Thursday, May 18, 2023


 just a little rant on language - crawling nearly nonsensical notes for myself, to compare over time

had been working on Romanian last year, before I attempted Italian or Spanish - and I am very glad that I did it in that direction (although, honestly, I had Latin, Spanish and Italian books from my father as a child I did not get far, nowhere near as far as I did last year in understanding)...

I do love the language, the structure, the way I 'intuit' so many of the words that I know have relatives alive in English today.   I'm hearing and reading and making 'undercurrent' connections that slip away into the stream almost as quickly as they come.. this word is that word, pop-up 'windows' in my brain of oh- that means 'this' in Welsh, Italian, Greek... this is the 'finally given the keys to the car' I was talking about once upon a time, when I finally could use all that space that was previously used for store inventory and ordering stuff - rub the dry erase board eraser all over it and start reorganizing it to do something else...

What put me off continuing to learn Romanian for a bit (I even bought a very good book!)..  was all of the harder longer political and nationality words that I couldn't remember the spelling of to save my life... although I've gotten a bit better at that in Welsh this last year (I can rip of cyfrifriadau and gwyddoniaeth pretty easily now) I'm not sure where that skill was picked up and if it is helping with this or just coincidence...

Anyway, here is the progress on DuoLingo I've made in the 20-some languages I've been working on over the past two years (more, for French and Welsh, and one year extra for Romanian)

current crowns /vs. March 2nd, the last entry into my current journal), and current 'level'  I write this down again because I feel that it shows how slowly I'm going in most but then I go set the hammer down on a few others here and there, and jump to the nearest one that feels 'related' to me.. like Guarani and Japanese at the moment, while merging to Romanian while ignoring Spanish.... *blinks at self, because the Guarani is being translated FROM Spanish to learn it... and yet, it isn't exactly learning Spanish, just practicing using it as a medium*  but in any given week I'll touch at least half of these.  

real world : beyond some random books lying about - I actually do immerse myself in languages in novel ways this last year than before -- I have artist 'friends' I follow that post in Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Latvian, and I switch back and forth on their translations to check my ability.  I also follow French and Welsh facebook groups.  My feed is so mixed up some days, the 'algorithm' has no idea what language to show things to me, ads show up in multiple languages, and the other day it started showing me chemistry stuff from a group in the Philippines that has a language I have not went looking for exactly yet, but it has piqued my interest.  I listen to podcasts in Welsh, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and radio stations and music in French and Welsh, and have several newsfeeds in French that pop up with headlines from France that I have to go 'wait, what did I just half-translate?'... so yes, I do love languages.  Much better than when I got my Google stuck in Welsh mode for a month from clicking something odd on S4C 'Chwilio, anyone?', and my phone has been stuck in Japanese but only for a few hours - I fixed that one pretty quick!

French - 455 crowns vs. 432 in March, currently at level 25+ 

(French is my 'goto' when I'm tired, but the grammar level is really high at this level and long sentences, so sometimes that is the annoying bit to remember and I'll avoid it for something 'easier' (shorter sentences, simpler grammar in another language))

Welsh -  371 vs 367, level 24

Spanish - 285 vs 278, level 22

Czech - 168 vs 166, level 18

Romanian - 144 vs 144, level 16 (currently working on updating)

Portuguese - 111 vs 98, level 16

Greek - 72 vs 69 - level 14

Italian, 89 vs 85 - level 14

Japanese, 72 vs 72, level 14 (been working on this one, too)

German - 79 vs 76, level 13 (always a bit of a lie, since it was my high school minor, I just don't dive into it unless I'm really bored/tired etc.)

Finnish - 62, level 11

Norwegian - 67, level 11

Swedish - 43, level 10

Hungarian - 26 vs 24, level 10

Catalan - 33 vs 25, level 10 (from Spanish)

Irish - 53 vs 52, level 9

Ukranian - 19 vs 13, level 9

Turkish  - 39, level 9

Polish - 30, level 9

Dutch and Zulu at level 6, Haitian Creole at level 5

Guarani just started last week, level 5 (from Spanish)

and I still go play around on a Latvian children's game site, work with my flash cards and read their news or children's book synopsis site at their online bookstore when I am feeling 'tetchy' about it not being on DuoLingo and something reminds me of it.


I recently started working on Quazel microphone AI chat site but there is some 'avoidance factor' on the speaking as well - but it's excellent 'production' practice.. I just have to kick myself hard to go do it like making a phone call, it is the same sort of an 'interaction/rejection' get it wrong instinct like talking to a person would be.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

9th grade wildlife team

 2nd place at Regionals!  Congrats!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Language progress


I was trying not to strain a wrist today, so did some speaking practice on another site, and a little bit each of Guarani, Japanese, Catalan, Spanish and French on DuoLingo.

At the beginning of 2021 I was only studying French, Welsh and Romanian on DuoLingo.  By the end of the year I had added up to about twenty languages, and was making good progress in cross-connecting many things in my head.  I took a Comparative Linguistics course online through the Leiden University and enjoyed it a lot.

This past week I added Guarani to my list, and was seeing connections between it and Japanese. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Mid May

 working a lot

keeping up only here and there with languages

French, Welsh, Catalan, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian  - a day that I spun through so many things, Indonesian, Finnish, Irish, Greek, Japanese and all of the above like Wheel of Fortune not even realizing what language I was on half the time - then I'm back to picking apart higher grammar on French again...

not drawing a lot, reading a bit here and there

Finished 'Limits' by Larry Niven, read some of the Harlan Ellison multi-author anthology Medea : Harlan's World, working through 'A Study in Charlotte' again  I have several chemistry and physics books that I am interested in but cannot bring myself to dive, because there isn't enough time to 'swim' in those thoughts

some days I want to draw every leaf on every tree, take a swath of grass and weave a mat from it, spend frivolous hours making thousands of small marks on paper - and others (well, sometimes the same days) I can't even bring myself to bring up a pencil to paper... my anxiety perhaps has taken on a 'futile inertia' bit this year... those aren't quite the words, but I am 'spinning' in my head but not actually anxious, always busy on something and never getting anything 'done'.. and yet, the next day rolls in just like the last.. and again, we do the things before us in reality and a million other things but only in virtual.. it's too philosophical.

as the little card says : sing softly little one for life is sweet but tomorrow is marching

a lot of that in the feels lately
I render sumac trees and roses and clematis in French Grey and Venetian Red and Steel Blue all day long but only in my head, while driving postal route.  And I feel I have no sketchbooks to show for it, and that I am not progressing as an artist, and that it is just too difficult to do that anyway in this world.  I'm constantly, while working feeling the memory calculations and spreadsheets of what I have and when I'll be done - the numbers of it - the mathematical points and connections and some big picture that forms over time - (that undercurrent layer of thought I have that is always churning gets to be useful for that task, and that is nice), And honestly, in between stops and waiting for cars to turn etc, I think often what I am going to eat when I'm finished being busy... and it is getting into the time of year where I have to be more careful to actually drink enough, because I don't normally, and now I'm out in the hot and sweating and 'en train' not wanting to take a break until I'm finished etc...  which doesn't work in truth.

made some excellent banana cake with apple on the bottom yesterday, freehand, with no recipe - which I am always pleasantly amused at - even though I should use a recipe, I don't, and it turns out, and I eat it all... and for some reason that amuses me in a pleasure on a plane higher than the food so I keep doing it that way

listened to a few podcasts in Welsh and French
got out the Pitt pigment colors in blues, sanguine and sepia and sketched this photo while I was listening