You are probably already aware that I like learning languages. I'm not fluent in anything except my mother tongue, English, but one day I hope to be. French and Japanese (also HTML, if that counts!) are my strongest languages, I think. Sometimes I focus on too many languages at once, because there's so much I want to learn.
The Romance languages are my favourites right now, mostly because I like the satisfying feeling of finding connections between different languages. When I was younger, I was mostly interested in Chinese and Japanese, I just did French because it was what they made me do at school. Now, I am absolutely obsessed with French and everything about France, because I want to spend a semester studying in either Lyon or Paris. I went to France as a child, but I mostly spent time at Disney. I did get to see the Louvre though, but back then I didn't appreciate the culture or history that much. I'm also interested in the French language in other countries. Even in my own country, the UK, French is present. It's even on our coat of arms, instead of English or even Latin like you'd usually expect. Anyways, I really like French, and I try to use it as much as possible, which is very easy since I live in Canada.
I'm also trying to practice my Italian as much as possible, because I am going to Italy again this year! The last time I went was also back when I was a monolingual child. The only word I picked up from that holiday was "uscita", which means "exit". Hopefully I'll be able to hold a conversation or at least order a gelato without relying on English.
To me, learning a language is like solving a puzzle. The more words and grammatical structures you learn, the closer you are to solving the puzzle and understanding the language. It feels so rewarding to be able to understand more and more over time. There are so many languages I want to learn, but not enough time. I don't think my brain will be able to hold them all, either. If you are interested in learning a language, but think it requires signing up for fancy classes or paying a lot of money for books, don't worry. In my opinion, anyone with an Internet connection has the tools to learn a language. Well, you probably also need a device to browse the Internet, but other than that, you honestly don't need anything! There are actually a lot more free resources online than you think. And if you keep scrolling down this page, you'll find links to some of them!
Resources: Classes, flashcards, reading books, listening to the radio, watching the news.....
J'ai étudié beaucoup la langue française dans les derniers mois, et selon moi, mon niveau est maintenant très bien ! Avant, je manquais la confiance d’utiliser cette belle langue dehors la salle de classe, mais récemment je l’utilise souvent. Quelques fois, j’ai une tendance de changer à l’anglais si je ne peux pas trouver mes mots, mais avec du temps, ça disparaîtra. C’est encore difficile pour moi de savoir le genre de chaque nom, je pense que c’est plus compliqué en français que l’italien.
漢語 (Unknown level)
Resources: Classes, Integrated Chinese, flashcards, sometimes Duolingo.
My character recognition is decent, but I'm just so terrible at pronouncing the tones. Maybe I've been neglecting this language a bit for the Romance languages... I just finished Integrated Chinese 2 in my university class, apparently in the next textbook all of the main cast are replaced for some new characters! I was getting quite invested in the story of Wang Peng and Li You, and the relationship between Bai Ying Ai and Gao Wen Zhong. I guess we'll never find out how the story continues...
Italiano (Somewhere around A2)
Resources: Duolingo, Assimil, flashcards, music.
My comprehension of Italian is really good, but I just need to practice formulating sentences. Is it me, or is spoken Italian much easier to understand as a beginner than spoken French? Italian grammar is a lot easier once you've studied other Romance languages. Sometimes French grammar rules apply also in Italian, but this is not always the case. I prefer Italian to French in some ways, because I like how you can remove the pronouns and you can still understand the subject of the sentence from the verb alone. So, instead of saying "I walk to the shops. I buy an apple", you can instead just write "Walk to the shops. Buy an apple", and the subject can be understood without having to repeat "I" all the time. It just makes the sentences less repetitive, so they sound a lot better. Other Latin based languages also do this, but not French for some reason. That's probably because a lot of the verb conjugations sound the same, but they're just spelt differently on paper...
Limba română (Still a beginner)
Resources: Just Assimil at this point. Occassionally I use the Duolingo course, even if it sucks.
I'm still working through my Assimil book, albeit at a snail's pace. Because I didn't pay for the version with the audio recordings, I've got to find something I can use for listening practice that isn't Duolingo's terrible text to speech voice. Even though there are plenty of connections to be found between Romanian and the other Romance languages, it's still got a very unique flavour to it. I particularly like the way that definitive articles work. At first it was difficult to understand, but they're basically just similar to how they are in Italian, except attached to the end of the noun. So far I am good at understanding the words, but bad at spelling them and actually producing my own sentences. So far, I'm just having fun and not studying too seriously. Îmi plac mult, limba română!
Below are all the language related pages I've made, and some useful resources for you to use to help your own learning.
Language Learning Tips!
Things I Watched/Read in French
(Page is out of date now...)
Misty's Language Learning Experiences
(This page is also out of date...)
Lexis Rex - A site with tools to help you learn many languages. I particularly found the French spelling game rather useful.
Omniglot - An online encyclopedia of languages. It's so detailed, you could spend hours browsing here.
Ramou.net (en français) - Un site qui a des ressources et leçons pour apprendre le chinois, le japonais et même le tahitien. Il y a beaucoup de pages utiles et intéressants ici!
Duolingo - Some people don't like Duolingo, but it has assisted me so much with my French this past year. I realised that for months this has been written on my site as "Duoingo", which is embarrassing.
Duostories - Unofficial translations of some Duolingo stories. Many languages on Duo do not have any stories, so this project translates them into many other languages. They have some less popular languages that aren't even on Duolingo, which is cool.
Reverso Verb Conjugator - This site helped me immensely during my Italian and French lessons.
Quizlet - Most people prefer Anki. For me, Anki doesn't help at all. If you're having trouble with Anki too, please try Quizlet. It's not as good as it used to be, but it's still so helpful, and much better if you're short on time. Plus, you can add cheesy clip art to each card if you want to. What can be better than that? (Yes, I know you could probably do that with Anki too.)
Ressources pour l'apprentissage de français
Tex's French Grammar - An incredibly useful, entertaining, and well designed place for learning grammar.
Français Facile - There are free user created French lessons and exercises here! They have other languages too!
Extra - It's an old sitcom made for learners of French. They also have versions somewhere in other European languages, like English and German. One of my old French teachers used to put this on, and was so surprised that I could understand almost everything the characters said. If you're still a beginner, you'll probably still be able to watch this easily. This series is pretty cheesy but it's also entertaining and sometimes funny.
Cool Things in Other Languages
Wikipedia, but in Cornish - I had no idea this existed until the other day. I don't know any Cornish except for a few words I used to see on signs, it's just that I think it's so cool that the language has its own Wikipedia now. It's nice to see the interest in Cornish rising.
Ephemeris, a news website in Latin - I don't speak Latin either, but I saw this website and thought it was also cool. It's a news site, entirely in Latin. You'll probably appreciate the early 2000s web design it uses. Despite its older design, it still updates with current news. It's weird seeing Latin online and not on some ancient ruins. If Latin was still widely spoken today, I wonder how the language would've changed with the Internet? For example, what would be the Latin equivalents of words like "LOL"? I really want to learn Latin now, it looks so fun. I should probably focus on my other languages first though.
Italian Anime Openings - In Italy (and in other European countries too), they seem to make amazing anime and cartoon opening themes. Seriously, some of these songs are so good that I listen to them regularly. If you like Italo Dance or eurodance, you'll probably appreciate a lot of these. My favourite of these songs is the Yu-Gi-Oh opening, it's just so amazing. It's funny because YGO is one of my favourite comics too.
K-Pop songs in Japanese (and Chinese!) - A lot of people are familiar with these already, however I want to bring them to your attention cause they're super underrated. K-pop agencies usually make their artists release songs in Japanese to reach the market in Japan. Often they'll just translate their most popular Korean songs, but a lot of the time, they make original songs! Yes, I know sometimes the Japanese can be a bit awkward, but isn't it just so cool that these artists sing in more than one language? I know they're doing it for money, still I think it's so awesome! I only know some Korean, so for me it's much easier to sing along in Japanese. Some groups decide to sing in Chinese, I find this is less common though. My favourite of the Japanese K-pop is Daesung (or D-LITE, as he's called in Japan) and his trot albums for Japan. A few of the songs were originally in Korean, but I think some of them were made in Japanese first. They're all so much fun to listen to. BIGBANG's Japanese discography is also so good, even if they did rely on English words too much at the beginning.