So You Know.

I guess I haven’t participated so far in S.Y.K – So You Know – a weekly series hosted by Candace of

Revenge Of Eve,

so here are her questions for this week, and my answers.

 

  • How long have you blogged? What is the anniversary? – I have blogged on and off since my early teens, at first I had a blog in a Polish online network for the blind, I had a few blogs on there, as I was restarting my blogging a couple times. Then I moved to Polish WordPress a few years ago, first because I wanted to reach a wider audience, and second because simply that network wasn’t working anymore. This was also when it slowly started bothering me that most people from that network, although I liked them and was friends with many, knew me in real life, and while I’d be happy to be open, even very open on my blog, and share things with like-minded people, I didn’t feel comfortable with all of them knowing me personally or knowing someone that knows me, or knowing people I was mentioning, so I couldn’t really be a very honest blogger. I also wanted to find my own niche, like people that would have similar interests or at least a similar way of looking at some things… But the Polish blog didn’t really work out, because after being on that network for the blind I was completely clueless about setting up my own blog, and messed it up, my stats were even lower than before and I was getting hardly any traffic, so I soon got discouraged. Another thing is that Polish WordPress, at least from what I can see, isn’t quite as active and dynamic as English, and people are much less interactive. Then I tried with yet another blog at another network for the blind that has been created, but I’ve been making myself some English-speaking friends and thinking more and more often about having a blog in English. It was more like my dream than something I would think seriously about for a long time, but suddenly it started to feel like something I would really really like to do, because I could find more like-minded people then, and I’ve started to discover some things about myself, including learning about or maybe accepting and defining my mental illness(es), moving on from some things, and I’ve also noticed that it’s easier for me to write about my feelings and just express myself in English, and my English started to develop speedily, miraculously and uncontrollably. So much so that now I am hardly ever in touch with any Polish people, and if I get an email in Polish I’m very surprised (or jumping up with fright because it’s either something formal or scary and means some problems 😀 ). So, that’s how My Inner Mishmash came to life! My Inner Mishmash is two years old now, soon will be two and a half. But I can’t tell you exactly for how long I’ve been blogging like altogether.
  • What was your original purpose for beginning a blog? – This one, like I said, a need to connect with people, to find perhaps something like my tribe, to improve my language skills – maybe someday I’ll make it a multilingual blog, we’ll see, – and expressing myself, because I’ve always had trouble expressing myself and writing is the easiest way I can do it, which doesn’t always mean it’s easy. 😀 As for my first blog, I guess it was just curiosity, I didn’t even fully know what blogging could be about, but it was within my reach and I’ve always loved writing, so just thought “Why not?”.
  • Did you research about blogging before establishing your own? – Before establishing both my WordPress blogs – yes, a bit. – As I said I was clueless about all the setting up and just creating your own blog in general, personalising it, customising, all that. I was especially careful with this one, because I didn’t want it to repeat the story of my Polish WordPress blog, and I also had to ask a few people for a bit of help at the very beginning. I also researched a bit about increasing traffic, but I’m far less neurotic about my stats than I thought I’d be.
  • Has your purpose evolved or changed directions? If so, what was the determining factor for the change? – With my Inner Mishmash, I guess my purpose hasn’t changed, although one thing that I’ve also decided that I want it to be an essential part of my blogging is being engaging with my readers. When it comes to my blogging journey as a whole, it has definitely evolved and blogging is so much more for me now than it used to be at the beginning. I guess what caused it was simply that I was changing, and changing my views, my situation was changing and I was growing up, learning things about people and myself, just quite a natural process I think.
    • What determines your measure of success as far as blogging is concerned? – Most of the time, I try to be laid back about my blogging. I just want it to be pleasurable for me, I’m also always happy to see that my readership is growing or that they enjoy my scribbles.
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Question of the day (19th May).

Is there any random language you find interesting and would like to learn, that would have no relevant benefit to you personally, in terms of your career, heritage, where you live, etc.

My answer:

Well… do I really need to answer this question? I have a feeling that in my case, it’s pretty irrelevant. 😀 But, OK, in case you don’t remember, or don’t know, about all the languages that I find just flamin’ hot interesting and would like to learn, that, according to most people’s view, don’t have any relevant benefit to me, other than just satisfying my crazy brain, here’s the complete listonce again, excluding those I already know/am learning, of course, no specific order:

Cornish, Scottish Gaelic (and Doric too perhaps), Scots, (Ulster Scots as well and it would be cool to know all the Shetlandic/Orkney etc. dialects), Dutch, Frisian, Manx, Irish, Finnish, Sami (North Sami seems the easiest to do as it’s the most widely spoken and accessible, although I’m dreaming about Luleå Sami) and Faroese.

Some time ago, when our Zofijka was in some sort of a counting-everything developmental phase, she asked me how many languages I like – like overall, with those I can already speak. – I never know/remember how many, because in contrast to her, I never care about such things, assuming that quality is more important than quantity, and my brain just doesn’t deal with numbers. So I told her all of them and she counted them, and then she was like “Wow you’re really nutty!”. 😀 So that’s the only kind of tangible benefit you’re gonna get from learning weird languages, people will start to think you’re a nutter, so I’d advise you to think it through before you pick your random language… Kidding of course. Nuts are good for your brain, just as language learning, so in the end it’ll be you who will win. 😉

So what would be your choice? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

I have a sort of linguistic question for you today.

If you have trouble understanding a person with a very thick accent, do you feel bad about it, and you apologise if you have to ask them to repeat things?

My answer:

First of all, in Polish we definitely don’t have such a variety of accents as you guys have in English. There are accents, dialects and stuff but the language is fairly universal and most peopleactually don’t even know the features of most of them unless they’re just into observing how different people speak. So, if someone speaks in Polish with an accent that I have some trouble understanding, and this person is Polish, I don’t really feel bad, I feel surprised and like “How come they talk like this their whole life?” or something. I listen to English every day, write in English and read English, but I’ve never been to an English-speaking country and I haven’t really had many conversations with English natives, so I don’t have much experience here. But yeah, I think I would feel bad. I’m normally not really a perfectionist, but I definitely am when it comes to languages, or some aspects of language learning, and I’d just feel bad about myself in a way I guess if I couldn’t figure out what someone’s saying to me. I also love accents, I love how rich English is with all the accents and dialects and everything, so I’d be frustrated if that were a significant barrier in communication for me and the person I’m talking with, even though I do know that there are still a fair bit of English accents that I don’t always understand even though I’m normally pretty good at figuring out accents or even mimicking them as for someone in whose language they almost don’t occur, Ithink. I’d also feel a bit bad for that person, I wouldn’t like them to feel that I am discriminating them in any way or something. And my social anxiety and generally anxiety in regard to communication would come up stronger probably. But I also love a language challenge so I would also appreciate a chance to learn something new and have a new experience as a result of such a communication barrier. When I was in Stockholm, I already knew earlier that people are pretty laid back in Sweden about accents and everyone talks with their own accent, it’s like there’s no actual standard version of Swedish unless you perhaps consider the Stockholm variant as such. But I was surprised how many different varieties of the same language I could hear. I also had a long conversation with a gem stones shop owner who was from Scania, I always have a bit of a trouble understanding people with a strong Scanian accent. It was difficult, and because of my anxiety a bit exhausting, but also very rewarding. The whole Stockholm trip was like that for me. And it was so interesting to hear all those different dialects, even though I think in English they are even richer and more diverse. SO how about you? 🙂

Bwncath – “Cân Lon” (A Joyful Song).

Hi people! 🙂

So, as I promised, I’m bringing you another song by this year’s “Cân I Gymru” winner – Elidyr Glyn – or actually his band called Bwncath. This is a beautiful song, however it’s a bit of an enigma to me honestly! As you’ll be able to hear (hope that you’ll be able to hear at least a bit even if you don’t have Spotify, it’s annoying how it works that if you don’t have it you can only listen to an excerpt of a song) it’s actually a very sad song, both regarding the music, and, as far as I can tell with my lame Welsh skills, the lyrics as well, it even says “Cân o dristwch ydi hon” if I got it right, which means “This is a song of sadness”. Yet it’s called a joyful song. Irony or what?! Seriously, I guess that there just might be something key in the lyrics that I don’t get. Because at the beginning he sings “Mae gen i gânau o lawn llon…” (I have songs full of joy) or something like that, and I guess later on there is something like that this one is different. Well yeah, figuring out the lyrics while not being fluent in a language, that can be very interesting at times. 😀 But in any case, I love this song, and if there is indeed something ironic, I like that a lot too, I like some irony in music, like when you have a very cheerful melody and tragically depressing words. And if it’s not irony, maybe when my Welsh gets better I’ll be able to figure out exactly what’s the point here.

Question of the day.

What are you looking forward to?

My answer:

Hm… I guess I don’t have any very specific plans or anything that I would specifically look forward to very much. But because, again, I am writing this post almost straight after my little language learning session, and a little frustrated with myself, I’ll say that I’m really, really, really looking forward to the moment when I’ll be finally able to understand more in Welsh, and have better listening skills in this language. I always like learning my languages, but recently it’s been quite a struggle with Welsh and I can see that my understanding of what people are saying is not the best. I may pick up a lot of separate small words or phrases but somehow often can’t make sense of them together. And there have been so many things lately that I’d like to understand, and often I can’t even get the gist. You’d think that because I pick up the phonetics quickly, and have been absorbing new vocabulary speedily in the last couple of weeks, that wouldn’t be a problem, but it is. I suppose that it just simply needs time and even more practice, but I still wonder what if there is something that I’m doing wrong, or maybe I should do something more, or not do something. 😀 I must also admit that I am not used to that much trouble with a language. I mean both my English and Swedish have been evolving a bit like by some miracle. I was learning English at school, but didn’t like the subject, and although I was fairly good in comparison to most of other students, I was still rather mediocre and couldn’t really communicate, because school won’t teach you that, not a Polish school at least, unless you put a lot of your own effort into it and will do more than they do at school. Only when I started to teach myself more, it turned out that I actually don’t have to teach myself anything, because my English was practically developing on its own at an extreme speed and the only thing that was left to me was observing this strange process happening, until I suddenly found myself blogging in English and thinking in English often very automatically. 😀 With my Swedish it was like that I had a very long break in learning, so that I had to actually start all over again, but it went really quickly and as my teacher said, I sort of skipped the most difficult and laborious stage of learning Swedish, which was kind of mysterious for both of us, I was a beginner, and then suddenly started to express myself in a very sophisticated way, translate pretty complex articles and such. Both my English and Swedish, especially Swedish, are still in development and I have to put a conscious effort into it, but the most difficult things my brain did on its own, so that it feels as if I skipped some of the learning process, if it makes any sense. My language learning was kind of happening beside me. And with Welsh it’s much more real work. Not that it discourages me, not at all, but just frustrates a bit. Maybe something radical must happen and then my Welsh will speed up too, I don’t know. So I just can’t wait until I’ll finally be able to understand people efficiently without my brain getting all sore from it. 😀

And you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What are your feelings/thoughts on butterflies? Do you have a favourite type?

My answer:

Don’t have a favourite type, but I really like butterflies. Can’t exactly pinpoint why, because, well, if you’re blind, you wouldn’t think you can have much to do with butterflies, right? I had butterflies sitting on my hands a few times but you can’t really touch them so that you could get an idea of them as they are so fragile. But I like butterflies. I like the fragility of them, that they are so free and beautiful, and some of their names are cute and beautiful and evocative. Misha also loves butterflies, but his love is a little bit, hm, intricative and sadistic. I also really like the words for butterfly in different languages. I particularly adore the Welsh word pilipala, isn’t it soooo cute? And Swedish fjäril is very lyrical in my opinion. I also like Polish motyl, though in comparison with fjäril it sounds a little bland. Even French papillon is very nice, though I’m generally not big on French. But I absolutely hate English word butterfly. When I think of it, I see a big, fat, heavy fly, being trapped in a butter-dish, or some similarly aesthetic imagery. I just don’t know, whoever came up with this word had to lack imagination quite severely. 😀 But that’s all I can say about butterflies.

How about you? 🙂

Friday nights in Sweden = ‘Fredagsmys’!

Funny that I only heard about a similar thing in Denmark, from a friend who used to live there, – don’t know how they call it there but he told me they like to have it hygge at Friday evenings, eating yummy food and watching the telly – but never knew it’s a thing in Sweden too! What a powerful thing for marketing it must be! But even though, it really sounds good to me to have such a nice and cosy end of the working week and start to the weekend. What do you think. Shouldn’t fredagsmys be introduced to other countries too? 🙂 I’m all for it! It somehow appeals to me despite I am usually not too crazy on all those newly invented traditions created mainly for marketing reasons as I feel like they are often a little artificial.

Watching the Swedes

fredagsmys2

I was just in my local supermarket doing a quick bit of food shopping. Although the place was relatively empty at that time of day,  I noticed that a few of the aisles were the most popular. Throngs of people gathered in the TexMex aisle, the soft drinks aisle and the aisle displaying crisps.

Of course, I thought! It’s Friday! And in Sweden, that means Fredagsmys!

‘Fredagsmys’ is loosely translated as ‘Friday Cosying’, and it is a relatively modern ritual in Sweden established in the 90’s. Prevalent up and down the country, ‘fredagsmys’ is when friends and families gather together to mark the end of the working week. it’s mostly associated with families and children and traditions differ family to family. However,  one common denominator seems to be that food should be easy and quick to make. In other words, Friday night is a huge night for tacos and pizza in Sweden.

Gathering around food for cosy…

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