1.28.2011

Now I'm reading one French article a day

I discovered a free Le Point app for my phone, and I love it! What I've decided to do is read one French article a day, usually at that site, and then look up any words I don't know at WordReference.com. WR has a mobile site, so I can easily search for words there when I encounter them at LePoint.

Previously, I translated quite a lot of French for some years, but I haven't been doing it lately. I still want to keep my reading skills sharp, so reading it online is a great way to do that. Basically, I'm very happy about this new habit :D

1.25.2011

Bad French translation

Wow, I can't believe that a commercial language site is teaching people an archaic translation. Bill Moller has recommended learning a French word a day through a French word Facebook app, and they said that the word "l'hôtesse de l'air" means "air hostess". Seriously, who uses such a word in English? Certainly not in the US, and I don't think Brits use that word either.

They should have considered what that word means in English, rather than literally translating it. When I was growing up, "l'hôtesse de l'air" was a "stewardess". Now they're called "flight attendants". Air hostess: what era is that word from, if it was ever really in much use at all?

1.22.2011

I started posting words that I can't remember on Twitter

Yesterday I was reading a Japanese article at Yahoo Japan, and I saw some words that I didn't know, and some others that I should know (ie, I've seen them before but keep forgetting the reading). So I decided to post a word on Twitter, and I'm going to keep doing that for random words that I want to remember. Through my struggle, perhaps other people will learn, too :D

My Twitter account is no longer private (I locked it a couple of years ago after getting spam and scum), and so far, it hasn't been spammed or corrupted, so it seems like that site has come a long way.

1.20.2011

Still getting used to the evening schedule

I plan on posting something here, but I've been teaching ESL at night, and the traffic is so bad going there, I have to leave a couple of hours in advance--even though I live in the city, and the school is located in the city as well.

But I'm really enjoying it, so it's worth the drive and the late schedule.

1.17.2011

1.14.2011

French-speaking kids trying to figure out older technology

Elizabeth mentioned this video of French-speaking kids in Montreal who are trying to figure out what various technology is, including vinyl records, electronic games, and rotary phones.

If you want to see the English translation, turn on the captions.

1.12.2011

Canadian flag near a Cantonese fight!

What is up with Canadians and their flag? This Vancouver video has an argument in Cantonese, and around 2:30, you can see a guy holding a Canadian flag. Is he trying to show people that he's a CBC (Canadian-born Chinese), or is he just joining the maple leaf bandwagon? I've noticed that Canadians really like their leaves.

Update: someone said that they think it's a mixture of Cantonese and another dialect, and that one woman is not a Cantonese native speaker, but is trying to speak it.

1.11.2011

It's 11111!

How many times does this happen in life? It's January 11, 2011, which is also 11111 if you were to not put any separation between the numbers. That is cool! We will of course encounter this on November 11, 2011, so I'll probably mention it again.

And to those in Asia and others who are several hours ahead of the Americas: you don't have much of 11111 left, but it's still around, so enjoy it :D

1.08.2011

Boston Brahmin accent

I've been reading about the Boston Brahmins, who are the original, wealthy, cultured, and powerful families in Boston. Here are a couple of people speaking with the Boston Brahmin accent, which is disappearing.

1.06.2011

Learn about tampons in German

Through the Tagesschau site, where I watch German newscasts that I hardly understand (as part of my New Year's resolution to restore my German), I found a kid's site, where they explain lots of things. And I was surprised to see that one topic was tampons. So if you want to read about them, and even listen to a kid talk about them in German, just go to the Lilipuz site.

1.02.2011

It's a new year, so time for some resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I am so glad 2011 has come. 2010 had its ups and downs, but last year's resolution to get more Japanese into my life was achieved. I consistently read Japanese throughout the year, and even read a manga book. And I got a nice translating project for a good company.

Of course, this year will also contain language-related resolutions. I will continue to read Japanese consistently, and plan on reading more than one manga book this year, and possibly complete a regular book as well. But now that my work schedule is a lot more predictable and stable than last year, I will have a chunk of time every day to improve my other languages as well.

Such as German: at one point, I could speak it okay, and even read and translated it. But pursuing radio and Japanese and other dreams caused my German and other languages to recede. I was talking to a German guy who speaks perfect English and German (thanks to growing up in both countries), and he suggested I watch a bit of Tagesschau every day. Actually, he told me that I *must* watch every day, and I should watch the 20:00 newscast because it's the most complete. Now I feel pressure :o

I even got a lecture from a Chinese guy who told me that learning Mandarin shouldn't be as difficult as it is for other Westerners because my knowledge of kanji will help. But wouldn't that destroy my brain? I tried studying Mandarin before, but it was too much input. My brain almost locked up :o

Well, since I'm posting this publicly, I have to proceed with my multilingual plan. We'll see how the other languages do against Japanese, though :D