Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Esperanta blogo

Saluton al ĉiuj,
Do, normale mi ne skribas en esperanto sed ĉifoje mi decidis skribi blogon en la internacia lingvo. 
La ĉefa kialo por ke mi decidis fari tion estis la fakto ke mi havas grandan malfacilecon en decidi la sekvan lingvon ke mi volas studi.
Mi uzas diversajn lingvojn en mia ĉiutaga laboro, mi laboras kiel ekskurs-gvidanto kaj dum mia tago mi kutime parolas la anglan, la italan, la hispanan, la francan kaj la portugalan, kaj fojfoje la germanan (ke mi vere ne bone parolas 😕). 
Post la ĉefperiodo de turismo, la plej grava parto de la sezono, kiam mi havos pli da libera tempo, mi volus lerni alia lingvo, ĉifoje por plezuro, ne por laboro. Do mi decidis ne studi grandan, gravan lingvon.
Kiun lingvon studi?
Tio estas la problemo.
Pensante pri la eblaj taŭgaj lingvoj, mi alvenis al tiu listo; la Irlanda lingvo, la katalana kaj esperanto. Tri lingvoj ke ne estas gravaj mondskale kaj la tuta tri devas strebi kontraŭ pli gravaj lingvoj.
La Irlanda lingvo ĉar mi estas irlandano kaj post ke mi forlasis la lernejo (antaŭ multaj jaroj) mi neniam plu studis ĝin.
La katalana, unue ĉar mi jam parolas la hispanan kaj tio povus helpi je la studado de la katalana. Due ĉar mi lastatempe faris ekskurson kun katalana grupo kaj mi lernis kelkajn frazojn el ili.
Esperanto ĉar...
Do, ekzistas multaj kialoj por lerni esperanton. Ĝi estas facila kaj bela kaj internacia...KTP...
La tuta tri plaĉas al mi sed mi ne havas tempon por studi tri lingvojn.
Do, kion fari?
Pro tio mi volis skribi blogon en esperanto, certe estus pli malfacile skribi blogon en la irlandan aŭ la Katalanan.
Eble iom poste...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Demando pri Esperanto

Estas malfacile por mi ĝuste kompreni kiel populara esperanto vere estas ĉar mi estas anglalingvano kaj la plejparto de la anglalingvanoj ĝenerale ne volas lerni aliajn lingvojn kaj eĉ malpli el ili konsideras ke esperanto estu grava. Ĝenerale kion la ne anglalingvanoj pensas pri la afero? Kaj mi ne aludas al vi, kiuj jam estas esperantistoj, sed kion pensas viaj geamikoj kaj familianoj? 
Bonvolu respondi al mia demando, mi vere scivolas.
Koran Dankon.

Monday, 4 August 2014

My Dutch revision - How I'm doing it

After a well earned holiday in Spain this summer where I got to speak all the Spanish I wanted (and needed) to, I came home wanting to switch focus to one of my lesser used languages. Due to the numbers of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French speakers living and working around Dublin and the general 'approachability' of those people, I would consider Dutch and German to be my lesser used languages. I had the opportunity to use both of them while lazing around the pool in Spain and in a couple of bars as it's a popular area for Dutch and German people to retire to or buy property there. Although I received compliments from those I spoke to, I knew myself that I didn't have the ease or fluidity to these 2 languages that I can call upon while using my other ones. It was particularly evident when compared with my daily use of Spanish there, but then Spanish is one of my strongest. Nevertheless, I decided to put aside some of the ones I get more use (and practise) of, to put the time and attention into others I enjoy just as much. 
I concluded, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing that Dutch would be the one getting my full attention. There were a few reasons behind my initial indecision between the two; you just can't deny or ignore the importance of German in European and world affairs so it's always hard to push that to the side. But I usually switch between languages much the same way as someone chooses what music to listen to on any given day or what dinner to eat; it's purely a matter of taste and if I feel like French today, then French it is. When I made my decision I was having a 'Dutch day'. 
Looking at it from a logical point of view, I also wanted to upgrade my Dutch because I have my mind fixed on a job in Brussels. I had been to Brussels in a professional capacity last year and I loved the experience it gave me. But while French and English are the languages of business inside the impressive offices of the capital, Dutch or more precisely, Flemish is the language of the person on the street just outside those offices. Yes, French is also official in Brussels but Flemish is much more common on the streets and even more so outside the capital, where French disappears altogether, at least in Flanders. I worked at a 3 day EU conference in the Irish college in Leuven, only 30 mins outside Brussels and as you would imagine, French is not spoken at all there, in fact, English is more welcome. Of course anytime I ventured out around the city I spoke Flemish to the people. In truth I was speaking Dutch as this was my first exposure to Flemish. It's basically the same language, the only differences are accent and use of certain words over others, just like the differences between British or Irish English and American English. I loved my initiation in Flemish and I had my first real conversation with a lady who owned the chocolate shop I was in to buy a gift for my wife. After an enjoyable half-hour conversation with her she informed me that she knew no English, so this conversation would not have been possible without speaking Flemish. 
She also told me that any of the people who come to Leuven for EU meetings, generally don't speak Dutch/Flemish and she was impressed at my efforts. 
Thinking about what that lady said makes me more determined to study Dutch and if I'm to go for the job in Brussels, I think it'd be in my interest to learn it in order to survive outside of the EU offices. 
The first step was to break out all the old books I'd used to learn Dutch before as just skimming though them will remind you of grammar rules and refresh your memory of some vocabulary you may have forgotten in the meantime.
Next I went back to my tried and trusted friend; . If you haven't seen lingq before, I advise you to go and examine it for yourself, I think it's the best way to learn and assimilate vocabulary. It'll present the language to you as it's spoken, using real conversations recorded by native speakers, vocabulary is provided in relevant situations and as you mark the words you know, they will be noted in your 'bank' of vocabulary. Those you are not sure of will reoccur in flashcard form to you, and will also be e-mailed to you daily for revision. I am currently going through more conversations, news stories, reports and factual texts with lingq and using notebooks to write and help me assimilate the vocabulary I'm still learning. 
I also tried something new this time around; I registered with a site called which puts you in touch with a huge community of language learners, with many different languages, from all over the world. This enables you to tailor your learning to suit yourself. You can contact people who are native speakers of the language you wish to learn and who, in turn, want to learn your native tongue. You will find an exchange partner easily enough since there are many thousands of people registered to this site the world over. You can then communicate with them through an e-mail service or an instant messenger. Or you may move onto Skype-ing them, the ultimate test, as you are now talking the language. I have been having exchanges with 2 Dutch people through this site; one from Amsterdam, the other from Haarlem and I'm loving the experience. 
There is also an app called 'HelloTalk', available on your smart phone, which will do the same thing, including finding you an exchange partner. 
I'm also listening to podcasts from Radio 1 Nederland, this gives me news and current affairs in everyday language delivered at a real pace, which is perfect for listening practise. 
I've also got to know a guy from Antwerp, Belgium though Facebook. A friend of a friend, we were introduced through our mutual friend on Facebook to help me with my studies. So we've been using the Facebook messenger to text and speak, which is great practise for me.
The other thing I do is something I've mentioned before in previous entries, talking to yourself.
No it's not a sign of madness, in this context anyway. It's a great way to 'cement' language into your mind, not only vocabulary but grammar and word order too. It's basically a form of speaking practise you can carry out on your own. It'll also help you in building sentences up for when the time comes to speak it for real by getting you used to the connections you need to make between the two languages in your mind, by having these conversations in your head, you get used to making those connections quicker. You can also have practised certain things you can envisage saying more often, certain information about yourself for instance, and have that 'block' of language already prepared for use. It'll make your speech come easier, thereby sounding more fluid and fluent. 
So, I've been doing all of the above and I really feel I've been making huge progress in Dutch, which I'm loving. Any of these tips can work for you too in your chosen language.
My next test will be to travel to the Netherlands or Belgium soon to push myself a little in the proper surroundings. I hope this test comes sooner rather than later as I've been to both countries and loved my experiences there. And of course, it can only help me to learn more. 

Ik hoop dat ik heb jullie bij het leren van talen geholpen en misschien heb ik je overtuigd om naar Nederland of België op bezoek te gaan. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Short poem in Italian

I don't know if this could truly be termed a poem but it's just something that came to mind a few days ago and I quite like it.
I also like the idea of being able to wite something like this, however short, in another language.

"Vecchie memorie scuotono l'anima,
Come un vento che agita pagine,
Gialle con l'età e con su scritta la storia, la mia storia, che dovrebbe stare in viene scossa!" 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Considero que en estos días de libertad y derechos civiles para todos, sea difícil entender a fondo la importancia de ciertas personas que han aparecido en las páginas de nuestros libros de la historia. Podemos leer sobre estos personajes en la escuela o ver documentales sobre ellos en la tele pero es difícil realmente captar el sentido de lo que nos dieron sin vivir en su época, con todas sus dificultades y luchas, vivir sin las cosas que hoy en día, damos por sentado y así, minusvalorar su peso en nuestra historia. Personas como Martin Luther King y Emmeline Pankhurst, por ejemplo.

John F Kennedy también dejo una gran huella en la historia y la sociedad no solamente de los estados unidos sino también en el mundo entero. Hombre político que marcó una generación por su habilidad y humanidad como presidente del país más poderoso del mundo. Tenaz en su deseo de mostrar al mundo que América fuera el país más avanzado, eso se destaca en su rivalidad con Rusia en el concurso para conquistar el espacio que fue apodado el “Space Race”. Se mostró pacífico y capaz a la hora de hacer frente a las tensiones alrededor de la crisis de los misiles en Cuba y así evitar una guerra que sin duda habría sido la más devastadora hasta la fecha. El público podía ver su sinceridad y ternura en los momentos pasados con su familia frente a las cámaras cuando hacía el papel de un padre de familia muy atento con sus hijos. Imagino que fue una especie de estrella-presidente ya que, en aquella época de televisión y medios era fácil para el público seguir todos sus pasos y sentirse cerca de él.

Pero fue su lucha contra el racismo y por los derechos de todos, para que todos tuviesen igualdad en su visión para américa que ha demostrado ser la más polémica de su presidencia y generó respeto y odio en la misma medida. Su postura en aquel asunto causó que tuviera muchos detractores hacia su política de derechos civiles.

Todas las características mencionadas le convirtió en el presidente más amado pero por desgracia lo que le convirtieron en una leyenda fue su asesinato. Todo el mundo sabe dónde estaba en aquel momento cuando se enteró de su muerte. Aún hoy, cincuenta años después, mis padres se acuerdan con facilidad de lo que estaban haciendo al enterarse de la tragedia. Fue uno de aquellos momentos que puede cambiar el mundo, como fue el día 11 de septiembre para nuestra generación.

El debate sobre quien lo mató sigue hasta la fecha, es todavía un crimen no resuelto pero creo que la gente debe seguir hablando del hombre y no de los acontecimientos que nos quitaron a  uno de los grandes de todos los tiempos, uno que no se borrará nunca de las páginas de la historia.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Learning styles & vocab retention

Simply put; Everyone learns differently!
This means firstly that different people will have more difficulty in certain aspects of language learning while other parts of the process will come easier than for other learners. 
It also means that there will be different approaches to any given topic that will suit a student's learning style. Sometimes the standard textbooks and courses will suit you, but that's not always the case. Sometimes it's trial and error but I think you'll eventually find what works for you. 
There are good people to follow on twitter who can help with this, outlining different strategies with will help, whatever type of learner you are.

I was asked for tips on vocabulary learning and how best to retain it. Others will have their own way of doing this but the following steps are what (usually) works for me.
Good luck with whatever language you're learning and please leave me any feedback you can.

When it comes to building up a store of vocabulary it's all about soaking up as much as you can. Bombard yourself with the language, read newspapers/reports on the net, listen to news, podcasts, Internet radio. Even if you don't catch the sense of everything, you'll pick up some new words.

I find I learn visually so I write these new words down in notebooks, this helps me assimilate them and I find I recall it visually when I need it. If you have time, go through the new words again, arranging them by theme. Doing this you've written the new words twice, which helps retention and you've placed it in a virtual "file" in your mind where you'll recall grouped words in mid conversation. Back this up by having imaginary conversations in your head, it sounds crazy but it works. This helps you keep the flow and rhythm natural and it's practise for the thematically grouped words you've just learned. Imagine a conversation or presentation you have to give where you would need to throw in a lot of them. If you speak a 3rd language, you'll find translating between your other 2 will help the memorisation process too.
Download a good dictionary to your smartphone so you can pick up words on the go. Listen to radio
or podcasts and translate the words as you pick them out, you can even screenshot them and write them in your notebook later.
lastly, when you learn a new word, to get familiar with it, google it. It'll bring up various reports etc that it's used in, that way, you'll see how it's used grammatically and contextually. This will all just cement it in place in your mind.