Thursday, November 1, 2012

Languages: progress – October 2012

October was quite successful when it comes to learning languages, at least some of them. I dedicated the biggest amount of time to Italian, thanks to the book I was reading. I didn’t spend much time really learning. The priority was without a doubt Swahili! I like this language more and more. It’s partially the result of the progress I’m observing and which makes me very content, and partially thanks to new friends I made on Facebook with whom I exchange remarks and opinions and from whom I learn much. Here’s a monthly report…

Hours spent
  • Total: 71,5
  • Italian: 20,0
  • Swahili: 16,50
  • Arabic (Egyptian): 11,5
  • Turkish: 10,0
  • French: 9,0
  • Portuguese: 4,50

As I mentioned above Italian holds the first place when it comes to the amount of hours but they were mostly dedicated to reading. I finished reading the book „Mondo senza fine” by Ken Follett. It doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. I noted down lots of new words and idioms. I’ve become more confident when it comes to reading comprehension.
I wrote a few words about „Mondo senza fine”, texts are available in Italian, and in Polish.

Besides I watch the program „Pechino Express”. It’s kind of a reality show – several couples compete while they’re traveling through India, Nepal and China. The most interesting for me were the episodes about India, because I’ve traveled to some of the places shown while on a holiday in that country two years ago. Now I could recall those precious moments. Watching TV is, apart from that, a perfect way to exercise listening comprehension.
However it’s hard for me to watch the news on the RAI News channel. Not in the least because of the problems with understanding what the speakers say with the speed of the machine gun, but because of the way the information is presented, or better said: shouted out.
Alas, I didn’t keep a word given to myself and I didn’t review any grammar exercises. I’ll have more time for it during long November evenings. The book which I want to use is „Modern Italian Grammar. Workbook” (by Anna Proudfoot).

The clear leader when it comes to the number of hours dedicated in October to learning was Swahili. I like more and more this language! I finished the book „Colloquial Swahili” and I picked up the manual prepared by the FSI. What’s more, I have several new friends on Facebook who know the language and I learn much from them.

It’s difficult to call it a progress when it comes to Arabic. I’m stuck at lessons 11-13 of the textbook „An Introduction to Egyptian Arabic”. I review over and over texts and dialogs as well as verb conjugations. I repeat often that I want to drill them very well, but it gets too long now I guess. Resolution for November: finish the first part of the book which means to go through the next several lessons, up to lesson 20.

I closed also another step in learning Turkish. I finished the book „Colloquial Turkish” (text about it is available here) and although I can’t say that I mastered all the matters it deals with, I think it’s time to move on to other materials. Similarly as with other languages, I’m going to focus now on the FSI course, and more strictly on the drills it provides, which are plenty. To say the truth I’m beginning the second part of this manual.
I watch more often TRT Türk because I need badly to get more confidence in listening comprehension. I’ll try to work on this aspect of learning in the coming weeks.

I move forward with French. At present I learn from two textbooks. The first one is the FSI Basic Course (I finished lately the first part – text about it here) and I began a second volume, doing all the drills and exercises. The units are quite long and they contain plenty of drills, what – as I’ve already written many a times – I consider a big plus of this course. The second textbook is a Polish book „Język francuski dla zaawansowanych” of which I did 3 lessons until now. I try also to watch at least once a week the news on the France24 channel.

It was a very weak month when it comes to Portuguese. I tried at least once a week to watch the news on the RTP Internacional. I admit I like very much the way the present the news in Telejornal.
Besides I read many texts from the weekly „Sábado”, a supplement to the Portuguese daily „Correio da manhã”. I bought it while on a holiday in Portuguese some time ago and it was lying on my shelf since then. Now I picked it up to read and learn some new vocabulary.

Generally I don’t write here about Spanish. So very briefly I’ll mention that I finished the Spanish versions of the texts about my travel to India (in 2010). They’re available on my other blog Multigato Travels.

This text is also available in Polish

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