Today I’d like to share some of my absolute favorite quotations from a variety of people. These all have either struck a chord with me, are particularly thought-provoking, or resonate as especially true in my life, and they’re not just cliches to me anymore; I have come to realize the personal truth in all of these through my own life experiences.
“To thine own self be true.” – Polonius, Hamlet
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain
“Anyone who feels anger must also feel sadness.” – Ougi, Code Geass episode 11
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
“We see them as we are, not as they are.” – Unknown
“We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.” – Bob Ross
Continue reading My favorite quotations →
Here are some mnemonics to help with learning Japanese hiragana – which is a good place (just before katakana) to start learning written Japanese (Check out this hiragana chart, and this one, too!):
A store containing some of my artwork and other designs, Love and Kittens (because who doesn’t love love and kittens? :D), is now open here on Zazzle. Check it out and tell me what you think! There’s also a link to it in the top navigation bar, and if you want to see some of the t-shirt and sticker designs in their original form, those are located on my Art page.
Norway has been fantastic so far, and I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate abroad. I’ve had a great time and have built up my leg muscles quite a bit, and I don’t imagine this’ll be my last stop ever to the country since it’s been so awesome. I’m getting stuff in order to return to Florida, but I’ll be back here sometime soon! =)
I mentioned way back when that singing can help to learn a language. Listening to artists in my target language is one of my favorite ways to boost my vocabulary and listening/speaking abilities. Here are some of my favorite artists for each language; give ’em a try! The more asterisks (*), the more I love them.
* alan (c-pop j-pop) – Japanese, Mandarin
* Alex Fong (c-pop) – Cantonese
* Janice (c-pop) – Cantonese
** Jay Chou (c-pop) – Mandarin
Joey Yung (c-pop) – Cantonese
* Jolin Tsai (c-pop) – Mandarin
* Stephy Tang (c-pop) – Cantonese
Eva De Roovere (folk pop)
* Jurk (nederlandstalig pop)
Continue reading Foreign music artists →
Here is a useful list of links for news article sites (like newsnow.co.uk and onlinenewspapers.com and newspaperindex.com) to practice reading in other languages (* means they’re some of my favorites):
Akhbar (Danish news in Arabic) – Arabic
** Avisen (news) – Danish
* B.T. news) – Danish
Berlingske (news) – Danish
* Børsen (news) – Danish
The Copenhagen Post (Danish news in English)
Dagbladet Information (news) – Danish
DR (news) – Danish
* Ekstra Bladet (news) – Danish
** Erhvervs Bladet (business) – Danish
Ingeniøren (news) – Danish
* Jyllands-Posten (news) – Danish
* Kristeligt Dagblad (news) – Danish
* Politiken (politics) – Danish
TV2 (news) – Danish
Continue reading News sites in other languages →
Learning similar languages can be quizzical for a number of reasons. Here’s a quick glimpse into some incredibly common words in English, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch. Notice how the Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch ones are pronounced:
||mij (“may”, “my”)
|you (nominative, stressed)
||jij (“yay”, “yiy”)
|you (objective, stressed)
||den, det (“deh”)
||den, det (“deh”)
Continue reading Common foreign words and their pronunciations →
Services and auto-translators like Google translate and others take entire sentences and put together a meaning from all the different parts present. When learning a language, however, it’s sometimes more beneficial to see word-for-word translations, as it gives you a better idea of the most common sentence structures. In this post I’ll go over a few Dutch sentences. A Swedish version will come in the future! So here are some sentences in their original Dutch, a word-for-word translation, and then a reworded translation:
Hoe laat kom je morgen?
How late come you tomorrow?
What time are you coming tomorrow?
Ik moet het morgen halen.
I must it tomorrow get.
I must get it tomorrow.
Continue reading Literal translation – Dutch →
In this post I’d like to discuss something that is very beneficial to me when I’m starting out learning a language: getting corrected by people in a helpful way. This goes beyond simply not being rude when telling someone how to reword their sentence; it involves correcting as few things as is possible. When correcting a beginner’s sentences, change as few words as is possible to make the sentence make sense. For example, if I’m learning English and I write:
When she go, I will be first to be sad.
It’s helpful to correct it to:
When she goes, I will be the first one to be sad.
Do NOT correct it to how a native would say it:
I’ll be the first one to cry when she leaves.
Continue reading Correcting a beginner →
It’d be silly for me to continue for too long about learning Swedish without mentioning the resources I use, so here’s a list of what I’m currently using, as well as an explanation of when I use it; it’s the Swedish equivalent for my Norwegian resources and my Korean resources:
- Penn State University Swedish lessons: Used from the very beginning for basic vocabulary and grammar. I happened upon a really nifty bunch of Swedish lessons from a professor. They have been extremely helpful from the get-go, and I advise this to be one of the first things you look at if learning Swedish. There’s a great rundown of not only vocabulary, but also bits of grammar, but never enough to overwhelm you. Definitely one of my favorite finds.
- LingQ: Used to start learning words. This can be used from the very beginning! LingQ is a fantastic site that allows you to hover your cursor over words in their different language lessons and stories and see the meaning. When you feel comfortable with a word, you mark it as known and move on. This is also the tool that gives me those nifty, auto-updated language badges on the right sidebar.
- Google translate: Used all-the-freaking-time to define single words. Here’s how it normally works for me: I see a word in LingQ or hear a word in a podcast (also coming up), and then look it up via Google translate if I know how it’s spelled. I hardly ever use Google translate for translating phrases, because if you give it more than one word, it often messes up. For best results, translate FROM your target language INTO English, as Google translate tends to have a better grasp on English than some of the other languages. It’s also decent enough to use vice-versa, but I don’t trust its English-to-Swedish, etc. translations as much as the reverse. Remember, in the beginning, when translating something in Google translate, don’t use ambiguous sentences that can be translated in multiple different ways; try to stick to simple sentences until you can tell when Google translate is wrong, at which point you can feed it more complex things.
Continue reading My Swedish resources →
I’ve written about how learning one language can help you learn another. Let me show you some examples of what I mean:
|(to) want, (to) will
Continue reading Germanic mutual intelligibility →