Sunday, 4 September 2016

Getting Back to Normal Life

I'm back in Spain after seven weeks of home leave in Bavaria. Great though it was to spend time with family and reconnect with old friends, part of me has been anxious to return to my routine. Anxious, in particular, to shuffle both French and Portuguese, which had been brushed to one side over the summer, back into the mix.

In an effort to resuscitate my derelict French, I've signed up for busuu.com (the free part). At rock bottom level. A1. This is just too easy, I'm thinking, as I whizz through the first section, and then I spell je m'appelle with one "p". Not so easy after all. A couple of episodes of dailyfrenchpod.com are meant to help me muster up the courage to re-instate my weekly 1-hour-long French lessons. I think I'll give myself another week's respite.

French conversation group starts again on the 13th. Cristina, our fierce and dedicated group leader, has maintained WhatsApp contact with me over the summer, maybe because she senses that I might jump ship at any point. She keeps us on a tight leash. That must be the reason that this group has been going for years, instead of disbanding after six months, as most of them do. Kudos to her.

On the Portuguese front, I'm watching kids' cartoons over lunch and I've received an email from my long-suffering Portuguese teacher. I've been ordered to her house for tomorrow morning. I already know what she's going to say about my deteriorating Portuguese, and it won't be flattering. I'll be armed with Austrian chocolates and a short essay which I'm going to write today. I'm also going to tell her that I've booked a weekend trip to her home town, Lisbon, for October.



11 comments:

  1. Je m'appelle, darling! (Not j'me appelle. The ' replaces the first vowel when two vowels come together.)

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    1. Thanks, June! My proofing gets worse and worse. Linda usually fishes out my mistakes. If you ever see any typos, etc, like this, please let me know. Message on fb will do, if you can be bothered. I'd appreciate it :)

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    2. No worries. I wasn't sure if it was a typo or a learning gap (seen as you're new to French and all!) Feel free to delete this string if you prefer.

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    3. No way! It keeps me on my toes ;-)

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  2. Yay, another language-learning site for me to sign up for and then completely ignore for months at a time ;-)

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    1. Ha ha! Yeah, I hear ya! :)

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    2. I'm determined to make it to the end of this week at least ;-)

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  3. Have you ever tried memrise (dot) com? I'm a bit of a addict (I have the app on my phone - v. good for busrides). It's a bit like Duolingo in that it's game-based, but unlike Duolingo there's no obnoxious owl, there's much more variety to choose from, and (if you want to put in the effort) you can make your own courses to help with whatever vocabulary you're focussing on in other lessons.
    Mainly, I've found that having it on my phone makes it way easier for me actually stick with it - I'm horrible about signing up for language learning sites and then forgetting about them (who isn't?) and so far it's the only one that's managed to keep me coming back (I've been on it for maybe 3 years). I find it really helpful for days when I just don't have the time or the Bock to sit down and listen to a whole podcast!
    They should really hire me...the number of people I've recommended it to...I sound like a total convert!!

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    1. 3 years - that's very impressive! I did try Memrise for French in the beginning, and quite liked it. Been meaning to get back to that one. Never had it as a phone app - maybe that's the key ;) Thanks!

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    2. Right?? Three years is about as long as I've ever spent doing anything. But it's definitely been an on-again off-again relationship. Which is why I would say yes to the app being relatively key - I only got it this year and I've definitely been using memrise more since.

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    3. Right?? Three years is about as long as I've ever spent doing anything. But it's definitely been an on-again off-again relationship. Which is why I would say yes to the app being relatively key - I only got it this year and I've definitely been using memrise more since.

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