And that’s the short form of my language lesson progress.
The long form is that for the past week and a half (two weeks?) I’ve been plugging away at LiveMocha, and have made some decent progress. I can now:
- Say hello, thank you, and you’re welcome (Namaste, Dhanyavaad, Aapka swagat hai)
- Refer to people in the positive and the negative (yeh larka hai, larki nahin hai)
- Describe the colors of things (Gari chandini rang ki hai)
I can also carry on very simple conversations, and I correctly pronounced a fairly difficult Sanskrit word, along with reading the Devanagari for said word (वृक्ष; I won’t spell this in English, because it involves special phonetic characters that I don’t have on my computer, but it sort of sounds like “vrksha” and it means “tree”).
So, based on my post yesterday about my new/old Indian clothes, here’s the culmination of my learning to date- Meri sari laal rang ki nahi hai, hari hai. (My sari isn’t red, it’s green.)
I still need some practice with the vocabulary; I’ve forgotten the words for brown, gold, building, and door, but I will learn these eventually. The biggest difficulty I’m facing is that the lessons on LiveMocha aren’t terribly descriptive when it comes to gender – I struggled with how to use adjectives and their gender endings, and did poorly on the writing test. I have a great tutor, though, and he explained things to me a little, so that I kind of understand. I think that I need to spend some more time with the Snell books, off-line. They do a great job of explaining the structure behind the usage, which helps (I’m an academic learning, as opposed to a conversation-based learner; I want to know how things work).
If you can figure out how to find me on the site, add me as a friend (I can’t find anybody, even people whose user names I know and who I’ve friended already). We can practice. The CG has been practicing with me a little, but we’re both so bad still that we’re not making too much progress. However, my accent is good, and the few native speakers I’ve interacted with face-to-face have understood me so far.
Another interesting side-effect of using LiveMocha has been the chat conversations – you use them to converse with somebody who knows the language you’re trying to learn, and you get practice that way. I’ve found them quite useful. However, inevitably my marriage status comes up, since it’s a pretty general topic of conversation. The first time it happened, I was asked what my views were on marriage. After a bit, I managed to explain them pretty well. In the future, I think I’ll let Grover do it for me:
Happy belated 40th birthday, Sesame Street. You’re a big part of who I grew up to be (I blame you for my language obsession, but it’s a good sort of blame).