I am entering the new Year with the start of the next #100languagelearningdays! And if everything goes all right, the end would be just around the Orthodox Easter[*].
I’ve been thinking about another edition of the challenge since the mid of the previous one when I put my efforts on German. I was shuffling mainly around three options to go with in the next Winter challenge. First, I was wondering whether not brush up my Persian and make it active, since there are so many natives around. I’ve fallen in love with this language ever since my Erasmus in Cracow (with no particular logic) and my enthusiasm for it visits me in strong periodic waves.
Then, from a more ‘professional’ point of view, I’d rather go for Lithuanian and try not to forget what I’ve learned so far. It’s quite an intriguing language and very useful for my university stuff, too; plus my idea to go for a summer course in Lithuania [which will apparently be postponed, probably for some future post-doc times]. On the other hand, the number of natives in the forums is not so high which would cause problems in keeping a feed-back for the stuff I’d write.
Finally, I was thinking about Hebrew. It was the language I started just before going to Sofia for my first year of Classics, and by an interesting God-logic, the one I was resting with after the finals of the same studies 4 years later. It might turn to be more useful than I have ever though, but that would probably become clearer a bit later. Anyway, I can afford postponing it for another phase later this year, if needed.
And so, in the last days of December, no idea why and from where, my interest to Japanese reappeared. I like this language, it is like a fresh air, intriguing, good sounding and somehow different, still not that alien. My brother ‘introduced’ me to it by laughing and enjoying the way the characters of some manga series he watched spoke. I first bought a book for it in a summer when I worked a very dull and monotonous work, more or less like a nice means of get-away. Learning Japanese always feels like taking a deep breath of fresh cold air. Writing it feels a step further from painting [an area which I’ve stopped hoping for]. I haven’t touched this language for merely 2 years, when I quitted learning it due to the lack of time and force for the (time and effort) demanding kanjis. But the feeling overwhelmed me. In the next couple of days I started writing some characters, revised the syllabic kana, found great internet and phone resources and cleared the conception of the possible Japanese-centered Winter edition of the #100languagelearningdays. [it’s something I’ve realized recently, but… go back and check the picture I used for the first post of the Challenge]
At the same time a friend got involved with Irish. And the dilemma appeared. I’ve wanted to learn Irish since I have internet, because earlier I couldn’t even think of finding any available resources. I don’t know when, how and why I’ve grown so interested in this language, probably because of the celtic music and the fairy personages I’ve grown up with. At that period there were no good resources available in the web, so my early efforts collapsed quite quickly. Then, with the time passing, I gathered some books and courses, understood the orthography and the phonetics, but never happened to have enough motivation and time to merge into that language. The last time I tried, I quitted due to the horrible Colloquial Irish book with its texts recorded by natives in a normal everyday speed, which might be not so bad for a non-beginner after all, but for anyone without previous experience it is deadly incomprehensible. In last September, though, when I registered in Duolinguo, I happily found that there was a (beta) course for Irish, so I played for a while :3 So, I really think learning along with someone else might be fun, so I might give Irish another chance. It’s funny that I had the chance to get my Teach Yourself Irish print brought from Sofia this month, but I though ‘naah, what for’. Now I am waiting my second-hand edition from Amazon.de just because I prefer it ‘book-ish’ than ‘on-screen’.
But, anyway, I’d prefer using the format of the #100languagelearningdays challenge for languages where I have some idea of and base to step on. That’s why the official target language will be Japanese. This Winter phase, though, will be in a light edition. I’ll focus only on certain grammatical structures and probably will try to go for the kanjis through the leveling system. This means that the purpose of this work, in contrast with the previous phase, will be the fun itself, i.e. I don’t pose any fixed goals. (This is also due to other obstacles, like writing my thesis and reading the Old Norse saga for Ragnar Loðbrók). I’ll try to keep pace with Irish, too, hoping that this time I’ll break the barrier of the first lessons and will eventually finish the TY course.
Challenge Winter 2015
Target Language: Japanese
Description: Write a sentence or a short text in a language during 100 days in a row, letting native speakers correct them. It is up to you to choose the complexity of what you write. For example, at the beginning you could start with phrases like “Hello. My name is…” or “Today is…/the day of the week/”.
Method: Choose either a language you would like to learn, starting from the beginning, or a language you have already learned but which you would like to ‘revive’ or improve. Choose a course (on paper or in the internet, like duolingo, up to you) for your target language or simply read a text (not necessarily long), written in that language, using a dictionary and taking out vocabulary and expressions. Write a sentence or a short text using this vocabulary.
You can search for help from natives in language-learning communities like http://polyglotclub.com, http://unilang.org or lang-8.com. It is up to you whether you’ll share your work and progress in a blog like a web-diary. I, personally, would be glad to see and keep in touch with other language learners 🙂 I myself am preparing a special place for my stuff and as a start I am posting my first corrected piece at the end of that post.
- 私は意伴[イワン]だ。ウィーンにすんでいる。 watashi wa iban da. wyiin ni sunde iru.
- 私の友達は学生じゃない。 watashi no tomodachi wa sensei janai.
- 私は魚が好きじゃな人だ。 watashi wa sakana ga suki janai hito da.
- ウィーンには値段が高いレスランあります。 wyiin ni wa natan ga resutoran ga arimasu.
- 外国語を学と思う。 gaikokugo wo manabou to omou.
- 今日はマリアに会った。 kyou wa maria ni atta.
- ポルガル語歌いますね。 porutogarugo de utaimasu ne.
- 昨日アイルランド語の辞書を買った。 sakujitsu/ kinoo, airurandogo no jisho wo katta.
- 露国/ロシア友達に会った。 露国/ロシア語を話した。 rosha no tomodachi ni atta. roshago wo hanashita.
- 読みたかった。 yomi takatta.
- 私は昨日部屋にいた。 watashi wa kinoo heya ni ita.
- 私は友達と昼ご飯を食べに行きかったが、家へ帰った。 watashi wa tomodachi to hirogohan wo tabe ni iki takatta ga, ie he kaetta.
- 図書館へに行きました。 toshokan he yomi kakishi ni ikimashita.
- 子供だった私医者になりかった。 kodomo datta watashi wa isha ni nari takatta.
- 外国語を勉強する人と会った。 gaikokugo wo benkyou suru hito to atta.
- 部屋映画を見た。 heya ni eiga wo mita.
- 私買った本なかった。 watashi ga katta hon wa kunakatta.
- 今日、イゴル私へ書きました。 kyou, igoru wa watashi he kakimashita.
- 私はヤヌシとダグマラと会った。 明日帰る。 watashi wa yanushi to dagumara to atta. ashita kaeru.
- スタルバクスに書いた。 sutarubakusu ni kaita.
- 今日、私がアマゾンで買った本はた。kyou, watashi ga amazon de katta hon wa todoita.
- 私の部屋は静かだ。 watashi ni heya wa suzuka da.
- 同じ物をするは面白くない。 onoji mono wo suru no wa, omoshirokunai.
- 私は公園に行きたかったが、部屋に読った。 watashi wa koen ni iki takatta ga, heya ni yomi ni itta.
[*]Don’t ask me why in Bulgaria the Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas with the Catholics and the Protestants and why Protestants celebrate Easter with the Orthodox… [back]