I have been increasingly intrigued by other languages over the past while. Years really. No idea why, it just seems to interest me. The thought of speaking to someone in a different way yet getting ideas across… Perhaps that is why. Or perhaps I just don’t like being unable to understand things that are in plain view or earshot.
I have said this elsewhere, that I work in retail; and infrequent though it is, I do get customers in who don’t, or cannot speak English, or just can’t very well. I have often wished at that point that I could be the one to bridge that gap and converse with them in their own language, even if poorly on my part.
To that end, I often pay attention to translations of this or that. French is so prevalent in Canadian culture and advertising that it is difficult not to learn some of the language even without trying. I have even picked up on some key phrases and words in Japanese from watching as much anime as I have these past months. I am very very far from being able to make use of that language in any meaningful form; however it feels good to know what little I do.
And all of that has led me to today, and yesterday really. I was reading Android magazine, and they featured this among many other apps: Duolingo. It’s a free app that offers to teach you a few different languages. Alas, no japanese; however french is there. And that one I feel is more important to my every day life at this point than being able to watch anime without subtitles.
So I started in on the app and it’s training last night while enjoying the night air and a fire on my deck; and thus far I have been fairly surprised by how much I do know of the French language. Don’t get me wrong. I couldnt hold a conversation with a stick at this point, but it has been easy for me to comprehend many of the phrases and words in the training thus far. I still struggle with so much of the grammar and genderization in that language, but I am slowly picking up on syntax. And every new word I learn brings me closer to making true use of the tongue.
I am going to keep at this. So far the lessons have been quick and poignant, and a lot of fun. I find myself trying to speak the phrases I am leaning, and often get a step wrong because I translate the phrase to English and key it as such instead of entering the French text. The amuses me.
So we will see where this goes. Hopefully it isn’t a passing fancy as so many other interests in my life. Only time will tell that. Until later,
Au revoir à plus tard!
For I fair not weather not heat not rain
I see no end, no beginning, but pain
It is you see for seven and three
A place of old in future fortold.
The Forgotten Art of Simple Conversation
This is something that I have been watching degrade over the last several years. While my wife disagrees with me about my conversation skills, I have always felt at a loss when trying to carry on a conversation… Yet now this is a problem all over the world, and I find that I am envious of others’ ability to hold these conversations less and less… it is disturbing.
The Forgotten Art of Simple Conversation
I suppose that it gets harder and harder each passing moment that we have these devices in our hands, to ignore them. The gods only know how much amusement I derive from watching someone go through phone withdrawal. (Have you gone more than 15 minutes without checking your phone in the last several years? try it.) Still, what disturbs me more is that so few people realize the addiction.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am as addicted as the next guy to these things; and spend enough time reading and communicating with folks over them. Hell, I sell the things at work. But i know when to draw the line.
At the table, the phones are ignored. While driving, they are ignored. When having a decent conversation with a friend, they are ignored. I have even at times taken to turning them off at work, even though I need them periodically for what I do. They are THAT distracting.
So many times I have looked at what I get accomplished during the day when I have my phone around and am amazed at how little I get accomplished with this device that is supposed to make things faster, easier, and more efficient. Take right now for example. I have been awake for half an hour. have I started breakfast? No. Have I looked after any of the morning stuff? No. Have I put out the keys my Co worker is coming to pick up any moment? Nope. I got distracted by this article.
In short I suppose I’m as bad as the next guy when it comes to these things. The nice thing is that I feel I know when to put it down and focus on what’s important. Or perhaps those are the ravings of an addict?[Top]
Torn in twain
An impossible position, bring torn in twain. I thought for what was, and a wish for what might. Today, what may, tomorrow, tonight.[Top]
The Modern Life
Growing up such as i did, watching Sci Fi shows and all the rest, I yearned for the day when I could grab a small slate like device and just go out somewhere and write, or read, with a nice cup of coffee at hand and enjoy the world.
In all honesty, I don’t think I ever expected the day to come; but it did. Today i grabbed my phone and my coffee and went out and sat on the deck, and fixed a problem with a friend’s email before I decided that I should put up a blog that I could write on.
After spending half an hour putting the blog in place, writing the first post or two, and then customizing it… There it was. I was done my coffee and more work than I could have done in comfort on my deck than I could have a decade ago.
I have often longed for that freedom. Now it’s time to take advantage of it.
So many of these sites start out simply. I’ve had a number of sites of my own, built, designed, hosted, and programmed all my own… But today I thought to put something up that didn’t require much of my own effort. More to the point, since these services exist, why not take advantage and just have a place where I can throw some thoughts, the odd article, bit of work, whatever… And not have to worry about the back end maintenance of the project. In short, a place to create, to write the books, without having to first build the shelves.
With that said, I am unsure as yet what format this place will take. Nor how often I will keep it updated. In truth, I don’t know if I will write more into it beyond that which I put here today. I will most likely, but I don’t make that promise.
As I said, I have had other sites that I have built, many for myself, but most for others; for communities I have been a part of, and also for clients. This one, much as another I have since abandoned, intending to “develop it in future”, will be for me. I do, welcome any and all who wish to read it, though I expect that to be little more than a few friends and family.
And with that, I have little more to say for this intro, other than that I have an entry I intend to write shortly, as the first real content for this place. I hope whoever stops by will enjoy my idle ramblings enough to throw a comment or two up here. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by!