One of the most difficult things in my journey of language acquisition has been finding good reading material. I can go into a bookstore and pick up just about anything I want, but usually I’ll find myself unsatisfied with my selection. Past attempts at finding good reading material have been mostly unsuccessful. This time, I think I found a winner, and it exposes many of the mysteries of the world around us. Well… not really. But, it is interesting.
June 25th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
June 20th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
This post on the Linguist’s blog made me think of a conversation I had with a friend today about words in English, and how they translate into Bosnian. ”There are so many different words,” he said. ”It’s so much simpler in English.” Now, of course he said that, he’s an American. But then again, he’s also recognizing a very interesting fact about the differences between English and most of the other languages out there in the world. » Read the rest of this entry «
June 10th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
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…
May 31st, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Yesterday my language tutor brought me a Serbian translation of a book of poems by Sergej Jesenjin, a Russian poet who lived through the Bolshevik Revolution in St. Petersburg. ”After a year of reading things like this, you’ll speak better than I do… If you want to speak intelligent Bosnian, then this is the way.” I laughed a bit, and then he continued. ”You will, you will.” » Read the rest of this entry «
Yesterday’s post, I know, kind of left the subject hanging. It was late, and I thought the Wikipedia quote was already decently thought provoking. Pertinent articles from around the web are here, here, and here. Anyway, the debate still rages on. Actually, it probably kind of goes on at a normal speaking volume, since it involves linguistics (i.e., words). I suppose if one side of a language argument started yelling, or raging, they would be the de facto loser, if not also the de jure loser. I feel like saying “Yay”. But at a normal speaking volume, of course. I just got to use the words “de facto” and “de jure”. In the same sentence. Double yay.
April 19th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
A few days ago I had an epiphany. Over the last several weeks, I had been searching for a way to advance in my journey toward language acquisition. I thought about my classes, my sessions with my language partner, the texts I was reading, and realized that I needed to find some way to immerse myself more fully into conversation. I needed to brake free of scripted conversations, paragraphs, and newspaper articles, my life rafts in the seas of free conversation. I needed to find a way to listen to conversation, uninterrupted, unbroken, and finally gain the ability to understand people without asking them to speak more slowly. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 12th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Today’s post marks (finally) the return of normalcy to this blog, and ventures a bit toward the more inspirational side of the scope of Language Year’s subject matter. The following is a video from the TED conference (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design), a fairly important conference for the world of, well, technology, entertainment, and design. Mostly, it seems like people at TED simply gather for the sake of gathering and listening to speeches, as the subjects of talks tend to be quite expansive and very loosely (or even tangentially) related to the general theme of industrial advancement and globalization in the three aforementioned fields. With that said, I am glad that those people do chose to gather, regardless of their reason for doing so, because the talks and media they produce are usually incredibly inspiring, as you will see.
The following video is from a talk given by Caroline Casey, and offers her incredible story of learning to live beyond her own limitations and shortcomings. Please watch; it’s well worth the 15 minutes…
April 4th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I believe it was Abraham Lincoln (or, some say, King Solomon) who said that it is better to “remain silent and seem a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” In language learning, it is all too true that opening the mouth will make one a fool, but the alternative is hardly better — the one who never opens his mouth will also be sure not to learn much, I am realizing. But, as Motown fans knew long ago, everybody plays the fool sometimes, no?
As it is Sunday here (and the first day of Daylight Savings Time in Bosnia, no less), I will keep this post short. Last night we made time for a brief excursion, taking our son down to the small park below our neighborhood and meeting friends there for some fast food at one of the nearby restaurants. The owner’s daughter, who is three, began to play with our son, who is two, in front of the restaurant, and they enjoyed several minutes of jumping, running, playing with various shrubs and plants around the restaurant, a so on. During the exchange, I came over to keep order and make sure nobody ran out into the street, and the girl began to tell me about her kindergarten, and other various things of interest to three-year-olds.
March 2nd, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Today, as I was entering new words into my Anki “flash-card memory software” (is that really a category of sofware?), I saw that my list of entered words has now grown to 800. I sat back for a second, and enjoyed the momentary feeling of accomplishment. A few months ago, I felt like I could barely say anything in Bosnian, and now (while I still might feel that way sometimes) I have a pretty good list of words I am supposed to know. But then I started thinking… what can you really do with 800 words?