I am definitely not a langblr but I learned basic French and I am currently learning Korean starting with Hangul. There are a lot of things to be reminded whenever you are trying to learn a new language especially if you are new to the experience (like me lol).
1️⃣ It will take YEARS
Yes, believe me when I say that you will struggle. Those programs that claim that they will help you become fluent in a certain language in 3 months or less, they are probably over exaggerating. There is more in learning a language than just writing it and making sure you have proper spelling and it was translated correctly. You also need to understand it and be able to pronounce it properly with confidence. It’s just like learning your mother language, you were not able to be fluent in you mother language in just months or in just a year.
2️⃣ Starting with the characters is a must
If you are learning a language that requires you to use different characters, learn those characters first before the ‘translating game’. In learning Korean, you first need to learn Hangul, just like when you first learned English, you started with the Alphabet. After learning the characters, you can start forming words, and that is where the ‘translating game’ starts.
3️⃣ The struggle is real when learning the ‘accent’
This is the part where most struggle (including me lol). I struggled at pronouncing words in French mainly because I was not made to speak French (like how my the pitch of my voice gets higher whenever I speak English and drops down when I speak Filipino). It really does take time and many give up at this stage but since WE ARE STUDYBLRS, WE DON’T GIVE UP LIKE THAT.
4️⃣ The pressure is real when you try to use it IRL
I tried using French MANY times in real life when I have the opportunity to but then I just fail and make an embarrassment of myself and just go back to speaking Filipino or English and at the end, I will regret that I missed that opportunity. It will be hard to get yourself to confidently speak your new language especially if you don’t speak it enough (which is the reason for no. 3). But it is very important to have confidence in speaking it because if I hadn’t pushed myself to speak in front of many people in an unfamiliar language, then I wouldn’t be able to write and speak in English.
5️⃣ There will be times when you will lose motivation
For some people this is the first stage in giving up, but in terms of learning a language, this is completely normal. Yes you need to practice everyday in order to succeed but there will be days when you do not feel like it or it does not interest you anymore. Always remember to give yourself a rest because learning something out of your comfort zone can be tiring too. But there will also be days when you will wake up and feel motivated as if nothing can stand in your way and use that to your advantage and make up for lost time.
Idek if these actually help as I am not an expert and it no way can be labeled as a langblr or such but if it did, please like and reblog and follow my studygram (chrissiestudies) and tell me what other posts interest you because I am on summer vacation so I now have more time on Tumblr as opposed to before. 💕💕
What instruments would Hamilton and his friends play?
<b>Hamilton:</b> Drums. Loud. Obnoxious. If Jefferson tries to steal the spotlight he casually // throws his drumsticks as hard as he can at him //<p/><b>Laurens:</b> Ukulele, very soft and sweet with that angel voice of his. Hamilton always asks him to play for him in a so //t o t a l l y p l a t o n i c w a y//<p/><b>Mulligan:</b> Harmonica. He keeps it in his pocket at all times and plays it so beautifully people forget how big and tough he looks. He's just a big soft bean<p/><b>Lafayette:</b> He's too busy learning English, do you think he has time to learn an instrument? The answer is yes, he plays the flute<p/><b>Burr:</b> Violin. Elegant and soft, gentle in a way Burr has always tried to be. This is how he got Theodosia to fall for him.<p/><b>Washington:</b> Cello. He doesn't like to talk about it, but Hamilton often here's him softly playing at night after an extra stressful day<p/><b>Eliza:</b> Piano (*gross sobbing* she taught philip piano)<p/><b>Angelica:</b> Harp. She rarely gets to play, but when she does she will drop everything and she can play for hours. She played one at Eliza and Hamilton's wedding when they danced.<p/><b>Peggy:</b> Picollo. vv high pitched, vv trilling, vv bad ass,, vv anD PEgGY<p/><b>Jefferson:</b> Fiddle. Straight outta Virginia, a southern instrument, as well as it gives him the chance to constantly steal Hams spotlight<p/><b>Madison:</b> Acoustic guitar. Can be soft and soothing or loud and very country. Normally plays it very soft, and Jefferson will sit outside of his door and listen but doesn't tell him about it.<p/></p>
Of all the American accents, I will always be partial to a Southern drawl. I think there’s beauty in the pace and the lilt and every story sounds like a song. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that drawl from any Asians to the degree that these Chinese women speak in Mississippi Delta English. I do sorta wish we could hear them speaking Chinese to see if the accent holds over, but even without that, this is still a fascinating video.
And I just want to point out how important Asian representation is in the media. Part of the reason so many Americans are always othering the Asians they see is because there aren’t enough in pop culture. These Chinese folks in Mississippi have been there for their entire lives, and some of them went to school before the end of segregation. They’re clearly American – you can hear it in their voice if nothing else. Yet, they’re still asked “How long have you been here?” or “Where are you from?” or “Where did you learn English?”
The default for American is still white. Everything else is Other. But Asians are still the others of the Other, forever seen as immigrants in a country that used to pride itself on being a melting pot.
Sirius opened his eyes and
sighed at the warmth he was feeling around him. After many years in
Azkaban he was so thirsty for what he didn’t get in the prison. He
turned around on the pillow and found himself facing Remus who was
looking at him with soft eyes that were doubting. Doubting that
Sirius was here. After one week he still couldn’t believe the black
haired man was lying next to him. He reached out his hand to touch
his cheek. Sirius pushed his cheek into Remus’ touch. “Good
morning…”, he said and moved a bit closer. It had been a long
night because of his nightmares but Remus had comforted him. As soon
he had felt his arms around him he could relax. “Good morning. Are
you okay?”, Remus asked softly while bending to Sirius to kiss his
forehead. “You slept better than the last nights.” Sirius wasn’t
really sure if he was okay. But he felt much better since he was
here. Of course he did but there still was the feeling that
everything was too much. Living in the dark and cold prison listening
to the talking and the screams of the inmates day and night made him
feel weird now he was having all the comfort and freedom. It would
need a long time until he would be able to really feel at home again.
But Remus was already giving his best to make him feel good. When
Sirius himself was raising his hand to touch Remus as well he felt a
sudden weight around his wrist, making him flinch. He grabbed his
wrist and sat up. He could still feel the heavy chains around it. His
breath fastened for a second before he felt Remus’ arms wrapped
around his body and calmed down again. “Thank you…”, he
whispered and gave him a tentative smile. Sirius still couldn’t
believe he was finally here. Every second he thought he’d wake up
thinking it was just a dream. But it just felt too real to be a
dream. Remus close too him felt too good. And he had the smell of
forest, tea and chocolate all around him. Whenever he could smell it
he instantly felt better. Slowly Remus pulled back
his arms and got out of the bed. “I will make us some hot
chocolate. It’ll make you feel better”, he said with a soft smile
and left the room making Sirius staying back. The first five days he
had been following Remus scared of being left alone. But he now
understood he’d come back though he still felt uncomfortable. He
pulled the blanket higher while digging his fingers into it. Soon
after Remus came back and when Sirius was drinking the hot chocolate
he was indeed feeling better.
One month out
While the days were going
by Sirius finally could relax when being at home alone. At least
during the day while he needed Remus in the night. He couldn’t be
without him. The darkness scared him too much. During the full moon
he stayed with Remus as well, taking care of him after the
transformation as well. He was still used to it after doing that at
school. He also didn’t feel that useless anymore. Though the feeling
vanished soon after again. Remus couldn’t leave
whenever he wanted because of Sirius’ anxieties of being alone
especially when it was dark outside. Sirius wasn’t happy about that.
He didn’t want to tie Remus down and though he said it was okay
Sirius knew it wasn’t. Not at all. Sometimes it made him aggressive
and he started throwing things around. But at least he forgot to be
afraid during this times. As the months went by even
that got better and he was okay with being alone in the evening and
on better days also during the night. Of course it was always better
when Remus was with him and he was having nightmares whenever he was
alone. Over all he still felt better compared to some weeks before. Remus was glad seeing
Sirius’ condition getting better. But he still was worried. Sometimes
when Sirius reached out for him he cringed, pressing his hands to his
body because of no particular reason. Whenever he asked Sirius
answered he felt like he would still be wearing the chains and
sometimes he just felt a sudden weight around his wrists. Remus didn’t question it
and Sirius was glad he didn’t. He wouldn’t want to talk about it
(I’m going to start with a random side note: If I ever get a book deal to write Japanese primer, I’m going to call it I Eat Cake Everyday: A Complete Guide to Japanese with Stupid Sentences.)
It’s been a while since we’ve just talked, so I wanted to just take a moment to do that.
I think every Japanese platform at one point write an article about “the deep truth” of learning Japanese, claiming to give you the golden key that you need to become fluent in only 6 months or 1 year or whatever.
The argument for those kinds of posts isn’t hard to understand: People are fundamentally similar. If people are fundamentally similar, it is very likely that works for me will will work for you. Thus, if this works for me, it will work for you. This does work for me. Therefore, it will work for you (most likely.)
This is why all articles start with something like, “I guarantee you that I’m no genius. [Insert daily task that the writer struggles with on a daily basis.] I’m just a regular person that tried out a few things until I found a winning formula.”
I, personally, want to do my own take on this kind of article. I won’t offer a golden key, but I’ll talk about learning Japanese.
1. Japanese is Coded in the Most Inefficient Writing System in the World
Kanji, the logographs that are the bane of all Japanese-learner’s existence, comes from China. Kanji itself, 漢字, means “Chinese characters.” Kanji were invented to suit the needs of the Chinese language (from way back when, before Mandarin/Standard Chinese was a thing.) Japanese, on the other hand, is a language isolate, and it is not related to Chinese. So the use of these Chinese characters has over time been used in different ways for different words and with different readings- for Kanji tend to have multiple readings, sometimes being just 2 and at other times 8.
In Eastern Asia, the use of Chinese characters was widespread. It was used in Korea, in Vietnam, in Japan, to some varying extent in Malaysia, and the territories these nations conquered.
Korea developed an ingenious writing system called Hangeul, which now has all but totally substituted Chinese characters. Vietnam adopted the Roman alphabet with many diacritics. Japanese, well, Japanese developed two writing systems based on morae. These two writing systems could be used to write out the entirety of Japanese. Kanji is not really necessary. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that there are so many homophones such that even with context one could not make head or tails out of what was being said.
So, Japanese does have a potential unique writing system that is easy to learn (it’s easier than Hangeul in my opinion), but it does not use it exclusively because of cultural reasons. Kanji is just hardwired into the culture.
But here’s where my personal opinion and advice come in: If you have to choose between loving Kanji and hating it, hate it. Don’t romanticize it. Don’t go “above and beyond” what you have to know because of your love for Kanji. Just learn what you have to learn, and leave it at that.
“How many Kanji must someone learn?” The official common use Kanji list (the Jōyō Kanji) lists 2,136 Kanji. How many readings are among these Kanji? Somewhere around 3,869. There are also some variations on Kanji that one should keep in mind and some Kanji that one sees only in names, so add around 400 Kanji to the official list and about 400 new readings.
“How many Kanji must I learn for my first year of Japanese?” All of them. That’s my honest advice. Don’t aim to learn only a few Kanji. If you’re going to learn Kanji, learn them all. Think in that mindset. As soon as you decide you want to learn Japanese, work on Kanji. Before you enter a classroom and learn your first few greetings and whatnot, make sure you know all the common use Kanji, or at least that you’re well on your way to knowing all the Kanji.
2. Language Learning is an Intensive Process
Learning a language is a process that scientists haven’t quite been able to describe accurately. We do know, nevertheless, that it’s a heck of a lot different from learning chemistry or carpentry or bicycling.
In the Western world, there is this idea that one can learn a language in a classroom, normally as a subject period, with periods lasting somewhere from 50 to 70 minutes. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t work very well. (There are historic reasons for this way of learning a language, but we can talk about that some other time.) The success rates of language acquisition in classrooms is ridiculously low. This does not mean that language classes are bad: but it means that it just isn’t enough.
There are many reasons why learning a language in and of itself may be hard. It’d take forever to talk about all of them.
But let’s talk a bit about lexicons. A lexicon, here, refers to the dictionary in your brain where you store the words you know. If you’re monolingual- you have a standard dictionary in your brain with a word and definitions. If you were raised bilingual, then you have one lexicon with two words and definitions. That is to say, if you’re an English-Spanish speaker, then you have “cat” and “gato” in the same space in your brain and you know that what applies to one applies to the other. Then, depending on your fluency and use, you may have two supplementary dictionaries where you store all the information about words that don’t exist in the other language and idioms and expressions and things like that.
Now, if you’re an English speaker and, say, you want to learn German, part of what you’ll learn to do is to process your English lexicon entries into German. What that means is that you learn to engineer English words into German. “Father” turns into “Vater,” “to drink” turns into “trinken,” “Love” turns into “Liebe,” etc. So the words that have no relation with English (the non-cognates), turn into a supplementary lexicon and everything else is put through a mental processor.
Because the brain can do this is the reason why many people in Europe can speak many languages. The fact that someone can speak Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, and French is not terribly impressive. The overlap in words (and in grammar) is so immense that what you’re doing is processing one language into another and you’re guaranteed an astonishing success rate.
Japanese, however, is different because it’s a language isolate. You can’t process one language into another. You have to learn words one by one. That takes time. It takes repetition. Memorization is as much an active process as it is a subconscious process. When people talk about the benefits of “immersion,” what they’re talking about most of the time is putting your brain into survival mode, i.e. either you learn all these words (and grammar stuff) or else you will not be able to survive and thus you will die. That is one way of doing it, and if you do not choose this path you have to commit some serious time to this. I believe that if one knows around 5,000 of the most frequently used words in any given language, one is guaranteed to know at least 95% of all the words one will hear/read in a day (given that one doesn’t go read a super technical manual on how to calibrate a nuclear reactor or something like that.) So, the question becomes how will you memorize 5,000 words? How long will that take? If one learns 10 a day, then it’s 500 days, and if one learns 50 a day, it’s 100 days.
The tradeoff when it comes to speed is that the faster you learn something, the faster you forget. (When you relearn something, it should be faster nevertheless.) So how much time will you commit to learning a language? How will you follow that up? These are important questions.
3. Japanese Media is Considerably Insular
Japan isn’t like the United States. The United States wants every nation to know what music it likes, what fashion it wears, what it believes ideologically and socially, etc. The U.S. is everywhere.
South Korea, recently, is everywhere. K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-SNL, K-Beauty. If you want to know what Korea is up to, it’s pretty easy to find out. They want you know!
Japan… eh. Japan is pretty good at making anime available globally. People know about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon and the Mighty Atom and all that. When it comes to dramas and movies and tv shows, they’re not quite interested in that. Ages ago I wrote a post on the misconception of “Whacky Japanese Game Shows,” where I basically explained that most of those shows aren’t game shows but segments on variety shows, the only person in my mind having totally insane game shows being Beat Takeshi.
Okay, fine, what does this mean? This means two important things. First, one’s expose to the language outside of going to Japan or talking to Japanese people will be based highly on anime, which is fine but there are other styles of expressing oneself. One needs a bit of variety. If one goes the information/news route, then one is exposing oneself to something very formal and literary, but dull. Second, it means that when people teach Japanese, they’re going to assume that one wants to speak Japanese for business purposes. This sounds strange to say, but let me put it like this: Japanese is an important part of the world economy and STEM and anime, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently large part of Japanese culture so that the Japanese can figure you want to learn Japanese for that sole purpose. If you want to speak Japanese, then it must be for business purposes (and we’ll consider academics to be within business.) So you learn Japanese through the perspective of honorific and respectful language. This isn’t a bad thing either, but the desire to make you sound nice will often lead to lies about how Japanese actually works at a grammatical level.
(On the other hand, in South Korea the K-Pop/K-Drama boom is such a big deal that people around the world start learning Korean in hopes of auditioning for the big production companies in hopes of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and hosts.)
So here’s my advice: Once you have your feet wet with Japanese, once you know your Kanji and you know how to analyze a sentence (even if the lexicon isn’t all there yet), look at something that isn’t anime. I recommend movies, a lot of which are quite nice. Okuribito (Departures) was a great movie. An (Red Bean Paste) is a more recent film that was wonderful. Look up some movies. Sit down, and watch them. Watch it with subtitles, so you know what the movie’s about. But watch it a second time and a third time without subtitles. Try to see if you can make out a few sentences, read a few signs that appear in the background, take note of expressions or words you keep hearing. No, you won’t be able to understand the whole film all of a sudden, but it’s something new and something good and the more Japanese you learn, the more you will be able to return to the film and make out. Eventually, you will be able to listen to a sentence, pause the film, and look up the words you don’t know.
4. Learning Japanese Doesn’t Happen with One Method Alone
This is rather obvious, but it’s worth finishing this off with. There is an abundance of book series, CDs, cassettes, and even online resources (our own included.)
A language is greater than any method, than any curriculum, than any teacher. No one source has all the answers. One has to be encouraged from day one to look at many resources.
A library is a language learner’s best friend. Why? Because books can be expensive, and you will probably not need all the resources you dabble into for a long time. So, when you begin learning Japanese, look at the entire Japanese section, order a few famous books through InterLibrary Loan, if you have access to that, and sit down and just read the books, as if they were novels. Don’t memorize a thing. Don’t do the exercises. Just figure out their style, their aims, their perspective. Do read the footnotes! The more footnotes a book has, the more useful it tends to be in the long run. Information that isn’t relevant in Lesson 1 may be absolutely vital in Lesson 10.
Check out some old books if you can. The way people learn a language today is not the same way they learned it 50 or 100 years ago. The most useful Italian grammar book I ever read was written in the 1800′s. Japanese books published before World War II may have some slightly outdated things, such as the /we/ and /wi/ morae, but they will be good for most of everything else. I’m personally dying to get library privileges again somewhere to be able to look into these, so if I find some good book titles I’ll let you know.
Because a lot of language instruction was, until recently, modeled after the way Greek and Latin was taught, reading some of our own material gets you familiar with the lingo, should you heed my advice. So people like to talk about cases and declensions and conjugations and moods and all that. The works of William George Aston are some of the most important books on Japanese historically. So, if you can find originals of those, please do read them.
I've been learning how to read cyrillic, but I'm having a hard time finding resources on different fonts? Because even reading your handwriting it looks different than the text i usually see online. (also cursive cyrillic looks impossible please explain that)
OKAY SO first of all here’s the comparison of all the three fonts that work for cyrilic i have (plus italic, some letters look a bit different so i’m including it just in case):
tbh that’s about all the information i can give you on fonts, so now let’s go to cursive!!
now, that’s what russian cursive is supposed to look like:
it’s how children are taught to write (there are a few variations of some of the letters, it depends on the educational program that schools choose, the differences are very small though, and this is the most common type), and handwriting like this usually lasts up until the end of elementary school, and then everyone decides to get creative. it means that there are no rules anymore, and kids start trying out new ways to write letters, plus most people try to write faster so some elements of cursive letters get changed. and as a result most people have handwriting that is based on the ‘traditional’ cursive but is actually a mixture of.. well. everything.
i wouldn’t say hopping straight to reading russian cursive, especially if it’s written by a regular person who really doesn’t care if others can understand their handwriting at all (like me!) is impossible, but i wouldn’t say it’s the best idea. first of all, you have to learn to write in cursive - if you understand how everything works it will be a lot easier to read. of course, the bigger your vocabulary is, the easier it is, but still, it shouldn’t stop you from trying :D
an example of text written in ‘correct’ cursive:
examples of text written in… something else:
well… hopefully that clears things out a bit! :D good luck!! <3