Language maintenance

This week I’ve been trying out yet another language learning and maintenance strategy. Instead of spending most of the day listening to online radio in one language or other, as I’ve been doing up to now, I’ve started listening to lots of lessons in the languages I’m focusing on at the moment (Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx and Spanish). At the same time I’m converting the lessons I have on tape to mp3 format. Once I’ve done that, I copy them to my mp3 player.

I bought myself a new mp3 player for my birthday and am filling it with language lessons, podcasts and audiobooks. It can also display images, so I might try to make some virtual flash cards for it. Usually I don’t bother with flashcards as they’re quite cumbersome to carry around. This is no longer an issue.

This entry was posted in Irish, Language, Language learning, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh.

11 Responses to Language maintenance

  1. Osian says:

    Wedi gweld gwefan C2? Gallech chi lawrlwytho mp3 newydd bob wythnos ac mae nifer o siaradwyr gwahanol ar y rhaglen bob tro. Rhag ofn bod chi heb ei gweld o’r blaen, ‘na i gyd.

  2. Polly says:

    @Simon: Ironic. A while back you helped me make good use of my MP3 player by telling me about Audacity for recording foreign internet radio, so that I CAN listen to online radio away from the computer. Before that, I was just listening to the CDs that came with language learning books.

    Do you know where I might find audio books in other languages in the net?

    For the Palm PDA (an electronic organizer), there are innumerable languages available for download ($/£) complete with keyboard software to type in another language on screen and to read text documents. So, it also serves as a handy language notebook for new phrases and vocabulary and articles.

  3. James says:

    Ok this has been on my mind for a while and I may as well get it out of my system. I have bits of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Latin, Ancient Greek and Classical Hebrew (all of which I used in my PhD), but none of them are of much use for anything other than reading articles and making me feel as though i “know” lots of languages (apart from the french I suppose, as i can, and used to, easily read novels in French. I have only read spanish in my leisure time for the last 6 months). I have been living in Chile for 7 months and have come to the conclusion that learning one language is quite enough to keep be occupied for at least the next 10 years (though I am going to start portuguese in 2 or 3 years time before my brain calcifies as there is a real posibility that I will use it professionallY). So what is the point of learning so many languages if one is never going to be able to speak them well or use them all? Are they sea shells which we collect to look at or tools that we use?

  4. Questioneer??? says:

    To me they are those pretty seashells. I am not concerned with how useful my languages are but rather if I enjoy them. I tghink I am the only living person in my state who has a cumpulsory need to learn Occitan. I must. Does anyone know where I can find Occitan resources? So thats my two bits.

  5. Krithika says:

    For Occitan, you can use the Assimil book ” L’occitan sans peine ” by Alain Nouvel- it’s very good but unfortunately, available only in French.
    You can visit this site to know more on Occitan – you can see it in English, French or Occitan and it contains some lessons as well

  6. Questioneer??? says:

    That’s OK I can speak French so thank you.

  7. IDK says:

    Hi there,
    Since you’ve been learning so many languages
    I hope you could give me some suggestions.
    I’m a ESL learner since middle school(and for a self-learner for a little over a year, which seem more useful than taking school English) and I’ve just started to learn Spanish for a month or so. And I think I just have a good start with it.
    But now I have to study in Czech for a year
    so that means I also have to learn some Czech,
    and since learning German may be more suitable for my situation now.(Cuz it’s a bit hard to find Czech learning materials in my country and I probably will visit Austria since it’s so closed.)
    It becomes like that while struggling maintaining my English, I still have to learn German at the same time.
    To find time to study the Pimsleur German, I have to give up learning Spanish since the time is limited.
    Czech is not under consideration right now.
    Because I will take some Czech lessons while studying there and since I’ll stay there for a year, it might help me a lot learning that language and will be a lot of chance using it.
    But German is so hard and hard to pronounce also, to me it’s more easier to pronounce Spanish.
    How many languages can a newbie handle at a time?
    Could I learn Spanish, German and also maintain my English at the same time.
    Do European languages do support each other?

  8. Simon says:

    IDK – it’s probably best to stick to one at a time, or no more than two.

    Related languages such as Spanish and Italian do ‘support’ each other to some extent.

    There are some free Czech lessons here, here and here.

  9. IDK says:

    then do Czech and German support each other?
    Actually, it’ll be a better situation
    that I go to German instead of Czech
    since Germany’s a big country and
    there are more people who speaks in German
    so it will be more willingly for me to learn their language.

  10. Miro says:

    Czech and German are two very different languages and there are only a very few words used in both of them, always in a different form. Your English will help you with the Czech about the same as your German will do – almost nothing.
    Of course, German helps you to communicate with much more people. And while you can quite easily find someone speaking German in the Czech Republic, it is very difficult to find someone speaking Czech outside of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Slovak is very similar to Czech).

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