Showing posts from 2007

Support Your Local Library

I went to the library today and checked out 1944's An Invitation to Portuguese. It builds on your knowledge by asking questions and giving answers in Portuguese, plus some grammar notes, which is the only place English appears (fine by me). Seems like a good method, but this book is so old-fashioned, it's amusing and quaint.

Grammar en Español

I've been reviewing my Spanish over the last couple of days using my Side-by-Side Spanish & English Grammar book. I edited the notes I took, and realized how little I had decided to keep from what I had scribbled down. That's a good thing though, because that means I remembered a lot.
I'm not obsessed with grammar, but since I primarily concentrate on reading and writing, it's kind of hard not to have a certain amount of focus on it.

Say It in Polish

I'm still very much a beginner at Polish, although I do know and recognize some things. One of the hardest things about Polish is the pronunciation. I actually don't think it's all that difficult, but there are some groups of letters that take practice. Polish abounds with "sh" "ch" "zh" sounds, which are fine on their own, but it's not uncommon for these sounds to be combined, making some words a bit of a challenge. There are also two nasal vowels: ą (this one I have down pretty well) and ę (this one I need to work on more). I also keep wanting to pronounce y like "ee," but I think it's supposed to be more like "ih."


The University of Iowa's Department of Spanish and Portuguese has an interesting and interactive dialect pagehere. Unfortunately, not all countries listed have examples. Transcriptions are available, so one can follow along - good practice for beginner's.

A Little Serbian Something

ЗовемсеКели. Американкасаминаравноговорименглески. Не говорим српски, али учим и разумем мало. Са српском, студирам пољски и бугарски.
Zovem se Keli. Amerikanka sam i naravno govorim engleski. Ne govorim srpski, ali učim i razumem malo. Sa srpskom, studiram poljski i bugarski.
My name is Kelly. I'm American and of course I speak English. I don't speak Serbian, but I'm learning and understand a little. Along with Serbian, I'm studying Polish and Bulgarian.
Way to state the obvious, huh? ;) I'd love to know how I did so far, but may try to get a few more entries in before I seek native-speaker help, although if any native speakers are reading, please critique away. :) Serbian is quickly becoming my favorite of the Slavic languages.

Nieuw Boek

By this time I've gotten the book my older sister found for me, which is the Dutch version of In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan. Should be interesting. :)

A Bit-O-Bulgarski

Here's another basic sentence:
Има много хубави къщи на страната. There are a lot of beautiful houses in the country(side).
I'm not 100% sure it's correct though. I do, however, know how to say, вали дъжд, and it's coming down super hard!

So Far

Казвам се Кели.  Родена съм в Индианаполис.  Не говоря български.
My name is Kelly.  I was born in Indianapolis.  I don't speak Bulgarian.

Three fascinating statements. :)
I get so anxious to dive into the language that I often forget the importance of the beginning stages. Yes, it can be boring and slow-going learning such basic (and seemingly useless) phrases, but it's all part of the process of building on and increasing knowledge.

An Update

I figured I should finally update this thing. Here's the scoop on my language learning:
No longer dabbling in Persian. I've decided I don't want to learn it afterall, but I do have a strong interest in learning Lithuanian. That said, I'm resisting the temptation, what with all the other languages I've got going.
I've decided to bring Norwegian back into the mix, but I really need to get the hang of pronunciation and intonation. The pronunciation isn't so bad, but that pitch accent has been a problem for me.
And finally, I sent an email to my older sister in D.C., asking her about any bookshops that sold literature in foreign languages (other than Spanish, which I can easily get in St. Louis). I figured since D.C. is more of an international city, she would have more luck. I'm excited to see what she finds for me. :)

Pondering Persian

I know the last thing I should do is add another language to my list, but I'm seriously considering trying my hand at Persian - at least to get a start in it. It's an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, as well as in Afghanistan where it's known as "Dari," and in Tajikistan where it's known as "Tajik" (of all things) ;). PersianDariTajik


I've been reviewing my Spanish by making vocabulary cards. I started teaching myself Spanish when I was 16, so I have a pretty good grasp of Spanish vocab, but it's always good to review.

Bulgarian Week

I've been focusing on Bulgarian this week. In the past, I've glanced around at various grammar features, so I'm familiar with some basic stuff, such as being able to identify the definite article equivalents, but I'm definitely still a beginner. I like to start reading immediately, even if just a short paragraph, so I printed off an article about Valentine's Day, which I'll try to translate over the next couple of days. Of course having a dictionary helps, and although I prefer a print dictionary I can pull off the shelf, I do have a nice online version bookmarked: Bulgarian Dictionary. It includes idioms, shows the plural form, and indicates where the stress falls, which is irregular in Bulgarian. A Cyrillic keyboard is also available, so that's a plus.

Read Up on Brazil

I'm teaching myself the Brazilian variety of Portuguese. If you're interested in Brazil, here are a few websites to take a peek at: Brazil Max Geographia Maria Brazil

Serbian, etc.

Serbian is growing on me more and more. The funny thing is, learning this language was completely on impulse. The first Slavic language I was interested in was Bulgarian. I'm trying my hand at that one too, but I didn't add it to the list until a few months after Serbian, so I had grown a tad accustomed to the latter. There are similarities between the two (the Slavic languages tend to have a lot in common with each other, both in grammar and vocab, which can be beneficial when learning more than one), but also plenty of differences. And of course, I can't forget Polish, which I actually didn't like at all, but for whatever reason, changed my mind. To backtrack a little, I was talking about how similar yet different Serbian and Bulgarian are from one another. Adding Polish to the mix, here are a few features of these languages... Serbian and Bulgarian are South Slavic; Polish is West Slavic. Despite this, Serbian and Polish seem to have more in common than Serbian an…


I'm a bit preoccupied watching The Nanny on Serbian television. I'm not sure which language the actors are speaking, but it's definitely a Slavic one, and since subtitles are being used, I'm going to assume it's not Serbian (it's probably Russian).