Sunday, December 2, 2012

Languages - progress: November 2012


November was without a doubt an Arabic month! I’ve never, at least since I register the hours, spent so much time learning a language in a month. The cause is simple: in a few days I’ll go to Egypt for a holiday and I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t use this travel as an opportunity to practice a language I learn. And as I like Arabic very much, I will combine practice with pleasure.
Here’s a monthly report…

Hours spent
  • Total: 72,5
  • Arabic (Egyptian): 37,0
  • Arabic (MSA): 3,0
  • French: 8,5
  • Italian: 8,5
  • Swahili: 8,0
  • Turkish: 4,5
  • Portuguese: 3,0

Remarks
As I mentioned above, Arabic, and in particular Egyptian dialect scored highest when it comes to the number of hours. I dedicated some of them to learn consecutive lessons from „An Introduction to Egyptian Arabic”, published by the FSI. I listened also to several lessons from the book „Anistuuna”, I learned by heart some vocabulary from an Egyptian phrasebook („Rozmówki egipskie”) and I took to another textbook, this time it’s a course made by the Defense Language Institute. I recommend it strongly to everyone who wants to learn not only to speak but also to write!
This thick book is accompanied by the audio (many hours) and in addiction it explains the differences between the dialect and the MSA.
I also managed to chat a bit with natives. What a fun to be able to write at least several sentences in such a different alphabet!
By the way, I spent a few hours watching TV Al-Jazeera in Arabic. I didn’t understand much of what was being said but I wanted to listen to some original materials. It’s a pity I can’t watch any Egyptian channels via satellite, so I will have to do a thorough research in the net.

Second place when it comes to time dedicated to learning is occupied by Italian and French – 8,5 hours each. I didn’t do much. In regard with French I studied thoroughly units 13 and 14 of the FSI book, I watched a little some news on France 24.
When it comes to Italian – learning consisted mainly of watching TV – „Pechino Express” and RAI News channel with a focus on a so called shadowing.

Less time than before I spent on Swahili. I studied lessons 20 through 40 from the book published by Foreign Language Institute – grammar and vocabulary as well as shadowing using accompanying audio material. I was less active in my favorite FB group of people learning Swahili. I explain it to myself by a fatigue resulting from a previous month.

I am stuck when it comes to Turkish. I did only two lessons (34 & 35) from the FSI course. I’ll try to do more in December.

November was also very “weak” when it comes to Portuguese. I tried to watch at least once a week news on RTP Internacional channel.

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