Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rethinking languages...

Well my lovelies...

I've started the TAC, and I'm really enjoying it. It's an amazing idea, and a great challenge. It's so far been really forcing me to stick to my languages and stick to learning.

Throughout my study of World History in school, I've really found a renewed fascination in ancient cultures. This new fascination is really bringing me towards learning dead languages, to read their literature. It's mostly European languages, but what can I say? I loves me some Europe.

So I'm learning Hebrew, Finnish, and Portuguese for the TAC this year. That's a given, no matter what. This year though, I'm thinking about adding some other languages to my study, however not to my TAC. I'll be tracking their progress, but at all times my TAC languages will be my main focuses. I want to list the languages that I'm intersted in learning at this time and why:
The Right Nows:
Hawaiian
Turkish
Faroese

The "Someday"s:
Estonian
Georgian
Icelandic
French

Dead Languages:
Old Norse
Latin
Ancient Greek
Biblical Hebrew

The right nows are languages that I'd like to try at some point in the following year. Georgian, Estonian, Icelandic, and French are out because Estonian and French would very much "get in the way" of my TAC languages, Icelandic I just don't really want to do right now. :P Georgian is just too difficult to learn randomly for fun, I'm going to need some serious study and some serious motivation to learn it, maybe for the TAC '11.

Now then, Hawaiian is a language that I've been crushing on for quite some time, I'm not sure if I should dive in, but we'll see. A friend is really pushing me to learn it, but I'm wary, as it's an incredibly useless language for me, despite my love of it. Same for Faroese really, Turkish on the other hand would be wildly useful, and it would be a fabulous match to Hebrew. I'm being pushed pretty hard to Turkish myself, but right now I don't have any time to scratch my ass, let alone start another language. I'll be thinking more about it at a later date really. :P

See ya later alligator! <3

Friday, December 4, 2009

TAC - Total Anihilation Challenge!

I'm going to try to be a part of Unilang's total anihilation challenge. Essentially the TAC is simply you and your languages. You pledge yourself to study certain languages and document your progress throughout the following year.

This is EXACTLY what I want, to keep me strictly on track. It's going to be just what I wanted to help me along  on my journey through my languages. I signed up in a heart beat.

But now, I'm stuck with a problem. Which languages? Pooh, I'll definitely study Hebrew and Mandarin, but what of my other languages? I've posted previously about my language plans, and this will definitely impact it, but for the good I think.

I'm trying to decide between three other languages, two of which I will take with me into the TAC. I've narrowed it down to Levantine Arabic & MSA, Portuguese, and Finnish.

Arabic, specifically the Lebanese accent of MSA and the Levantine dialect, I've been wanting to learn for the longest time. I started it back last summer, but then I found Hebrew and fell in love. What can I say? But I still feel a strong tie to it, and most semitic languages, in all honesty. Islamic history and semitic grammar, nothing better than that! Well, except for Jewish history, that's just slightly more amazing.

Now, for Portuguese, it's a bit of a tumultuous relationship. I learned a little bit, back about a year ago this month. (Damn I'm old :P) I've been restruck with my interest, and I'd like to get back into it. Portuguese is a romance language, a family of languages that have held and always will hold my undying affection.

Finnish I've been learning for this time, along with Hebrew, but I seem to have hit a stand still. I've worked my way totally through my course, and I'm pretty happy with my level at this point, but I don't know where to go next...I plan to ask on the Finnish forum on UL and see what they have to say. Right now, I'd usually get a novel and peruse my way through it, learning vocab and usage along the way. But I've no way to get ahold of a Finnish book or periodical. I need something that I can mark in and highlight, not a PDF, although at this point I am getting a bit desperate. :P

Useful links:
Unilang's TAC
How to Learn Any Language's TAC

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Language Wishlist and Plans

Hello again!

So, I've got a tentative wishlist set out, but to really understand my wishlist of languages, one really needs to understand how my list works. I divide it into four catagories, finnic, semitic, germanic, and indo-european. I'll post my languages and my plans for them in each category, like this:
Finnic:
Finnish
Estonian
V├Áro
Northern Saami
Karelian?

Semitic:
Modern Hebrew & Biblical Hebrew
MSA & Levantine Arabic
Aramaic
Amharic

IE:
Danish
Italian
German
Portuguese
Yiddish
French
Irish

Other:
Mandarin
Georgian
Japanese
Thai
Hmong?

The reason it helps to organize them like this, is because I try to limit myself to one from each grouping at a time. This keeps me from learning languages from the same family at the same time, and it makes it so that I can only learn four languages at once. I'm really bad about overloading myself with languages, because there are just so many interesting ones out there!

So, here's the game plan for the near future. Maintain Danish, Japanese, and Italian. Continue German at school. Right now, I study Hebrew and Finnish, with Mandarin as my plaything in my spare time. Over the New Year, I want to move Finnish down to my sub-focus level, then Mandarin up to main focus level, then let Hebrew maintain its spot.

Then my goal is to maintain that. I'm thinking about starting a character-a-day post on here, or maybe a separate blog, I dunno, but other than that really, not much change until summer.

Over summer, I'm going to kick it up a notch, with some Portuguese I think. Then at the end of summer, I want to evaluate my plans and decide which three languages to get back into for the new school year.

Laoshu, a user on Youtube, mentioned that he likes to pick four (I believe) languages at the new year, then study them for the coming up year. I divide my time into the two semesters, and summer. Summer I can pick up a new lang, then at the beginning of each semester, I like to just take a step back and look at the past year and evaluate which languages I want to spend more time on, etc.

And I know, I've got a ton of languages. But it's hard, there are so many pretty ones. ;P That's why I do lists, so I don't impulse learn. Ta-ta for now!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Introdution: Enter...me!

It's Thanksgiving! Best time to be starting up a blog, eh?

My name is Tyler or ILuvEire, and I love languages! It really started with me in fifth grade, when my great-grandpa bought my French for Dummies, and just progressed from there! Besides langauges themselves, I LOVE linguistics, as in the study of how languages work, and psycholinguistics, which would be studying the link between languages and the mind. Amazing stuff.

So, onto what to be expecting from this here bloggy-poo. I just want a place to blab about languages and linguistics, as well as share little snippets of language related news I see. Anything related to languages, you'll be seeing here. I'd like to do a few book reviews too, but we'll see.

I tried doing a language blog once, but it sorta died, and wordpress is making me crazy. The link is at http://iluveire.wordpress.com/

Be on the lookout for some more posts this weekend, until then, shalom :)