Language Learning from the average unaverge high school kid Headline Animator

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4th, 2008

It has been 7 months since I made my last post on this blog. In these 7 months, I have done a lot. I fulfilled my dream of studying abroad, going to Brazil for 2 months(Mid-June to Mid-August) and I loved it. The country had great people, good food, and I was basically in bliss for my whole time there, only amplified by speaking in Portuguese as well(made it that much better). I have kept in touch with my host family, and I actually need to get in touch with them again soon, but I hope to go there again sometime soon. But I am already making plans to study abroad again next year. After realizing that high school in America sucks, and that I am tired of it, I decided it would be best if I took a year off and went to another country to study for a year as well as learn an additional foreign language. My top choices right now? #1. Russia. #2. Turkey. #3. France Even though I am not exactly final on that list, I definitely want to go to Russia. So, in preparation of going there, I have decided to start studying the language. I officially plan to start Monday, after deciding on a good "program" to use, which will probably involve some type of text to follow with English translation, a good dictionary(online probably), and tapes to use and get a basic grasp of the language with. I have already learned the alphabet so I just need to dig in and get some self-motivation that I always can find in myself.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Post-RTK1 Era

It's been a while since I finished Remembering The Kanji I, and I have moved on to the other 2 writing systems, the Hiragana and Katakana. I am tackling the Hiragana first, just because its the order the book I'm using goes in(Remembering the Kana, also by James Heisig), and the Hiragana are also a little more important. I've only done about 23 of the 46 characters, but I should be done by the end of the week and on to the Katakana if I can find some 30 minute pockets of time to fit Japanese in during the week. I've also made significant improvement in my Portuguese listening skills, much due to playing some type of Brazilian music everyday or listening to the radio(I download UOL podcasts everyday on iTunes). Now it's only about a month and a half before I get the whole summer to have fun with all the books around the house and resources online. Até Próximo.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

I FINISHED REMEMBERING THE KANJI!!

Today marks the happiest I have been with my language learning in a while. I unbelievably finished RTK last night. It was hardest thing I have had to consistently do for a long period of time ever(even though I'm sure I'll find something else to complain about later in life). I have gone through 2042 Japanese Kanji characters. I started in late July, and finished March 23, so that spans about 7 months. I believe I could have finished sooner if the burden of school and junior year hadn't come and complicated things. But regardless, I worked and worked and worked, and I am sure some of the few readers of this article may think I am really bragging and pumping myself up right now, but I feel like if there was ever an excuse, it would be this. Kanji was a HUGE stepping stone for me, and now that I've finished, I can finally move on to actually reading, writing, and listening to Japanese and work on language skills, with a the other 2 writing systems(Katakana and Hiragana) a very small stepping stone to get over(each writing system is only 50 characters or so). This will also free up time to work on my Portuguese and maybe start with another language I have been dying to work on.

Friday, March 7, 2008

SPRING BREAK!

It is now spring break, which means a few things:

1. A week of rest and relaxation without having to worry about the ton of work I've been getting.

2. Plenty of time to work on my languages.

I've been slacking on the kanji, I should have finished by now, but at least I've got less than 200 now, and I expect to finish by the end of Spring Break(I hope I'm not jynxing myself like last time). I am glad because I can finally move on to the other 2 writing systems(which should only take a few hours to learn), and then I will move on to Japanese In Mangaland as well as Assimil(Did not like Assimil first go around, but I am hoping this time will be better). As with Portuguese, I'm planning on spending a lot more time working on my listening, because it is really slacking in my opinion. Also, I am going to try and work on Afrikaans. I've only gotten through the pronunciation, and I am really ready to move on to reading and writing. From what I've seen, the language looks a little bit like English, and there are some words that the 2 languages share. The site I am using is GREAT, it is a good place to go if you want to start learning Afrikaans. I will post the link on the side. Anywyas, as for Spring Break? I am looking forward to it, and hopefully will enjoy it. Até Mais!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

City of God Original Brazilian Trailer

This movie is about a kid who likes doing photography growing up in Rio de Janeiro, a city that has a lot of crime. The main character(Don't remember his name, I don't think he said it in the trailer), grows up around this crime, and almost gets twisted up in it. I am not good at desribing movies, but I will say this one of the best movies I have EVER seen, and really shows how good brazilian film is. If you want a better description of the movie than mine, just check out the whole thing here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_God_(film) if you watch the movie, let me know how you liked it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's been a long time...

I haven't posted on here in over a month, due to me entering the hardest semester of school I have ever had in my life. After bombing basically every exam I took in January, I decided I really need to step it up and start doing some work, even if it includes me slowing down with my language learning or lifting weights after school. The workload has been tremendous, and everything is moving so fast it's crazy. But I decided I could still make a little time to make another post since it doesn't really take too long.

I am disappointed in myself because I never got to finish my kanji. I am still doing it everyday, but I should be done with it and starting to work on the actual language(writing, reading, speaking) and I am really tired of just doing kanji, even though I know it is essential for me to do them. But there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to do that. I am about 300 kanji away from finishing the book, so I guess I will just finish it no matter what some time soon. As for my other languages, my Portuguese has really improved, and I feel like I am almost as good at it as I am in French(which I have been taking at school for over 3 years now). My Chinese is going nowhere, but I am going to try and finish the year out strong because my grades aren't so good. The funny thing is, even though I have all this stuff, I really want to start learning Afrikaans. I think I will try to make time for it on the weekends, since I plan on being in the house more from now until Spring Break, which should give me a whole lot of time to work on my languages. I am going to post some more useful links and hopefully get some more readers!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fear and Trembling (Stupeur et tremblements) Trailer

Wanted to show this trailer, a movie I watched, it has 2 languages I am studying(French and Japanese), and a decent plot.

Long time no post

It has been a long time since my last post, I believe I last posted a couple days after Christmas. I hope people are enjoying 2008 so far, I know I am, it is going great so far, even though my headaches aren't getting any better. I am going to be doing a lot more so I am not sure how often I will be updating my blog but I WILL DO IT!! I am going to post and post and post and make it more interesting. Let me know what I should talk about and I'll bring it. Enjoy January.