Friday, November 2, 2018

What Happens When a 5 on The Enneagram Studies A Language?

Lol so what does the secret stash of a 5 look like?

They say that those people who are a 5 on the Enneagram have many interests that only people who share those interests are really aware of how deep these hobbies go.

You guys tend to share my love of languages so you know all about it...But did you know that most of my friends have no idea how much I love languages, or that I can even speak multiple languages? 

Funny, I know. That is because I'm a 5, I guess. I have other secret hobbies too, but they are secrets for now.

As you may also know the first semi-secret language I studied obsessively was Hindi. 

So how did I study early on? What made my Hindi study obsessive? 

I created worksheets* from videos and a couple websites, basically making textbooks to study from and then I began (but we moved here and I never finished) filling in the Hindi script by hand. 

In one series I had 137 lessons that I summarized typed up and took notes (from Learning Hindi) and in another series maybe 20 (from a YouTube Series by Anil Mahato). I had a system where I did one lesson in the morning and a couple after Jim went to bed. 
I had created 30+ flashcards (before I began studying). One for each day and I created more as needed and repeated cards as well. 

I ended up being one of maybe 4 moderators for a Hindi learning group on Facebook (also ran by Anil Mahato). The group over 10,000 people and has grown to over 13,000 people. 

Let's not forget that I was very active in the Indian Student Association at the University of Wyoming. I was nominated for officer by the Indian student organization at UW (but we were moving so I never ran). I play(ed) cricket and was part of the Bollywood dance group. You can tell that I did not grow up with this style of dance and, I think it's fair to say that choreography is not my thing. I still had an amazing time and all the others spoke Hindi so I learned a ton! I have danced since then.

I also "analyzed" "translated" nearly 20 songs into English. This was simply a way to practice. I'm sure that I could have found the translations online but it was much more beneficial to go through the lyrics myself and see how words were used (knowing that Hindi, like the notorious Arabic, does not use proper grammar in songs).

At this time taught at an art center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and taught Indian Culture and Art and then a Hindi class. So my work was also studying **Hindi.

So though people assume that I am a 4 because I am an artist and I am pretty sure that I do have a decent 4 wing, I have no doubt that I am a 5. I could offer more examples if you like...but if you dig online you may also find my other secret (or not so secret blogs and me. I'm a 5).

*I'm attempting a similar worksheet series but will be much shorter (closer to 10 lessons) for Somali (there just are not many resources) and I'm not as dedicated to Somali so I don't know if it will happen. I have a video with all the languages that I've studied here.  

**I was actually hired to teach Spanish and Sign language (and later art). Keep in mind my average student was at a 3rd grade English level, I didn't need to be fluent. Since learning Portuguese, my Spanish is pretty awful. It tends to annoy native Spanish speakers and I can't understand Mexican Spanish at all so I just say I don't speak it. Here is a blog post from when I realized I didn't speak Spanish anymore.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Where Did It Go?

Where is my Spanish? Has it died? Or is it just gone?

Well, I currently cannot speak Spanish, though its the only foreign language I've actually taken classes in and given speeches in.

Long story short, I ended up at a factory in the middle of the night and needed directions.

The man I talked to was like "really you don't speak any Spanish?"

I responded "un poco..." awkwardly forcing the extra u and m out of the words..."mas...pero...." and switched back to Português.

He just shook his head as I continued to explain (in bad Portuñol) that I used to speak Spanish but now it's Portuguese.

It is very strange. When I began learning Portuguese, in Foz do Iguassu I desperately wanted rid of my Spanish and now that my Spanish is passed I am mourning the loss.

My Portuñol was so bad, everyone thought I was Argentinian except on the plane where the Columbian soccer player next to me successfully convinced the flight attendants I was his sister. This actually became quite awkward but helped me get through customs.

....and now I can't even cough up a tiny bit of travelers Spanish...though, I will say the Portuguese has made my Spanish reading smoother, which is actually not practical at all.

But I'm convinced that I still know Spanish even if no Spanish speaker believes me. I know it is in my brain somewhere just waiting to be resuscitated. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Gali Gali Sim Sim Kids TV

Watching videos is an excellent way to learn a language after all listening and watching are two ways kids learn language and other skills. The Pimsleur method is even built upon the ways children naturally learn. More about that later.

I think that Sesame Street Hindi Style AKA Gali Gali Sim Sim is proving to be a fun way to practice and learn Hindi. Some of the videos are absolutely hysterical. I particularly enjoyed the two videos below.

I found these (go to the playlist for more) at about three months into my Hindi learning journey and can understand most of the words in the videos after watching a couple times.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do You Mind Not Knowing What is Going On?

Show card for my Art in India exhibition.
A Nepali Indian friend asked if it bothers me ”when people just speak in Hindi?” She continued, “I think it would drive me nuts if everyone around me was talking and I couldn’t understand.” This is a good question…

The simple answer is “no, it has not bothered me yet.” I really enjoy observing and using these times to learn and listen. Every time I have wanted to understand more or need clarification I always ask.

So why does it not bother me? Haha probably because I am a bit socially awkward to begin with. I don’t mind observing nor do I mind that isolated feeling while in a large group, in fact I really enjoy it. I love people but am fairly introverted. That “alone in a crowd feel” can be incredibly nice…though I don’t really feel alone with my Indian friends. Most of the time I can pick up enough….though the times I am lost are nice too. Sometimes I just don’t talk even when I do know what’s going on. I suppose it’s less awkward to have the language “barrier” as an excuse.

The most important reason I don’t mind is the answer to the question “what is the best way to learn a language?” To go to the country…unfortunately I tend to do things backwards. I go to the country then a month after returning home decide to commit to learning the language. Spending time with people speaking the language you are trying to learn is really the only way to pick up a language…

The other friend in the car joined in and stated “they don’t do it on purpose, it’s just habit.” We continued the discussion for a bit longer (and by we I mean I continued to ponder over the question in my head…I will share my ponderings in future posts.)

I nodded in agreement as we continued to sing along to Bollywood music and drove off.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

October - December Goal - Separation

My 2 Language Study Plan worked alright for a while but I realized that people in other parts of the world are awake when they are awake and there were certainly nights where I was chatting with people in both languages.

I found that changing the times was helpful but even more so is consciously switching off one for one person and switching it back on for another person.

This is easier said than done. I can't tell you how many times I would use a word from wrong language only to notice when my friend responded with "what are you saying?" It typically would happen when I couldn't think of the right word and I was unaware that my brain just replaced it so I would need to look it up the word in the correct language.

Also talking to myself is helpful. It takes a lot more effort to think in Hindi. Portuguese is getting pretty easy to think in. Krio just happens. And French is quite difficult.

My biggest struggle with the Hindi is still the sentence structure because my vocabulary is decent (except I have forgotten a lot) and you can use English and be understood.

I still don't have Hindi and Portuguse figured out, but I think I will be needing to add in some Spanish to the mix. There have been several times people will speak to me in Spanish. I understand and then respond in portunol or just plain old portuguese.

This is not ok. I am around enough Spanish that I actually need Spanish in my I am also working on separating Spanish and Portuguese in my head. This should not be too difficult, except I do fear loosing my Portuguese before I get decent and not getting it back....ever. Will see.

So my goal October - December Goal (or until I re-write goals):
Speak Hindi and to keep languages separate in messages, conversation and my brain.

Thank guys!!!