Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dawdling along in Mandarin III

Since I have not posted in awhile I thought I would drop in and give you all a quick update on my progress. The only time I have to work on my languages are as follows:

1. Every Wednesday when I go to the doctor in Seattle. I have to take the light rail and two buses. My youngest son comes with me for each appointment. I listen to Mandarin Chinese on my I-POD for thirty minute intervals. Since Chinese is so different from anything I have ever studied, I have to listen to the same lessons over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over.

While other people listen to music, I listen to languages. Am I a weirdo for doing this? Probably.

2. The second opportunity that I have to listen to languages is when I take the boys for a walk in the tandem stroller. According to Google Maps, I walk 1.6 miles one way. Round trip is 3.2 miles. Some of that distance I do a slow run. The boys enjoy it and I stay in shape. During this trip I listen to Mandarin Chinese one way and Spanish the other way. The only time I do not listen to languages during the library trip is when I am running. When running, I need something to help me keep up the pace.

3. I used to have a nifty I-Pod player that I listened to while cooking. Not anymore. My eldest son dumped his milk on it. So, I cannot listen to languages until I buy another one.

So, that is it. I used to study languages by conjugating verbs, taking classes, and organizing notebooks. With two small babies at home, I have been forced to change things around. I do not mind. Learning languages phonetically is a very cool experience. I have always been used to that traditional method of sitting in a classroom and being taught a language. I am used to conjugating verbs and studying grammar. My approach this time is completely different. I am just listening to the language and repeating after the speaker.

I am up to lesson 6 in Chinese. It is getting more difficult. I am slowly getting more and more. I remind myself that when I was 21 years old, learning French in Texas, I learned by regurgitating the same information over and over and over and over. Each new language must be approached with a new set of eyes. I am approaching it with new eyes, and a new way of learning.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. (Unless you are living in Australia) And if anyone wants to buy me a new Ipod dock for the house....I love you long time! ( please do not take offense to that my Vietnamese readers)

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