’s post may have led some to question my situation here. ”Why did you write that?” one reader said. ”Do you have bad leaders?” Well, let me break the suspense, and go ahead and answer the hanging question before I insert the ubiquitous “Click here to read the rest of this post” link: I have great leaders. I have great leaders here. I’ve been led in a way that has even made me stand up and take notice, because of all the hard choices and discipline that have been required of them.
My time in Bosnia has been a primer on one thing, more than anything else. No, not language. More than any other aspect of work in general, since arriving in Sarajevo I have been continually fascinated with the task of leadership. No, I am not a leader in my job — well, not officially, anyway. But being here and taking part in the challenges of living in a foreign land and attempting to execute a clear mission and vision has given me more respect for those in positions of leadership, and has made me take notice of different principles, as I discern them, of how one must lead if everyone is to (pardon the slogan) be all they can be.
So, let’s apply these leadership principles to leading people whose assignment is to learn a new language…
Those that follow my blog will remember yesterday’s post, where I rambled in Bosnian about my various reasons for faith in God (read the essay here in English, here in Bosnian). And those that follow the world even from a distance will know of the prominent scientist Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time and more recently The Grand Design. Apparently, the much-followed Hawking has decided to follow my blog, and now has also put forth his own views on the subject of yesterday’s post. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t agree with my conclusions. » Read the rest of this entry «
Maybe I am just slow to catch on to trends like this, but I sure have noticed a lot of informational graphics, or “infographics” popping up all around the web, especially in relation to information about languages. I did manage to blog already about one related to the difficulty of learning Bosnian, and this one I’ve posted here gives a crash course on the Chomsky school, an area of language study I’ve posted about before. » Read the rest of this entry «
More posting from around the web today. In the waning hours of this Sunday evening, I happened upon this incredibly compelling video on YouTube (thanks, Linguist, for the heads up) about 3 elements that truly motivate people in all levels of professional life. Three elements — autonomy, mastery, and purpose — are necessary to give people the motivation to do that which they are uniquely capable of. Take a look:
While this is perhaps only tangentially related to language, it is inherently linked to nearly all tasks that are undertaken in the realm of work. Without motivation, people will eventually do nothing, much less learn a new language. More on this later… or earlier, seeing as it’s almost midnight.
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Welcome to Language Year
This is a personal blog that I started as a creative and fun way to keep track of what I am doing this year as I learn the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language. I blog once a day to chronicle my experience.