Language Immersion Day 4

A new day of immersing myself into the languages I want to learn! After some second level owling in Catalan about my elephant eats apples and third or fourth level Swedish girls asking him for his phone number, in my third Duolingo lesson at beginner level Russian I came across meals such as завтрак, breakfast. I thought breaking up the word. I thought that I was being smart separating the Russian equivalent like the English breakfast itself, i.e. a break from fasting, hence a pause from not eating, in other words: a moment to eat. Pretty cool right? Yeah, that’s from the books of Game of Thrones. Not that I read them, but my boyfriend told me. However, breaking up the Russian breakfast got me something really different.

So there goes my theory. For this word. Cause I’m still committed to showing you other examples that compound words can help you to better understand, remember and enjoy new words in your target language(s).

Typing in other alphabets and scripts.

I prefer to write in my new target languages right from the beginning. When learning Greek in the second grade back at high school it amazed me how strange a different alphabet appeared to me at first and how fast I learned to use all but three letters by simply practicing. Cyrillic letters, though many originated from Greek or with similar roots are more difficult to me as a Dutchie, also cause of a few unknown sounds. So it takes me more time than a Hellenic afternoon when I was 14, but I think it also adds tremendously to the experience of ‘knowing’ a language. Arabic is much harder, of course, but really doable and the more fun once you recognize it. When learning Japanese you’ll not only need to learn Hiragana and Katagana but also Kanji, the characters imported from China. And although many of the language schools and program providers I worked for offer pinyin writing to their Western clients learning Mandarin at first, I prefer to at least recognize Chinese characters. For time constraints during those younger years, I’ll skip the beautiful calligraphy, realizing that I won’t reach the higher levels of Culture leaving it perhaps finding the pen and ease of mind at a more senior age.

Doing this Russian exercise, I realized it could be helpful for other language learners to know what tool I’m using to write Cyrillic letters. As I also use it for Arabic, Hebrew and Greek alphabets, I decided to write a separate blog post about how to write these languages as well as how to write in Chinese and Japanese, the latter using Hiragana, Katagana and Kanji.

Read more on how to write different alphabets and scripts on Duolingo, in Word and anywhere else using your current keyboard. Another blog post that I used as a reason to do exercises for above six languages. Throughout the day, I listened to radio Calella via to further practice listening to news, interviews and songs in Catalan at normal speed.

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