This past month I’ve been so busy with work and other commitments that I’ve barely had any time for anything else. My language books have mostly been gathering dust, I haven’t had time to even think about writing and even my Netflix account called the police remotely to carry out a welfare check. So to be perfectly honest, this month’s post will likely be fairly slim pickings. But let’s go over the few things I have managed to get done, shall we?
Following on from the end of last month, I’ve been using the LingoDeer app to try and pick up some basic Korean. I had actually spent some time on Korean before, so I already knew the basics of hangeul (that’s the Korean writing system for the uninitiated) and I was ready to plunge straight into grammar and vocabulary – which, honestly, is the part of language learning I think I enjoy the most. I think I prefer this course to Duolingo’s Korean offering, as it’s a little more technical and the notes accompanying each lesson are more comprehensive. Though having said that I’ve not gotten much further than 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo, meaning ‘hello’) and 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida, meaning ‘thank you’)… but I can say ‘this is…’, ‘that is…’ and ‘that over there is…’ as well as naming a whole host of fruits. So if you ever need anyone to identify produce in Korean, I hope you’ll keep me in mind. I’ll have you know that I’m 5.2% fluent!
Also, because I’m me and apparently can’t focus on a single language to save my life, I’ve been doing a spot of dabbling in Welsh. I’ve flirted with Welsh numerous times before but have never really been able to get a foothold… I hope this time will be different. I’ve been using a copy of Complete Welsh by Julie Brake and Christine Jones, and though their method seems a little baffling at times, it’s actually helping some of it to stick. So I’d recommend it if you’re thinking of learning a little Welsh! It’s also handy to have a friend who speaks the language, although the books tend to teach Southern Welsh while the majority of speakers appear to be in the North – so that can be a little confusing. But this is based on impressions I’ve formed after no more than a week, so I’m not exactly what you could call an authority on the matter. Even though it’s vastly different to anything I’ve studied before (although hello VSO word order, we meet again), I’m surprising myself as to how quickly I’ve been able to form a sentence. I’ve even had a go at writing some sample dialogue, which I definitely won’t be posting here until I’ve been able to verify that I haven’t gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick altogether. But maybe you can look forward to some Welsh teaching resources in the future? Maybe I’ll start teaching Korean through the medium of Welsh!
Alright, before I go completely mad, let’s move on to the other few things I’ve done this month. I’ve been on a bit of a book buying spree, but this is mostly just making purchases off my Waterstones wishlist – books that I’m sure I’ve had in the past and have somehow misplaced, and others which I’ve been wanting to read for a while. If you look to the picture on the right, the book on the left is in the latter category and the book on the right is in the former. The buzz around Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey has been hard to avoid, and when it was mentioned on the Lingthusiasm podcast I knew I just had to go out and buy it. Sadly, though, these gorgeous tomes are destined to remain unread for a while, as I’ve started a book club at work. Our first book will be In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park, the story of a 13 year old North Korean defector, and honestly I can’t wait to get my teeth into it. It’s been in my bag for almost a week now and I think that I’ll finally have some time to crack it open today. You know, I came into this blog post thinking I’d not managed to achieve a single thing this month, but as I’m nearing the 800 word mark I’m starting to realise that actually, I got a hell of a lot more done than I’d thought. But before I get complacent, I have to remind myself that historically I’ve been very good at starting projects – it’s seeing them through to the end that has proved tricky. So let’s see where all of this goes, shall we?
As alwways, I want to thank you all for reading – and don’t forget to leave any thoughts in the comments section, or you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram (I’m @sprakskatan) on both. I’ll see you all next month, where hopefully I’ll have a little more progress to share with you!