Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How did I study Hindi? Months 12 - 15ish

The Wyoming Cricket Team!!! 

Well I am taking a short sabbatical from my Hindi learning. June - August.

I will spend this time refreshing Spanish and studying Portuguese.
I plan to use the same first 3 month process that I did for Hindi except will be in Brazil and possibly Argentina :) and I will be much farther ahead when I start and I will have a better grasp on how I learn best...

The first 15 days will be review of Spanish as well as studying Portuguese basics.

The 3rd week will mostly be Portuguese as will the next month and 3 weeks. There is a good chance I will come out of this with decent Portunol. Which is basically a mix of the two (and arguably not a real language, just the reality of what happens when you speak Spanish and end up in Brazil.
Going into this I can read, write and speak Spanish (at about B1/B2 level, which is certainly higher than my Hindi) I can't understand Spanish much anymore, but I think this will come back fast. I can also read Portuguese.

I am still debating about whether I want to refresh my Hindi a bit while traveling just so I don't loose all my Hindi or if I should just go 100% into Portuguese...I'm leaning towards taking an actual break and giving my brain a rest and just focusing on easier languages (No matter what Indians tell me Hindi is hard for me and Spanish and Portuguese are much easier for me).

By the time you are reading this I will have already been in Brazil for a month (Be sure to check out my new blog, where I will post everything from Brazil) :p See you when I return :) and I will hopefully have some answers to all the questions below (and more likely on FB and YT)...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How did I study Hindi? Months 8ish - 12

After my frustrating spell of not being able to understand anything that was going on around me to the extent that I wanted, which actually didn't bother me for a long time. You can read more about that initial phase in my post, Do You Mind Not Knowing What is Going On?

See more of my India Inspired Art
I began to focus on general ideas and let go a bit. I used Hindi a bit more and often times could follow conversations depending on topic. 

My comprehension varied (and still does) based on many things including but not limited to time of day (the loopy exhausted phase right before I should go to bed actually is by far the best), a glass of wine often helps as well, and topic (I understand making food plans, playing cricket, and surprisingly I catch more in political conversations than expected but not pro cricket conversations) etc....

There are several types of people currently in my Hindi learning journey...

People I speak nearly entirely in Urdu with
People I randomly speak Hindi phrases with and they randomly throw in easy to understand phrases. This is where a couple of my closer girl friends are.
People who think I know nothing and over explain everything.
People who are always curious if I know what's going on. I especially have fun when I get to say yes to these people.
People who encourage others to speak in Hindi to me
People who are critical and correct me a lot or tell me just to speak English because it is easier

People who make me speak Hindi
People who simplify their words and speak slowly and make me speak only in Hindi
And people who forget I don't really speak Hindi and just speak it anyways (which are my favorite) and then are shocked when I understand or reply...

I think that having all of these people groups is an excellent way to learn and I would like to thank you all!

Bahut dhanyavaad dosten!!! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Emersed Was I?

I knew that I was pretty well immersed in Indian culture after returning from India. Though it is difficult to immerse yourself in a country/language when you are not there I am pretty sure that I succeeded.

I did not quite realize how much Indian culture I had been around for the past year. It is pretty cool being here in Brazil. Interestingly, I am looking at many things not only from an American perspective but also an Indian perspective.

One of the biggest shocks about being here is that I am around mostly English. The first week here I had to use Portuñol everyday. But the 2nd through the 5th weaks here I am using English because we are teaching English and I am mostly with Americans.

Though annoying, the English is not a bad thing as it is a part of the program. And I don't think it would bother me as much had I not been so surrounded by Indian culture and the Hindi language for the last year. It is a bit shocking to me (and it may be the closest thing to culture shock I have ever experienced) to be around this much English in another country. I was thinking about it the other day and it feels like I am around more English now I had been over the past year. I also know this will change very soon and I'm not sure I will be ready as I will be living with a family that doesn't speak English for three weeks...I am very excited

So the answer my original question how immersed in Indian culture was I? Let's take a look.

Saturday 5-6 hours cricket
Sunday dance practice (maybe 10-20 weeks out of the year) 2-4 hours
Dinner/Day Trip/Cooking 2-5 hours

Tuesdays/Thursdays 2 - hours (I thaught a Yoga class, Indian Culture/Hindi class and later a Global Studies class)

Monday/Wednesday 1-4 hours listening to music and Pimsleur while painting

Movies at night 0-2 hours

Bible reading - 1 - 3 hour

Total 13-21 hours/week

That was a lot of Hindi and Indian culture...and I loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How did I study Hindi? Moths 6 - 8 ish plateau

With some friends celebrating Holi!!!
Holi hai!! Holi hai!!
Well, I spent most of these months being frustrated that I couldn't understand as much as I wanted, 
while simultaneously trying too hard to pick up on every individual word, 
having to ask everyone to repeat what they had said or explain, 
meanwhile I awkwardly and honestly didn't know if I had understood what had been said previously (and I still don't always know if I'm actually understanding or not)
but I had to respond every time someone asked if I had understood...

UGH this was a frustrating time in the process.

Part of me feels this time was wasted but I know it wasn't I just don't know what I learned yet...Maybe patience or maybe how to not spend time when learning a language. Either way I made some great friends and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How did I study Hindi? Months 4 - 6

More of my India Inspired Art
For the 4th - 6th month I kept to my daily schedule with more focus on the script...since by the end of 6 months I wanted to be reading.

I used TenguGo a lot for 2 weeks then continued to review and work on conjuncts, which I still need to keep working on.

This time period was less rigid and I spent time making basic sentences in my head.

I also used the audio bible to attempt to follow along. Which I learned was really difficult. It is much harder to follow along than actually read. I have since learned that this is because you actually learn a picture of a word and see the picture rather than the letters. Now there are a few words I can do this with in Hindi but not many. This is why we can R3AD TH1S. We have a general picture of the words "READ" and "THIS" and our brain doesn't really check each letter. can read more about my journey learning to read in "I Can Read Hindi!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How did I study Hindi? Months 1-4

Check out My Art Blog for More
How did I study?

For the first 3 - 4 months I had a strict schedule where I checked off my daily assignments. My goal was to become familiar with 30 words a day and learn 10 vocab vocab words and 5 phrases.
I had a flashcard each day.

When I had a rigid language learning schedule I had a you tube culture day or a movie day worked into every week ;) just to switch things up and keep it fun.
You can see my Never Ending Hindi Resource List to see more of the details.