Question of the day.

If you could gain perfect fluency in any language instantly, but only one language, which would you choose?

My answer:

Oh my, this one’s so hard! I’d like to be perfectly fluent in ALL my languages, as quickly as only possible. But… one language… I think I’m going to go with the most difficult one out of the ones I want to learn, which I guess would be Sami, especially considering the small amount of speakers and even smaller of resources. If I could be fluent in any of the Sami languages (preferably Luleå Sami but any will do) that would be very helpful.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (22nd September).

Did you ever study a foreign language by yourself?

My answer:

Sure, I think that’s the best way of learning a language if only you can manage to do it this way because no one knows what works for you quite as well as you do, and no one knows as well as you do what things you enjoy so only you can make your language learning thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve been learning English by myself since I left the blind boarding school when I started hanging around the Anglophone Interwebs and realised what I was already beginning to think years earlier, that school, any school really (at least I haven’t encountered a school over here that would be really good with languages unless it specialises in it but even then it’s no guarantee) isn’t going to teach me a language, and if I want to communicate in English and understand people I’d have to do it by myself. What school had done so far was it only managed to discourage me in some way, but thankfully more from English as a subject, which I found infinitely boring, rather than English as a language, but it was very close to it as well. I was pretty good at English at school most of the time and that was part of why I disliked the subject, that a lot of the time I had little to no constructive stuff to do in class.

Sometimes I feel like a kind of jerk when I say that I’ve taught myself English, first because I was going to school for so many years so surely it must have had some impact, and also I don’t really feel and never did like I put a whole lot of effort into my English learning, like most people do when they teach themselves anything. And yes, I did get the beginnings from school, as I wrote in the last post, I’m absolutely sure it all wouldn’t go as smoothly as it did if I had to start from scratch completely on my own. And I am extremely grateful for the bits and pieces that school did give me. But with what I got from school, while I had very good grades at English and could have a very basic conversation with someone with a lot of good will on both sides, I wasn’t really able to communicate effectively nor comprehend English very well either when reading or listening. I also don’t think it’s something fully due to my own merrit that I’ve managed to learn English to the extend that I did and as smoothly and easily as I did. I don’t believe in a “linguistic talent” because if it was the matter of talent we would have much more mute people or people with all sorts of language/speech disorders than we do, we also wouldn’t have had as much migration because people wouldn’t be able to learn another country’s language. But there are certainly some traits that people may or may not have that may make it easier to absorb languages, like a talent for catching the phonetics which I seem to have. And I think that has simplified the whole thing for me a whole lot, I also like learning languages and if someone does not, it’s typically going to take more time.

But even if I do have some particular language skills, I still feel like my English learning was kind of miraculous and insanely speedy given how little conscious effort I put into it. I immersed myself a lot into English, listening to different accents and just a lot of stuff in English and wanted to learn to distinguish different accents better than I could, and possibly also imitate them. I read a lot in English on the web so that it quickly became my habit that if I was googling something I did it automatically in English rather than Polish and still do. – I changed the interfaces of the devices/apps I used to English. I wrote my journal at least partly in English. Later I started penpalling which was at first very strenuous indeed for me to understand people and write in a comprehensive way, writing to a pen pal would take me ages but after that my brain would be buzzing in English for the next 24 hours so it was clear that it was doing me a lot of good, and over time, not very much time at all, it became less of a chore and much more of a pleasure and I think it’s penpalling and blogging that has been helping me the most. Then when I was already able to communicate quite well I also started this blog which had been my dream for years. Later yet, I started to read some books in English when I got access to them, and nowadays, I think the amounts of books I read in Polish and English are quite equal, and it has also been a very smooth transition, although it still requires more concentration from me to read books in English, but not the point where it would be uncomfortable or something.

While in my final year of college/high school I had briefly English classes with a private tutor, I thought it could be more helpful to show me what exactly my level is and what I have still to do, or at least help me to prepare for my finals. It did only one good thing for me. My teacher was super chatty and we talked a lot, so my conversational skills have improved. That was good as generally my daily, serious use of English evolves around writing, reading and listening (by “serious” I mean excluding talking to myself and conversating with Misha). I was already good with accents and such but nevertheless not particularly confident in speaking, and talking to him helped me to feel more at ease with it, at least in terms of language skills, as of course there’s also the whole socialising and peopling stress involved which is a totally different thing and can also affect things no matter in which language. Thanks to this, he certainly helped me to prepare for my oral English final exam as well. But other than that, it didn’t really take me anywhere further than I was and my general English level didn’t change because of it. So yeah, I think with English, I learned the most by myself. It’s been about six years since I left the boarding school and thus since I seriously started to learn English on my own, and I’ve learnt more in these 5 years than I did during English classes.

I am also currently learning Swedish by myself, although I started out with a tutor and, unlike school and the English tutor, he did a whole lot for me and I’m sure that if I didn’t meet someone like him, I wouldn’t be able to learn Swedish nor any language on my own now. He worked with me for two years first since I was 10, then we had a long break when I had to go back to the blind school as the integration school didn’t work out and that meant there was no way for us to meet up really. I avoided even the slightest contact with or any mention of Swedish as fire while at the boarding school because I felt like if I couldn’t learn it anymore it was pointless to think of it and it only made me feel extremely depressed, frustrated and angry. I forgot most of what I learned at least on a conscious level. But then I got the faza on Cornelis Vreeswijk when I was 17 and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. The more my faza developed, the more I felt almost literally how all the stuff I forgot was flooding my brain again, and I kept accidentally learning new, sophisticated words from his lyrics and poems, then I even managed to translate totally spontaneously a few of his poems with the little Swedish I had and these translations were really quite damn good as for my generally very poor Swedish skills by then. As it happened, the year I got that faza also turned out to be my last year at the boarding school, and in the autumn of that year I reconnected with my Swedish teacher. During our first lesson, he asked me to just say a few sentences in Swedish, whatever I was able to say, and neither of us was expecting much but I was actually able to express myself fairly coherently. He was very surprised and at first thought that I was learning by myself at school somehow or managed to find another tutor there after all, but then I told him that I was only kind of learning since about May but not really in a very serious way, and he said my brain must have somehow skipped over the most basic stages in no time because I actually knew more than what we’d covered in the past when I was in the integration school. That was weird, but that’s fazas for you, make your brain do strangely intense things without feeling like you’re doing much at all. 😀 I loved it and I kept skipping like that for a while yet.

But, skipping or no skipping, I certainly wouldn’t be able to be where I am with my Swedish and with other languages where I am now if he wouldn’t take up the challenge and try to teach me even though he had no idea about teaching blind people and even though back then when we were starting I didn’t even have an idea about any technologies or stuff so it all was really complicated. Most language teachers I’ve encountered are much more of scaredy cats. I just wouldn’t have the confidence that I am actually able to do it.

Now I’m no longer having lessons with him since a few years and I can learn Swedish on my own. With the help of emails from my Swedish pen pals, the Swedish Internet, some Swedish books, mostly children’s, that I can get, and loads and loads and loads of listening. That trip to Stockholm I once went for has also tremendously helped me, as well as my friendship with Jacek from Helsinki and meeting different people through him. I get very little practice in form of writing or speaking these days and somehow can’t figure out how best to change it, at least in terms of writing where it is more doable, in a way that would feel good and not like a chore, which makes me feel that my Swedish is kind of clunky and that it could be better, and I somehow feel like it has regressed a little bit since when my English has started improving so rapidly but I am definitely able to communicate with people and understand everything I read or hear unless it’s extremely sophisticated or someone speaks very fast with an accent that I don’t really get, like Scanian for example. 😀

And now I’m also learning Welsh by myself as there’s no other option, as for many of my other languages. I’d actually like it if there was someone in my area who could teach me so I wouldn’t have to think about resources and stuff but it could be just as effective as all of my English classes in the past so perhaps it’s better that I’m dealing with it oon my own. The biggest problem is that there aren’t overly many resources but since I’ve found a website for Welsh learners with a lot of courses and stuff it’s become much easier and structured for me and I don’t have to constantly be on the look out for new things in case I run out of the resources I have now or they stop being helpful. It’s also fairly accessible. Listening is definitely my main way of learning Welsh as it’s kind of a priority in my courses, I’m terribly slow at reading and my vocab could be better but at least with the latter I’m sure I’ll get there in time. I’d also really really like to be better at listening as my brain is kind of sluggish when processing auditory input in Welsh haha. So far, despite I’ve had a Welsh faza, I haven’t had such a speedy jumping like with ENglish and Swedish, with Welsh it would be even better because it’s more difficult, and I’ve actually found learning it much more strenuous than the other two languages, but no less exciting.

And with all of my other languages, I think I’ll also be learning them by myself.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (21st September).

Did you have foreign language classes in your school?

My answer:

I had English classes from the beginning of primary until the end of my formal education, and German kind of on and off since fourth grade in primary until the end of secondary. But I don’t feel like the classes gave me much beyond teaching me the very beginnings of English which could perhaps be hard if I didn’t have them at school.

How was it with you? If you did have language classes, do you feel like you actually benefitted from them in any way? Or maybe quite the opposite? 🙂

Question of the day (20 September).

What other languages do you speak, if any?

My answer:

This is another thing that I’m sure a lot of you know about me as I write about it a lot and my languages are an important part of my life. But if you don’t, or doon’t remember, so far, other than my native language and obviously English, I can also speak Swedish, I’d say on an upper intermediate or advanced level or thereabouts, and Welsh, which I think would classify as lower intermediate. I also used to learn German at school but my actual knowledge of this language these days is very poor and most of it that I know is by similarity of the words with other languages that I know.

How about you? 🙂

Reasons why I’m learning English.

Nearly a month after starting up this blog, I wrote a post about all the

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh

and a year ago, I wrote a similar post concerning my

Swedish.

With each of them I felt like they got quite a bit of interest, so I’m going to continue it this year as well, and write about English. Let’s see how many reasons I can come up with

1.

Isn’t it obvious? English is obligatory in schools in most countries, I guess. Or at least in all countries in Europe. So, you could say I didn’t have much choice. 😀 Before I went to school though, I was already subjected to English thanks to my Godmother, whose English was on a pretty good level for a person growing up in the 80’s (communist period – learning Russian as a second language at school) and not needing English for professional purposes. I guess it’s more common for people about her age or older to learn English now even if you don’t need it for work, but I guess back then in early 2000’s there wasn’t as much pressure yet. I believe she started learning English around college and took private lessons and while she wasn’t and is not fluent, as I said, the degree to which she knew English could feel a bit unexpected, plus she’s very communicative by nature so such people don’t need a whole lot of vocabulary to be understood. Anyways, she taught me a lot of things before I went to school, and one of them was some very basic English vocabulary and a bit of fondness for English, which probably helped me more than I normally realise to remain positive about the language itself even when I started to see that English as a school subject is MEH, and pushed me to learn it anyway. So by the time I reached school, I remember I was actually euphoric when I heard on my first actual day of school that our next lesson is going to be English. I associated it with home and with fun things and I liked it as I said, so I was super happy that I would be able to learn it at school. Sadly, I didn’t have particularly much luck with good English teachers throughout my education. I’m not saying they weren’t competent or anything like that, probably some were more, and some were less, some were very nice, some were very unpleasant, some rather bland, but the great majority of them just didn’t do anything to me more than help me prepare for the necessary tests and exams. Of course I had to learn basics at school and I did, but after that, although I was learning English throughout my whole education, I feel like school didn’t give me much in that respect and I taught myself the most. Neither did school motivate me to learn English, in fact, my first English teacher wasn’t particularly likeable person and I don’t think she cared much if we liked her subject or not. I became disillusioned quite quickly and realised that, while English may be a cool language, the subject is just deadly boring. And my view on that became even stronger when I started to seriously learn on my own and became actively interested in learning English and not just ticking off exercises in the textbook. I don’t think it is solely that I just happened to have bad teachers. I think it’s the case with most people here, and that simply the way language learning and teaching is perceived in our country and the level of English education in our schools is terrible. Basically, unless someone has some extra English classes, or wants to learn on their own or something like that, most people go out of education being barely able to communicate. And since Polish language is way more complex than English, the problem cannot be with people”s brains. People get out of schools with the mentality that they are supposed to speak perfectly, with no grammar mistakes or otherwise someone will kill them, and if they can’t do that, they won’t speak at all, even if they do have enough vocabulary to speak decently. And English lessons are not interesting, or at least they are rarely as interesting and fun as language learning could be. My Sofi writes down tons of words and rules she doesn’t understand, and when someone in her class is thinking independently enough to ask the teacher for some explanation and say that they don’t understand something, the only thing she’ll say will typically be: “*sighs theatrically* Oh my, what do you still can’t understand? It’s easy. You have to practice more at home. How many more times am I going to have to explain it?”. Well, the majority of Sofi’s class go to extracurricular English at a language school. Those who do not, have very bad grades. And I assure you that Sofi’s school is not an exception. But OMG I could rant about education system and terrible attitudes of people towards language learning for ages. 😀 Anyway, I did get the basics of English at school and I’m grateful for that, but that’s all that any school or individual teacher did for my foreign language education. There also was that teacher who was having conversations with me for a year in preparation for my final exams, and admittedly he helped me to feel a bit more confident in speaking, and most certainly contributed to the fact that I got 100% from oral English,but not much else, although I hoped he would be able to teach me some new things. He was most keen on talking about himself though. 😀

2.

Because English is everywhere. That’s why I kind of feel for English natives. On one hand it’s so cool when you can go almost anywhere in the world, read almost anything you want and not have to make the effort of translating, understanding or learning another language. But on the other hand, people miss out on so much when they don’t learn a new language, and when everyone speaks your language, what motivation can you have to do that? So it’s a bit unfair on the English-speaking folks and only for their sake I wish we had some artificial or dead language to use internationally, rather than deprive a certain group of people – a large group of people – from the benefits of learning a language and developing their brains even more. Anyways, the rest of us does have to learn English if we want to have a somewhat broader perspective on the world. Internet is huge and you can read a lot in it, do a lot with it and learn a lot, but Polish-language part of the Internet seems so mini mini compared to English. I wouldn’t be able to do so many things that I do if I didn’t speak decent English. I wouldn’t be able to restore my synths, to give you a recent example, haha. My Mum tells me that about once a week “You’re so lucky that you speak English” or “I’d like to know half of your English”, so I am constantly reminded that I should be grateful for that, and that I was given enough determination to learn it myself, and, more than determination, just plain luck, because I don’t really feel like I made some huge effort with my English, from some point on it just came to me on its own, I guess via a lot of exposure. But perhaps not everyone can be that lucky, or not everyone can make use of it or realises it. Some people like my Mum constantly complain that they can’t speak English but when you actually confront them about it “So why won’t you try to learn it?” they will have tons of arguments, including that they are too old, too stupid, too busy, too lazy, don’t have a talent (there’s no such thing as talent for learning languages unless you want to have a native accent, you just have to find the right method for yourself and that can be tricky) to name a few.

3.

Because I plain like it. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I didn’t like English though. Would I still be so keen on learning it? My experiences with other languages show that not necessarily, because my effects at it seem to be strongly correlated with my feelings for it. I can’t quite imagine learning and being good at Esperanto for example, even if it was the international language. Of course I would learn it at school if need be, and would continue it if I really needed it, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be anything more than average. I was learning German at school (and I like German more than Esperanto, because I don’t like Esperanto at all) and, unless I put a lot of conscious effort into learning it, I was just having rather mediocre results, and forgot most of it very quickly after finishing my German education, even though I did have an ambitious plan to continue learning it on my own, but that just went out the window before it started properly.

But I do like English, and I do like the culture surrounding it, the diversity of its accents, which we don’t have in Polish, and – what I’ve mentioned in both Swedish and Welsh posts, I feel a kind of bond with the nations speaking my favourite languages. English is also the most boring of my languages because it’s so mainstream-y and it’s everywhere and it spoils the experience massively, but still, it’s so cool and so rich!

4.

Because it can serve as a bridge to the whole Celtic world for me. Of course English is used in Britain and all its Celtic regions, and as a Celtophile it’s very important to me. It helps me to develop my Celtic passions and discover more about all the Celtic stuff, the folklore, the languages, the people…

5.

Because it enables me to meet interesting people whom I wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise. As well as like-minded people. Actually, the most development of my English skills is largely due to all of my pen pals. With some of them I’d onnly written for a while, more or less short, but with some I have developed great connections and friendships and I am so thankful for that.

6.

Because it helps me with blogging, and generally expressing myself. I used to blog in Polish for years but it wasn’t quite as fun as it is now. I feel like I can be more candid about a lot of things on my English blog and that it was one of my better ideas in my whole life to start an English blog. It works both ways – my English learning makes my blogging better, and my blogging stimulates my English learning in an incredibly effective way. – As for expressing myself, since my English skills have improved so dramatically over the last few years due to a lot of exposure, penpalling and blogging, I also write my diary mostly in English. I’ve written frequently about that I find each language useful for different kind of writing, and that it also corresponds with different kinds of emotions for me. I will write about the specific emotions of English in a while, but first, I want to say more generally that I find it much easier nowadays to express myself emotionally in English. Where feelings are concerned, but also more specifically, any kind of mental health difficulties, especially more complex stuff, somehow it’s much easier to put it in English. I’ve come to the point where sometimes it’s easier for me to find words describing some things in English, rather than in Polish, and what I want to say sounds more clunky in Polish. 😀 The emotions that in my synaesthetic view correspond particularly strongly with English are especially love, pain, sarcasm, playfulness, sadness, emptiness, anxiety, comfort, passion, euphoria and loneliness.

7.

Because it has enabled me to build a more stable support network and become both more aware of my mental health struggles, as well as deal better with them. Again blogosphere and penpalling have helped me immensely with that. Previously, I couldn’t really say I felt free to talk to anyone about what I was experiencing. Partly because I didn’t really understand it myself but also because I simply either didn’t feel like I could trust them, or I knew they wouldn’t understand. Now, thanks to my English, I have found a lot of people who have similar experiences to me or even if they don’t, they are still very supportive and I want to support them as well, and I feel like I’ve made more meaningful connections with people even though they are just online. All this keeps me motivated to develop my English further, and actually makes it develop on its own because obviously the more you use a language, the more it develops.

8.

Because there’s lots of great music in English and I want to know what it’s about.

9.

Because then I can be helpful to my immediate family who are all practical monoglots and sometimes need to translate something from English. Especially my Dad who is a tanker driver, and it’s hard to be a tanker driver and often supply foreign ships with fuel and speak no English. I often don’t have the vocabulary that he needs anyway, but some vocabulary is better than none. At least I can help him how to describe the word he needs to use and then because they are oriented in the field, they understand quickly what he wants to say, unless their English is poor too. 😀

10.

Because there are so many cool accents. I’ve already said that, but it deserves a separate mention. I LOVE that feature of English that it’s so rich in dialects and accents! You can tell where someone’s from just by their accent, and here we can’t really do that, or at least not to such an extend as you! Polish language is much more universal. There are several major dialects that are commonly recognisable, but they aren’t many and not many people choose to speak them on a daily basis, and our dialects are mostly different because of specific words that we use in different regions, rather than accents as in pronunciation differences. That doesn’t mean there are none, but an average person who is not a language geek and has no interest in such things will not hear those subtle differences or at least certainly won’t be able to tell someone’s location by them, unless someone’s accent is really super strong and very commonly associated with a specific area which mainly concerns eastern accents that are influenced by languages like Russian or Belarussian or Ukrainian or perhaps Lithuanian. My grandma has roots in all of the above mentioned countries and despite living in the north for years people can usually hear her long and soft vowels and identify correctly and always ask if she’s from the east or something. But that’s a rare case. I consider myself a language geek and the only things I can recognise are those Eastern accents, some subtle things that are specific to Silesia or Lublin area, and some stuff specific to the highlands and that’s it pretty much. This is due to the fact that after WWII people were massively migrating from countryside to towns and moving around different regions, so the accent has unified a lot. I think it’s such a pity. That’s why for some people the whole concept of an accent is a bit out there and they don’t really know what it is in terms of English. For example my Dad asked me not long ago what that whole accent thing is in English, is it about word stress (because that’s what we call akcent in Polish), or that people have some speech deffects or what, hahaha. And for a long time I didn’t get that either. Like how can you hear that someone is from Sheffield or New York or Glasgow or wherever unless they tell you? 😀 I didn’t hear those differences for a long time either. Only at some point one of my earliest English online friends started to teach me about accents and then one day something clicked in my brain and I started to gradually hear them and now I think for a non native I’m pretty good at distinguishing at least the British ones and of course between which one is British, which Australian and which American, though I have a very hard time distinguishing American accents from each other or I can barely recognise English US from Canadian or New Zealand from Australian. With understanding it really depends on how out there someone’s accent is and how quickly they are speaking. I also like to think that my own accent is very good for a non native, and that’s what people have been telling me, both natives and non natives, though I’m sure I do have to have still at least a bit of Polish accent, not that I can hear it myself (I can’t, but you can’t be a good judge of your own accent I suppose), but because I don’t know many people who have just gotten rid of their accent, and also it is not something I am aiming to in itself, because I guess it would feel weird if people couldn’t tell at all that I’m Polish, as if I was a bit less Polish or something and I don’t want that, and I like to imitate different English accents though, while I can speak some kind of US English (or so I believe) I am much better and more comfortable at British and I have more clue about how to imitate different British accents than American ones, especially the of more or less general southern-ish/Rp and more or less general northern-ish. The only British accents that I know that I cannot imitate convincingly are Geordie and Scottish. But being able to fake different accents has come to me much later on and after a lot of immersion and listening, before than my accent was just kind of Ponglish. Now the only Ponglish I can make is the very extreme one, I believe I can’t speak sort of in-between any longer like I used to – with not overly strong but definitely audible Polish accent – it’s either hardcore Ponglish or normal English (with a possible little bit of Polish as I said), and the extreme Ponglish one I use either for making fun of some kind or with Poles who can’t understand my normal, English English otherwise like Sofi. 😀 Playing with accents is so fun.

11.

Because English is so rich in colourful phrases, idioms, sayings and words. I believe that must come from the very wide variety of influences on this language. Polish is a very rich language in this too, but English seems much more than any of the languages I’ve learnt and sometimes it overwhelms me how many brilliant and fascinating words I don’t know how to use yet. Every language has its words that are untranslatable, but English has just so many! Or maybe it’s just my impression? It’s so flexible and you can do so much with it. Swedish is also flexible and you can make a lot with it, but I guess not to such an extent. I really lack some of the English expressions in Polish these days, especially when talking to someone who speaks only Polish. 😀

12.

Because it lets me read more books, and because reading in English is fun. And because I want to read even more in English. I already read most of stuff on the Internet in English, but with books so far the majority of what I read is still Polish, even thoughh there are more and more English ones thrown into the mix.

13.

Because it lets me learn more about my music crushes/fazas. Even if they aren’t English natives. Usually, especially at the beginning of a faza, it’s easiest for me to find info on my crush in English.

14.

Because, apart from helping me to develop my already existing interests, it helps me to build new ones.

15.

Because I can learn other languages through it. Like I do with Welsh right now. It has its upsides and downsides, but if not my English skills, I wouldn’t be able to access Welsh resources that I can.

16.

Because it shares a lot of similarities with other languages. Swedish for example – when I first started it, I was told it’s just a blend of English and German. – It’s very simply put but it’s true to a large degree, and my English and Swedish definitely help each other. Also while English is a Germanic language and Welsh is Celtic, they influence each other so that helps to some extent as well. And I’m going to learn some more Germanic and Celtic languages in the future, so I am sure English is going to be helpful with those too. Both because I am most likely going to learn them through the medium of English, as well as because they share more or less similarities.

17.

To develop my brain. I’ve written on my brain paranoia and wanting to avoid cognitive issues especially in the Welsh post. It’s hugely important to me.

18.

So I can talk to Misha in English or to myself. If you want to read about my experiments with Misha and foreign languages, I recommend you reading the above mentioned posts. Of all the foreign languages, my English is the best, and so I can communicate with Misha the most easily, if I want to talk to him in a language other than Polish. I also think he responds to it the best except for Polish of course, but that could be due to many reasons, including my autosuggestion.

19.

Every language makes your perspective broader, and kind of adds you a new personality. This is just interesting to observe, but is also great in some self-development, or just self-discovery. It’s interesting to see your thinking pathways in Polish vs in English vs in Swedish, for example. It’s interesting to see in which moments and in what kind of situations my thinking switches from Polish to English or back to Polish or to Swedish, or when it’s a mix of all that plus Welsh. I definitely tend to think about more emotional stuff in English, the same as with writing. Recently I’ve even started automatically praying in English. 😀 The first time when that happened, I only realised that I’m praying in English a few minutes after I’ve started, and that was so hilarious. But obviously God is very multilingual so I let my soul and brain pray in whichever language it’s convenient as long as that doesn’t get in the way of prayer itself because for example I think more of how I should put things rather than focus on praying itself and on God. My dreams have been a linguistic mix for years now.

20.

Because it’s fun to have more than one language to swear in. Even though Welsh or Finnish is better for that than English, English is quite bland and cliche I don’t know why, and most people here know the basic words like fuck or shit so it doesn’t feel the same.

 

21.

Because it can help me with anxiety, as well as with depression, see the posts above for details.

22.

To be able to understand at least some slangs to whatever extent possible, as well as dialects and other such interesting language creations.

23.

To have access to English-language media, like radiostations, and actually understand what they are saying, and not just immerse myself in the language as I’d been doing for years.

24.

To challenge my social anxiety. See the posts above for details.

25.

Because it’s easy. So why not?

26.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only were learning some endangered, minority languages. I wrote more on that in the Swedish post. But also, even if I spoke Swedish, I guess that still wouldn’t look as serious if I didn’t speak any English. 😀

27.

Because, just like with Swedish, I hope it will be also useful in a more practical way, occupational for example. Who knows.

Yay! I thought there will be less reasons for English because it’s so obvious but there are even more!

If you are a native speaker of English, what do you like it for, or why do you not like it? If you are an English learner, what are your reasons for learning it? 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

Say you can immediately speak ten languages. Which ones do you choose?

My answer:

OK, so I’m not counting in the languages I already speak/am learning, which are Polish, English, Swedish and Welsh. The 10 languages I’d like to be able to speak immediately would be: Finnish, Sami (North, or Luleå), Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Scots, Irish, Scottish (Gaelic), Manx and Cornish. Oh how cool, I’ve actually managed to squeeze in all my languages! That being said, I’d love if that would also mean my English, Swedish and, particularly, Welsh, would become more fluent.

What are your choices? 🙂

Question of the day.

What is one language you wish you could know, but don’t?

My answer:

I haven’t started learning many of my favourite languages yet, that I plan to learn in the future. I have some very basic idea about them, like know some basic words and phrases and whatever I’ve been able to catch of them along the way so far, and also I think I have a pretty good idea about how the phonetics of each of them work, and how they relate to spelling, but I am by no means able to communicate in most of them, so I would like to learn them. But since that’s quite obvious if you’ve been following my blog for a while, I can also say that I think it would be cool, in case I will ever learn all my most favourite ones, to try some others, that I also like, not quite as much but still, and find them interesting. Like, perhaps other Slavic languages or the Uralic ones, or the other Scandinavian languages apart from Swedish and Faroese that are on my favourites’ list. If I could go that far, I think the only limitation for me would be that I’d have to stick to the languages with Latin alphabet, because I learn to a large degree by reading and writing, and even if not, I do like to know how something is spelt to be able to imagine it in my brain with some sort of structure, and I can’t do that when I only know the pronunciation, also then when I don’t know how it’s spelt I’m more likely to pronounce it wrong, but I somehow don’t feel comfortable with the idea of learning one or more foreign alphabets especially that from what I’ve heard the support for them in Braille displays can vary a lot, and from what I know my Braille-Sense is not able to display other alphabets whatsoever so it would be a bit of an abstraction. Also, I am an accent freak and I like learning, or at least learning about, different accents and dialects of my favourite languages. Until not very long ago I used to think that I’ve come to the point with my English where I know really quite a fair bit about all sorts of accents and dialects, especially British, at least as for a non native who’se never been to any English-speaking country. I suppose I can’t imitate all of them super convincingly, and I haven’t got very much feedback, but I think I have an idea about how to do most of them and am able to distinguish them and usually understand people unless they’re talking really slangy or fast or whatever. I love all of them, just as I do all my languages. But recently I’ve come across a Geordie Youtuber who made a video about her local accent, and I was virtually gobsmacked! Firstly, I realised that, despite of course I knew such an accent as Geordie exists and, very basically, what it sounds like, I somehow missed it in my accent education! 😀 All the glottalisations are a bit crazy! And secondly, I also realised that it was really pretty hard to imitate, harder than even Scottish! And it’s strange in a fun way! I’ve done a little bit of research online and people generally seem to think it’s difficult, which made me think that I’d like to learn it. It’s fun, just like all the British accents are to me, but the added extra challenge makes it even more intriguing to me. And if I could learn to understand and speak it at least to the extent I think I can do Glaswegian Scottish, I think I would feel even better about my English since it seems to be so hard, haha. I’m not saying I will do it, and I’m almost sure I will not do it right now while I’m doing my Welsh, which requires a lot of creativity and motivation and imagination from me with the amounts of resources available, I’d rather tackle it when doing some lighter language and until then I might change my mind or just forget about it, but I hope I won’t! It’ll be a quirky, fun thing to do I think, even if not particularly useful in life, but which of my languages are going to be practically useful for me? 😀

So how about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What’s your favourite language?

My answer:

For me, it’s a damn hard question! I just have too many favourite languages and I really, seriously can’t tell you which is my most favourite! It’d be like asking a parent which child they love the most. I love each of my languages in different ways, although they’re much more like my life partners than children haha. Each of them has something different that I love in it. It’s also a little bit like that when I’m hearing or speaking or having to do in any way with one of them it feels like I love it the most. 😀

How about you? 🙂

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? 🙂

Reasons why I’m learning Swedish.

Hey hey people! 🙂

Do any of you who were already around here a year ago remember my post

Reasons Why I’m Learning Welsh?

Well I got an impression that it got quite a lot of reaction, at least more than I’d suppose it could on not even a month-old blog, and it seemed like people were interested, and some time before I published that post on my Polish blog where even though I had only a couple of readers it also got quite a lot of attention and more that I initially expected. It was also lots of fun for me, so let’s see how it goes with Swedish this year. I actually should write the Swedish post earlier since I started learning Swedish earlier than Welsh, but who cares about chronology nonsense. Not me anyway hahaha.

I’m going to refer to some reasons I posted in the Welsh post because some of the reasons for learning both languages are the same for me. Also they are in no particular order, just as they come to my mind, and I don’t have any particular number that I’m aspiring to, we’ll see how many I can come up with.

1.

Because I just plain like it. What better reason can you have? I like Swedish language, I like Swedish culture, I like Swedes, (even though I don’t always agree with them or support them in all that they do and in all that is going on in their country but I don’t have to, and diversity of views, opinions and ways of doing things is in my opinion, among others, one of things that makes this world interesting 🙂 ). I love the sound of Swedish. My first contact with Swedish was when I was a very little child, we lived in the countryside, on a bit of a hill, so that when there was good weather, or after the storm, and you went upstairs, you could find Swedish radiostations in the radio. And sometimes I listened to them, absolutely hypnotised by the sound of swedish. I didn’t even know for sure whether it’s Swedish,I asked my parents what it is and they said maybe Swedish, maybe Norwegian, maybe Danish, or maybe something else. But I liked to think it was Swedish, and it was Swedish. I could listen to it for hours, and I still can. After some time I watched “The Six Children Of Bullerby” with my Mum. I always loved the book and Mum read it to me countless times before watching that film. She read the subtitles to me so that I knew what they were saying, but I remember that I didn’t really care about it, I didn’t care about what was going on in the film, I just listened to the language and nothing else interested me, it was so beautiful. So then my obsession with Swedish developed fully and when I was 10 years old, Mum found a teacher for me. I was at the integration school back then for two years, not the boarding school, so it was possible for me to learn Swedish at home which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, we had to face the fact that integration was not for me, and there were also some external factors involved, so I had to go back to the boarding school,which meant there was no point in continuing my swedish lessons as they would be rare and very irregular, and when I was home from school I didn’t really feel like learning anything. I yearned for Swedish terribly though, so had to sort of suppress it, put it deep inside my brain to not have to think about the fact that I can’t learn Swedish to be able to accept it. I succeeded at it, only when I happened to hear something in or about swedish, my brain exploded with longing all over again. But I was able to restart my Swedish when I got out from there. Swedish is one of my most favourite languages, in case of which I feel some sort of pressuring need to be in contact with them, use them, explore them, just be in touch with them as much as possible. It’s a bit strange and hard to explain for someone who doesn’t have, it, it feels like some sort of a strange calling. 😀

   2.

Because one of my music crushes – Cornelis Vreeswijk – lived in Sweden, created music and poems in Swedish, and I usually tend to love my crushes’ languages, since my languages are my fetishes, yeah it might sound crazy but I’ve just had to accept it hahaha. I actually feel like in a way I owe my reunion with the Swedish language to Cornelis. It was in my last year of being in the boarding school, I was at home for some short break, working on some project for school. And in my mind I was hearing a song which my swedish teacher showed to me years ago which we used for learning some new words. I memorised it back then but I didn’t think I could remember it after all those years of not thinking about it, but turns out I did and quite clearly. The song was called “Balladen Om Herr Fredrik Åkare Och Den Söta Fröken Cecilia Lind” (The Ballad About Fredrik Åkare And The Sweet Miss cecilia Lind), which surprisingly I also remember despite the long title, and was a real brainworm, but I didn’t know who did it so I just googled it. And so it was my first conscious contact with Vreeswijk’s music, and I slowly started to get this strange crush despite that actually he wasn’t really my style. If I have a crush, I’m very nosey and want to know everything possible about them, their music, their life, their personality, likes, dislikes, views, whatever. Vreeswijk was quite easy to get a lot of info about, as he was quite (in)famous in his time and still lots of Swedes love him or hate him and he’s well known, but in order to get that info, I had to understand at least basic Swedish. So I had to learn really quickly to quench my thirst, both for Swedish and for knowledge about my crush. And, despite at the beginning before I left school I really suffered for lack of resources, it was speedy, almost miraculous! I could amost feel the words I learned before and forgot coming back to my brain, and the more I listened to Vreeswijk’s music, read and worked on it, the more intense this process of language recovery felt, and it felt gorgeous! Summer holidays came, and passed away, and surprisingly and very dynamically my life changed diametrically and I got out of that school, that’s another story, and quite a yucky one despite a happy ending so I won’t write much about it here. But that paradoxically opened new possibilities before me, and because I had individual education for the next year which was less absorbing, time consuming and anxiety provoking than normally going to school, I had a lot of time to devote myself to my Swedish studies. By sheer luck and a very weird and funny accident my Mum got in touch with my former Swedish teacher so we could start all over again. Well not really all over again, because to huge surprise and amazement of both of us it turned out that my Swedish is actually a bit better and more communicative than those six years ago. 😀 Funny innit? He said that I had to literally skip some stages of development of my Swedish. With time I learned more about Vreeswijk, among others that he migrated to Sweden with his family at the age of 12, with no Swedish at all, but managed to start attending a normal, mainstream Swedish school after a year of learning. And I suddenly felt very competitive. Because wow, he learned Swedish in a year enough to communicate in it properly, and then was fluent like a native as an adult. I want to be like this too! I’m gonna do this! I guess his task was easier than mine as he lived in Sweden, didn’t have much choice about it, and Dutch is much more similar to Swedish than Polish, he was also younger than me which I guess does make a difference. But I guess i accomplished this goal really well. I still am not fully satisfied with my Swedish, but I think I would manage in a Swedish school if I had to. My crush on Vreeswijk has faded, which means that I still have it but it got dominated by my newer crush from Wales – Gwilym Bowen Rhys –  but my crush is my crush so I’m loyal to them all. Vreeswijk was a socialist and had quite controversial views on lots of things, which I most often don’t agree with him about, but I love his lyrics and poems that don’t regard politics and other stuff like that, and my dream is to translate them to Polish. Don’t know how realistic it is, and how realistic and successful could be introducing him to Polish people, but I’d like to try, and I’m still trying, very strenuously, even just for myself.

3.

Because I wanted to read “The Six Bullerby Children” in Swedish. I did. A few times. 🙂

 4.

Because of other Swedish language music. I feel like Welsh music speaks much more to me than Swedish, but they still have loads of great music.

5.

Because so many people think it’s difficult. OK I can agree with you on Welsh, Celtic languages can feel a little abstractive at times, though I am also pretty sure there are more difficult languages. But Swedish isn’t difficult at all. It’s childishly simple. It has some annoying grammar quirks and a few sounds that might be a little challenging, but that’s all. Just because you don’t hear it as often as English, doesn’t mean it’s difficult. I’d risk a statement that it’s easier than English, well my ENglish is better than my Swedish at the moment, but I think overall Swedish is easier.

6.

As I already wrote in reason #1, I like Swedes, I like all of the nations that speak my favourite languages/dialects/accents, and I feel a strange sense of bond with them. Obviously my Polish people are closest to me than any other but I feel really close to all of them. I also want to connect with my people via my languages

7.

To show Swedes that their language is beautiful. I don’t know for sure and I know I shouldn’t generalise but it feels to me like many of them don’t fully appreciate their language, even though Swedish is not like Welsh almost on the verge of extinction. I think we all often take our own mother tongues for granted. All Swedish people speak English, or almost all but I’ve never come across anyone who wouldn’t. It happened to me countless times with Swedes with whom I initiated contact online that I wrote them in Swedish and they wrote to me in English. I know it’s just their kindness and they want to adjust to me (or maybe my Swedish is still so shitty hahaha), but it always sort of frustrated me because it felt like they didn’t want to give me a chance to practice, or maybe felt like Swedish is something exclusive, I don’t know. They were of course happy with it when I told them they can write to me in Swedish, but it felt weird. Same when I was in Stockholm, whenever I couldn’t find a word and automatically used an English one, they would respond to me in English. Ughhhhh. Maybe it’s a little incomprehensible to me because many people in Poland wouldn’t do it. I think I wouldn’t either if I saw a foreigner here and realised that he can speak at least basic Polish. And maybe Swedes just got used to speaking to all non Swedes in English by default because of so many imigrants that are in Sweden who can’t speak Swedish. So I want to show them that their language is also beautiful and worth learning, not so very difficult that a foreigner can’t learn it, and it’s not them who have to make all the effort, the other side can do something too to make the communication easier. If they can learn English, why can’t we learn Swedish.

8.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only learned some endangered languages on the verge of extinction about which most people don’t even have the slightest idea. My Dad still thinks I’m making up this whole Welsh learning thing even if I talk to him in Welsh. But Swedish, yes! Swedish is a serious language! You can earn a lot of money in Sweden, you can translate crime novels, you can work in transport or in embassy! Swedish is well respected and recognised. In Welsh post I said that my learning Welsh is a good conversation starter ’cause people always ask either why or what it is or how it sounds. With Swedish, they always say: “Aww, that must be difficult. But you can do lots of things with it.”

9.

Don’t know how anywhere else, but in Poland people really dislike German language. All the WWII associations aside, they just think it’s an ugly, harsh language. And for some stupid reason they think Swedish is as well. Especially older people for some reason. But it’s not. It’s maybe not as softy as French or Italian, it has a character and is, as I like to put it, al dente, but it’s definitely not harsh.

10.

To scare my grandma. Yes I put it already in the welsh post. No my grandma doesn’t really believe that Swedes are pagans too like Welshies, but she has very conservative views and is slightly obsessed with religious matters, and constantly worries about the whole world like Filly-Jonk from “The Moomins”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a rightist and a Christian as well, but she is a little extreme and, oh well, I just like to make fun of people, even of my tribe. So, any time she sees me and conversation is focused on me/my languages, she asks me what I see in Swedish. “Sweden is such a cold, lawless, self-devastating country of lonely people! Why do you like them so much?” She is very intelligent but can’t comprehend why I like them so much. We often talk about Swedish politics, she asks me whether I know what’s going on there. I’m not always up to date and while I do care about politics, I don’t trace it all the time and for all my favourite countries, but I try to update my knowledge at least once in a while and with Sweden it’s rather easy. So I tell her about some spicier things that I’ve heard, often colourising it, and relish her utter fright.

11.

To develop my brain. For more details on my brain wellness obsession see the Welsh post.

12.

TO scribble in Swedish in my diary. I like my scribbles to be private and in my household no one else speaks Swedish, so I can have a guarantee that if I write in Swedish no one here will get it even if they would find my diary and figure out how to get to it. Also, for me, all of my languages correspond with particular feelings. As I wrote in the Welsh post, for Welsh main ones are anger, enthusiasm, longing and joy. For Swedish it’s happiness, (not like euphoria but just calm, stable, peaceful happiness, contentment and strong pleasure), amusement, surprise, serenity and disappointment/grief/apathy. So I feel particularly inclined to write in Swedish when feeling any of those things. Also, when my crush on Vreeswijk was at its best, I tended to even write to him. You know, if someone is dead, it’s different than when they are alive and don’t know you and don’t care about you. I believe that if there is an afterlife, which I believe there is, those who passed away can know what’s going on on Earth. I was sure that he must know me, and liked to think that he would be proud of me because of my Swedish and all that, and that he likes me. So I took an example from my Mum, who also wrote her diary in form of letters and wrote letters to Cornelis, in Swedish. 😀

13.

To talk to Misha or myself in another language. It was actually my Swedish teacher who suggested to me talking to Misha in Swedish because his point of view was that cats understand every language.

14.

It’s useful! If you can speak Swedish, you can understand at least to some degree Norwegian, especially Bokmål, and even Danish though personally I find Danish rather hard to understand while listening but if I read it I can get at least the mere context. Icelandic is related though not closely enough, but it happens that I also understand some interesting bits and pieces and it’s always nice. Recently I listened to an Icelandic song and understood that “The ocean is cold”, yay for me! 😀 It’s not much definitely but, hey, if I didn’t speak Swedish, I wouldn’t have a clue about it otherwise. One of my favourite languages is Faroese and while it seems to be even further related to Swedish than Icelandic, I believe that once I start learning it, I’m going to be very grateful for my Swedish. I also plan to learn Dutch which is of course not a Scandinavian language but shares some similarities and I can already see it very clearly.

15.

It’s useful not only with Germanic languages. I strongly hope that when it will be the time for me to learn Sami and Finnish, my Swedish will help me, as English helps me with Welsh because all resources are in it. Swedish is always close to Finnish than Polish because of Sweden and Finland being neighbours and influencing each other, and there is a Finnish minority in Sweden and Swedish-speaking Finns in Finland, and the Sami are also a minority in Sweden.

16.

Because “Swenglish” accent is cute, sexy and crasily amasing! I want to know why and how it is the way it is, and what better way could be than learning Swedish, figuring out its phonetics and putting myself in the same position as Swedes.

17.

TO be able to understand what they talk about in those radiostations I was so amazed with as a kid. 😀

18.

To read Swedish books, not only Astrid Lindgren’s. My vocabulary in Swedish is still a bit limited so it takes me a lot of time and effort to read something as long as a book and focus on it and enjoy it, but I try sometimes. I still haven’t read all the Swedish books I’ve got for myself during my trip to Stockholm. Not just because of the language but uhhh scanning sucks and is boring.

19.

TO scare strangers. See the Welsh post for details.

20.

To help me with my anxieties, depression and generally my freaky brain.

21.

Because every language you know gives you a different perspective on different things.

22.

Because if not my Swedish, I wouldn’t go to Stockholm and have so much fun there. I wouldn’t realise that although my anxieties including social anxiety can be really crippling and debilitating, my love for languages is stronger. And because if not Swedish, I would miss some other cool things in life too. Like I wouldn’t meet my friend Jacek from Helsinki. My friendship with him, although a bit stormy and weird, as he was stormy and weird, was also one of the most unusual and interesting things that happened to me, and now that he’s no longer on Earth, Swedish reminds me of his spirit and charisma.

23.

Because I like vikings and Norse mythology. I can like them without learning Swedish but this way it’s more fun. 😀

24.

Because I hope that indeed it will help me in future in some way.

   25.

Because Swedish is so uncomplicated in terms of expressing yourself. I consider myself quite a complex person, with lots of complicated feelings, ideas and complicated things going on, and sometimes I find it difficult and annoying that I can’t seem to be able to express myself properly and adequately, meaning that I can say exactly what I want and how I feel, not have to say that something is either black or white, sounding naturally and not too sublime and sophisticated or silly on the other hand. But in a way I love this trait of Swedish, because sometimes when I feel that my brain goes too complex and I get trapped in it, I like to just sit down and think it through in swedish. Things usually look much simpler then.

Oh my, I wouldn’t think that there will be more reasons than for Welsh! It’s a lot, isn’t it? So i can be sure that it’s worth it! 😍

 

Question of the day.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s the first item on it?

My answer:

I don’t have a bucket list as such, but if I was to make one, among other things I’d surely put all my languages I have yet to learn on there, and they would be on the first places. But now which one would be the very first? That’s my ongoing dilemma. As those of you who are my regular readers might know, I’m reaching the end of my Welsh course –
oh, actually I’m further than that, I’ve finished the last level of the course I was doing and now I’m finishing the last level of an additional course I’m doing, and after that I’m going to do some advanced stuff. –
But what then? 😀 The problem is not that I don’t have any options, but that I have way too many options and just don’t know what to pick first. A strong candidate for my next language is Scots, because I think it would be much easier than Welsh, I can’t say that Welsh is like terribly difficult but a lot of things are certainly different than in Germanic or Slavic languages which are the only ones that I’d known before starting Welsh, so it was a bit challenging, and I feel like I would like to try something easier now for a balance, as Scots is a Germanic language and so similar to English. Then there is Cornish, which is fairly similar to Welsh, also a Celtic language and from a Brittonic branch, so learning it straight after Welsh could be a good idea I feel, the more that the Cornish course is available in the same place where I’m doing my Welsh course so I wouldn’t have to worry about the resources, accessibility, finding a method, bla bla all those things I really don’t like about learning a language. Another language I’m considering is Dutch. I’ve heard a few Dutch people saying that their language is so very difficult, but somehow I don’t believe it. One of my crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk is Dutch although most of his music and poems is in Swedish, but when I listen to his music in Dutch I can figure out quite a lot of words basing on my English, Swedish and little bits and pieces of German that I still remember. Usually it’s not enough to figure out the context, but it really doesn’t seem that very hard, especially that they don’t seem to have such crazy grammar as there is in German. Also another plus of taking on Dutch is that there is also a course available in the same place where I’m doing my Welsh, and then after I’d have some idea about Dutch, I could move on to Frisian. Also it would be helpful IF I’d decide on trying to translate Vreeswijk’s Dutch poems and lyrics to Polish. And last but not least, from the options I’m considering at the moment, there is Finnish. I’m a little bit afraid of Finnish because I’ve tried it before, and the start was a bit rough, I didn’t know how I should approach it, I didn’t have any organised way of learning Finnish, and was just scared of all those cases and other weird phenomena. But it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be doable, and as much as I am afraid, I also feel tempted to try Finnish, just aren’t sure if it’s the right time. All the other languages that I love (Faroese, Sami, Frisian, Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Manx) will have to wait, I’m definitely not ready for them just yet, although since a few months I think more and more and more about Sami, and would really like to be able to learn it very soon. But I think it would be wise to try other, more common language from the same family – Finnish – before such an ultra-rare and complicated thing as Sami, with little resources to learn from, lots of weird characters and phonetics that are still a bit of a mystery to me and I need to get used to them more. I don’t even know which Sami language I would learn because there are actually more than one Sami language. I had a once in a lifetime chance a few years ago thanks to my friend Jacek, that I could hear and learn a tiny little bit of Luleå Sami and I loved it, however this seems to be an extremely rare language and unlikely for me to learn on my own with just the resources I could find online, while the most common Sami language is North Sami, which Iäll probably have to limit to. Whichever Sami language Iäll be able to choose though, it would be a good idea to improve my Swedish before that and have some decent Finnish skills.

So, I really donät know as for now which one will be next. Iäll probably either have to draw lots or ask someone to make the decision for me, as Zofijka does, hahahaha. Unless I’ll come to some concrete conclusion very soon. 😀

OK, so how about your bucket list? 🙂

Question of the day.

In how many languages can you say thanks?

My answer:

Well I may be good at languages, but definitely not at counting and find it pretty unimportant and timewasting, so I think I’ll just tell you in which, and you can count if you wish. 😀

I guess more than I can actually speak.

First my favourite languages, I know how to say thanks in all of them even though I can only speak Polish, English, Swedish and Welsh.

Polish – dzięki, or dziękuję if you want to say thank you and be more formal.

English – thanks.

Swedish – tack.

Welsh – diolch.

Finnish – kiitos, or actually kiiti or kiitoksia, kiitos is more formal than thanks.

Dutch – dank je.

Irish – Go raibh maith agat.

Scots – thank ye, though I’m not sure if it’s actually used in this form as I have never heard anyone saying this in Scots.

Scottish Gaelic – Tapadh leat.

Manx – Gura mie ayd, apparently.

Cornish – Meur ras.

Frisian – tankje.

North Sami – giitu.

Faroese, – takk fyri, takk is also Norwegian and Icelandic, though Norwegian and Icelandic aren’t among my very very favourite ones, though I like them.

And then there are other languages that I most probably won’t ever learn, but know how to say thanks in them.

Danish – tak, well very similar to Swedish so easy to figure out.

Chinese – 谢谢, I had to find the spelling online as I don’t have neither Chinese keyboard nor the slightest idea about Chinese alphabet, but I’ve learned it at school and know how it should sound, haha.

Czech – Dík, know it from my Dad, and heard a lot when we were in Czech.

Russian – Спасибо, from my Mum.

Slovak – Vďaka, again heard it from my Dad.

German – danke, I was learning German at school.

Lithuanian – Ačiū, my Grandad taught me.

Swahili – Asante – I learned some Swahili when I was at school and my aunt’s acquaintance often visited me there, she was teaching me English, but she was also a missionary in Africa and she could speak a bit Swahili.

French – merci, well I guess everyone knows it.

Italian – grazie.

Spanish – gracias, also quite widely known and even if I wouldn’t know it earlier, Zofijka watches a lot of Argentinian series nowadays so it’s easy to figure out.

Wow that’s quite a lot actually, wouldn’t think it’s so many languages haha, it’s funny how some things just get sucked in by our brains. How about you? 🙂

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare. Sharing some stuff mostly about therapy, still with no almond milk. ;)

Weekend Coffee Share at Eclectic Alli’s.

Oes unrhywun fodlon i gael paned o goffi, neu beth bynnag arall, efo fi? Does neb ond Misha a fi ‘ma a mae’n teimlo tipyn bach yn unig…

Yeah… that’s how my brain is functioning right now haahaha. Did two challenges of my Welsh course again, and now my language structures seem to be rather messed up lol. I’m damn proud of myself again, even though I’ve been rather depressed all weekend, and even though now I feel a little bit drained intellectually. Don’t know whether I’m thinking always grammatically correctly in my Welsh, but anyway, I’m glad of it really. I just meant to ask you if anyone’s up for a cuppa, or whatever else, and that there are only me and Misha here so it feels a little bit lonely, however now we’re not just two here, Zofijka just came in, still though some coffee would be cool, wouldn’t it? I won’t drink coffee with Zofijka, so if anyone’s up, join in.

Still no almond milk, Mum said she’d got it for me while shopping yesterday but  she didn’t, she just forgot. But it’s not that very important, we still have a lot of other drinks, and we’re about to order some food from KFC with Zofijka. Mum and Dad are on a day trip.

So grab whatever you feel like drinking or eating and let’s have some coffee share.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask all of you how you’ve been doing this week…

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I”ve had a pretty decent week overall. I’m feeling kinda depressed since yesterday, it got a bit alleviated after I forced myself to do Welsh and that it went fairly well, but I hope that’s just temporary, maybe some PMS stuff or something.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you the therapist I emailed, the one doing psychodynamic therapy, got in touch with me. She wrote she was on holiday so couldn’t contact me earlier. I gave her my Mum’s phone number because my own phone was broken at the time and being repaired, and she wrote she’ll call me the next day in between sessions and told me the approximate hour. So we were waiting, me and my Mum, but she didn’t call at that time although we waited for it for quite a while afterwards and it was like late afternoon, so I went to my room and was doing other stuff and then she called in the evening. It started off badly and awkwardly, because, ya know, what kinda impression you can get when you call someone and their mum answers, or rather what kind of impression you can have about such Mum. She was sure my Mum is some sort of narcissist or other abusive jerk, we didn’t think she’d call that late, I was sure she changed her mind or forgot or will call next day or email me or something. So then I talked to her, was very anxious about that, and it didn’t seem to go well at all, she even asked me whether I am sure that my Mum won’t make any problems later on in therapy because “some parents” struggle with accepting that their child is healing and changing their roles in life and such. I was rather baffled but said I think my Mum is conscious enough to not do such things and I don’t think she’d like to influence my therapy in any way. My another awkward move was that I didn’t tell her I’m blind right away. It was actually intentional, I’ve had so many situations in the past when I would tell people I am blind, like various kinds of teachers, professionals etc. and then they’d say they can’t work with me because they don’t work with the blind, as if there was some secret recipe for for example teaching blind people Finnish, or they’d just panic or something. Also, for me, my blindness is rather a natural thing, so when we finally started to talk and I got so stressed I just forgot about that and whether to tell her about it or not. But after we disconnected I realised that actually in therapy it may matter that I’m blind, a bit more than in some other areas, because indirectly some of my issues are related, or caused, by my disability. Plus, is this really better to shock someone instead of telling them things right away? I felt kinda uncomfortable with this and was pretty sure we’re just not gonna get along after all that, that she won’t be willing to work with me. Also because her first impression of me and my Mum was so disadvantageous, mine of her wasn’t much better. I had an impression she is a very impulsive person and not in the good sense at all. She set our first session for Friday.

I was just physically sick of anxiety waiting for it, thinking more often than I can count about cancelling. I was anxious about this completely new experience in general, but also about meeting this therapist. But at the same time I was strangely curious, and wanted to give us both a chance, and some part of me was extremely determined to finally get some help, although it’s generally just fucking hard for me to ask or receive support.

Finally that day had come so I was all jittery and catastrophising, it just couldn’t go well.

Surprisingly, yeah, very surprisingly, it turned out to be pretty good. I told her I’m blind and I saw she was pretty surprised for a while, but not like shocked, and definitely not in a negative sense, she just asked me why didn’t I tell her about it before so she could come and help me to her office, but I told her it’s just a very natural thing to me so it just got out of my head in the stress to tell her and that I’m with my Mum, i guess she thought she’s my guide or assistant or something and not my Mum because my Mum left very quickly and didn’t talk much to her, she was also embarrassed a bit I guess about that earlier situation. But other than that she was OK with it and had a lot of questions as for my functioning obviously like, you know, how did I find her if I’m blind and who helped me to write an email to her, so we spent some time talking about all things blindness related, and she was in awe about how supposedly independent I am to be able to write emails and stuff. I told her of course about that phone situation and why I gave her my Mum’s number and she was absolutely OK with it, just was worried my Mum is some sort of invigilating narc as I wrote before.

As for the session, I have pretty mixed feelings about it, though overall it went well I think, if you can say anything constructive after the first session with a therapist. She is a very warm person and I found it quite surprising, I’d say she seems more emotional than my previous therapist, the one with whom I did CBT over the last couple months, and I definitely didn’t expect it, I thought for some reason that a psychodynamic therapist would be more matter-of-fact and rational, and I’m glad she’s the way she is, I don’t think I’d do well with someone thinking overly logically. I could indeed say she’s impulsive, but not in the bad sense, I’d say very empathetic and, well, dynamic. 😀 And that’s rather new to me because so far the therapists I worked with were rather calm and very composed, even my first therapist Monika who was very kind and emotional and understanding, was at the same time very very calm. Don’t know what’s better or worse or whether there actually is anything that’s worse or better, it’s just new to me to work with someone like her, as I’m sure working with someone like me is for her.

We talked, rather briefly as for now, about my issues regarding the past, I told her how I feel weird when thinking about it as trauma and that thinking about some of my past as traumatic is very new to me and feels confusing. We talked about my social anxiety and anxiety in general and about my diagnoses, and I told her quite a lot about my general life situation.

She told me something very interesting but also very striking, which no one has ever told me before. I was telling her some stuff about the boarding school and how I couldn’t adjust there etc. you know I was writing a lot about it previously, and she suddenly interrupted me and said that I provoke her all the time to reject me. That I tend to say very biased things about myself all the time like that I’m weird, or that other kids were more normal, or that I very often use negatively marked words to describe myself or my behaviours/reactions, and tend to overly justify people’s behaviours, so that the general message she said she’s getting from me since we met is like “Hey don’t like me because I don’t like myself and you can’t like me!” and it looks like I desperately want people to reject me, Of course I don’t, but as she told me about it, it caught my attention because, yeah, I definitely don’t like myself, most of the time or in most regards at least, but I never thought about it this way, that I provoke people to reject me so openly, and that it could have such a big effect on my relationships. Now I see it, or at least, kind of. It was very striking discovery for me. I wonder whether that could be the reason for so many of my relationships to be so short-lived or ending up yucky, even though I don’t talk to many other people so openly about myself so they don’t get a chance to know what I actually think about myself, in fact I know that many people who know me, or particularly who knew me in the past in real life, think I’m a bit haughty, but I guess there might be some subconscious communication involved as well and I might reject people subconsciously. That’s so weird and I feel a bit confused as for that. And that topic was coming back regularly throughout the session and then afterwards I wanted to give her my real phone number as my phone was repaired by the time I had therapy, so I took out my phone and told her I need to find my number, because my brain is so freaky I don’t even know my own phone number without looking at it, I just love all things numbers. And she wanted to show me I’m doing it again, saying bad things about myself, but then I told her that I’d rather differentiate self-loathing from deprecating humour, because I said it rather jokingly in that speciffic situation. I don’t feel worse from other people just because some of them are better than me with numbers, it’s nothing I want to be good at, so, yeah, I was  just joking, in fact I like it about my brain that it’s more creative and not limited by any mathematical schemes – I told her. But she told me that she’s always had an impression that those who use self-deprecating humour the most usually deprecate themselves in other aspects of life as well more than the rest. And that made me think about Vreeswijk suddenly, so then I knew she had a point here again, and just couldn’t help but laugh. 😀

We didn’t do much more, but I felt relieved after the session, despite those kinda weird discoveries about which I still don’t really know what to think and what to do, I was happy we were able to get along despite that awkward situation at the beginning and I was happy I could talk about some of the issues with someone and that she at least seemed to get it. What I found a bit hard was that I had an impression we’re having some issues with communication. Like sometimes I’d say something to her and she’d talk about something completely different and it was hard to get for me where she’s actually going to, or the other way around, she was saying something to me, and I didn’t know what she meant and wanted from me and we couldn’t just figure out each other. Or pretty often I had the impression that she was expecting me to say something, and if I did something different, her reaction was a bit like I said something kinda wrong, and yeah I didn’t always get what she actually wants from me and it was quite confusing. I don’t really know why it’s this way, I find her way of being a bit chaotic, but then so am I, it just manifests in different ways in each of us, so maybe that’s why, or just because we both didn’t talk to each other before, that I was stressed, and she was surprised by all that she got to  know. Also I find it often hard to describe my feelings clearly while talking so maybe that could be the reason for the communication issues  as well. I just hope it won’t be a long lasting thing and will get better with time as we will get to know each other more because at times I found it a little bit uncomfortable and bizarre.

But overall I think she’s really good and my Mum says that as soon as she saw her she knew I’ll get along with her and she’ll be able to help me, that’s interesting.

Yesterday though, I started to feel a bit crappy emotionally and then worse and worse as if some larger mood dip was about to start and soon I found myself in that dark, self-loathing hole again, and  was overloaded with feelings and felt like self-harming a lot. I didn’t, but it was really strong at some point. I don’t know, whether it’s a coincidence, or some defensive or other kind of mechanisms kicked in so early on, but I think it’s weird I feel this way so soon after therapy when it went so well. I’ve been just so full of depression and anger for God knows what or whom actually and urges and self-loathing thoughts over the weekend, yesterday it was a bit hard to function properly and I would gladly not come out of bed at all if I could, but would it change anything? Doubtful. As I said, today is slightly better, I found the motivation to do my Welsh, which I didn’t do yesterday, nor on Friday, nor on Thursday because I felt to anxious, and that lifted me a bit.

And last, but not least, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Zofijka has just made some chocolate custard, well it’s not custard actually, we don’t eat custard i Poland regularly, it’s like our Polish custard pudding but you have starch in it instead of egg jolks, you can make it from scratch of course but most people just buy the concentrate and then add some other ingredients so it’s quick to make, you can have it in many flavours like vanilla, or cream or banana or cherry or chocolate, or caramel, etc. And Zofijka just saw we have and decided she’ll make it on her own, for the first time. Sofi is a really good cook, so it obviously went well and we both liked it. It wasn’t very sweet but oh well, we just melted chocolate and added to it when we realised it’s not sweet enough and it was yummy. Zofijka is now very happy and proud of her new culinary achievement. :)It turned out she made a bit too much of it just for us two, so we can have some for the coffee share if you like. 😀

OK, so I guess that’s all from me for today.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂

 

Song of the day (16th July) – TrwynaU Coch – Wastod Ar Y Tu Fas.

Hi. 🙂

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything yesterday, I had a Zombie day and was way too Zombie, or so I felt.

Sometime at the very beginnings of this blog I showed you a song by Trwynau Coch called Radio Cymru, and I told you that I really like this band, not only because the only one album of them that seems to be available is really good IMO, but also because I have a soft spot for them because of the fact that their vocalist – Rhys harris – is my music crush’s – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – father.

The band doesn’t exist anymore, but they were pretty popular and liked in their era, as one of the first bands making music in Welsh. Their punk sound and humourous, weird lyrics are quite characteristic.

I made numerous trials to understand their lyrics more, as to most songs they’re not available in English anywhere, and with varying success.

As for this one, I can’t even figure out what its title means so far, I only know that wastod is always, or actually, as far as I know, it should be wastad, but they seem to have a lot of fuss between vowels in different dialects in Welsh, so i guess that’s still the same? The only thing I know is that at least in some part, it’s about dancing, and discos, or more exactly about how the person speaking doesn’t like to dance and doesn’t want to go to the disco, in T-shirt and jeans from Tesco, lol… although I may be wrong somewhere and not understand something exactly. The rest of the song I only somewhat understand, some phrases or words, not always enough to get the context out of it. Well, that sounds interesting for me, the more that I myself have a disco related life long aversion as well, you may actually call it a full blown phobia. So much that it really doesn’t matter to me in what I’d go to it in, I just don’t want.

Question of the day.

What are you currently reading?

My answer:

Recently apart from reading all the other stuff I like to refresh some Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book from time to time. But now I read them in the original versions. Montgomery’s books have a lot of different translations in Polish, and I’ve read all of those which I was able to get in any accessible format, many for a few times, but now I am reading her books in English. This time I decided for a collection of her short stories called “Along The Shore”, which has two titles in Polish, of which one can be translated as Scent Of The Wind, and the other as Traces In The Sand, so it sounds completely different. I often like to read books in different translations, and then in their original version if I can, and compare different details from each of these versions, sometimes you can notice really interesting or bizarre differences. Like if you’ve ever read “The Blue Castle”, you know that its main character’s name is Valancy. But in some old Polish old translation, I guess 1920’s or something, the translator decided he will rename her and he called her Joanna. I’d read another, much newer translation before where she was just Valancy, it was a very good translation and I loved the name Valancy, so, you know, with my name geekiness it was for me like I was reading about a completely different person, she wasn’t Valancy anymore, he was someone different. And also another character named Barney was renamed to Edward. I can somehow understand renaming Valancy to Joanna – her middle name was Jane, and Jane is Joanna in Polish, while there isn’t any equivalent for Valancy, and I guess people in 1920’s didn’t have that much of an idea about how to read English names – but, OMG, why Edward? 😀 It’s neither similar in sound to Barney, nor in feel, nor fits the character, so I couldn’t figure it out at all, the more that the name Barney doesn’t seem to be that complicated to read. And that translation was f***ed up overall, with large parts of text completely cut out and lots of weird stylistic errors. There is also a popular translation of “Emily Of New Moon”, not that bad, but with some errors as well, and one that particularly made me laugh was how the translator decided to describe one of Emily’s cats – a grey-eyed cat with ebony black eyes. 😀 I guess she had to be very sleepy while writing. 😛 So that’s to give you a little idea what such a translation, or mistranslation might look like at times. 😀

But, coming back to reading books in originals, first and foremost if you really like an author and if only you can read their books as they were originally written, it is in my opinion a much closer contact with what they really wanted to show you in their literature. Even the most accurate translation can’t express it fully since every language is so different and, first and foremost, everyone of us has a different style of writing, and everyone interprets things differently, so if you read something in its original version, you have the possibility of interpreting it more on your own and you don’t have to base on the translator’s interpretation of what the author wanted to say, even if it’s just a pretty universal ad easy to read shortstory. And, obviously, if you read books in their original versions, in languages that aren’t your mother tongues, the benefits for your linguistical development and your brains overall are significant.

And what are you reading? 🙂

My fav word *long post*.

Another challenge I’d like to take part in this week is #WYF hosted by Eve over at Revenge Of Eve

What’s my fav word?

As I saw Eve’s post, my first thought was “But, in which language?”. 😀 Guys I have so many favourite words, in so many languages, not only in thesE i am able to communicate in but also other my favourite languages which I didn’t start to learn seriously yet. I even had a time in my life when I was doing a yearly ranking of my favourite words. I am a lover of words and languages and linguistics so this is a damn hard question to answer and I am afraid I won’t be able to answer with just one word, it’s simply impossible, but I’ll try to narrow it down somehow, although am not sure if I’ll manage lol.

OK so in Polish, my mother tongue, my all time favourite word is kulka (KUWL-kah). It means a little ball. I just find it very charming. When I was a little girl, I was playing a lot with glass and metal balls, I just liked them a lot and I liked the word kulka equally. I like how flexible it is. The big ball is kula (but not the ball you can play sports with, this one is piłka), a bit smaller is kulka, smaller than kulka is kuleczka, kulcia, kulinka, kulisia, whatever, the case of your creativity.

My other favourite Polish word is mózg (muwsk) which means brain. I am very interested in brain in general, but none of the languages I love and know how brain is called in them, has an equally nice word for it. I just love to use it whenever possible, even overuse it in some eccentric ways, I use it more than I realise. I can even say when I have a headache that my mózg is aching. Sometime ago my Mum was washing her hair and someone rang to our door, I opened and the person wanted to see Mum, and was quite astonished when I informed her that Mum is washing her mózg. 😀

From some more international words that exist in Polish I love miszmasz or mish mash, it’s so funny and nice to hear. It means the same in Polish in case you wondereD

From some older, a bit colloquial and maybe even archaic for some people words I absolutely adore wydudlić (vi-DUWD-leech, or something close to it any way). It’s an old, underused word meaning to drink something very quickly and greedily. We also have wtranżolić (vtrahn-ZHAW-leech) which means to eat something quickly and greedily, although it doesn’t have this slightly childish feel as wydudlić has.

For swear words my favourite is pierniczyć (pyer-NEE-chich, well English phonetics can’t manage it!). It’s an infinitive, often used in an expressions like “Ja pierniczę (a bit of an equivalent of fuck it or something). THe word pierniczyć or the phrase ja pierniczę doesn’t have any particular meaning as far as I know other than being a swearword, but it’s related (at least etymologically) to the word piernik – ginger bread. It’s such a fantastic swear word, although rather light. Cholera (haw-LE-rah) is one of the words I use in more harsh situations and literally it means the same as in English, as a swearword it’s an equivalent of damn. Cholipa (haw-LEE-pah, the same swear meaning, but not so expressive) is also funny, or its charming diminutive cholipcia.

Recently I’ve come across a deliciously old and archaic, very colloquial word – pitigrilić się – for having sex. I just felt in love with it, pity it seems to be no longer in use.

Oh, and I can’t resist to not mention a very modern, every day word, which doesn’t sound like it originated here, but I don’t know where it did. It’s gites (GEE-tes). Someone asks you how you’re doing and if it’s like really really cool you can just say it’s gites. Or simply git.

OK, that’s for Polish.

The word that would climb very high in my yearly ranking if I did one last year would be glimpse. I love this word more and more. It sounds a bit magical. I like many simple words in English, for example I’ve been in love with the word sleep since early childhood. It’s so soothing and… I dunno, sleepy lol. But in a nice way. I love the word hijack. It sounds so ridiculous like “Hi Jack!”, but I like it for that. I like the name Jack, you know. 😀 From more sophisticated words (oh yes, I love sophisticated!) I adore mellifluous. It’s so mellifluous, I guess we don’t even have the exact word for it in Polish, I mean like a literal translation of it. And there are so many more, but I don’t want to bore you and make this post longer than necessary. But I need to mention one more word which is cringy.

Now let’s talk about Swedish words a bit.

My favourite Swedish word is krim kram. I guess it also exists in other Germanic languages like Dutch or German, although I’m not sure. Krim kram means pretty much the same as English knick-knacks. But krim kram sounds more lyrical and funny at the same time in my opinion. In Polish krim kram are called bibeloty, and this is also a fantastic, old-fashioned word. There are loads and loads of fascinating Swedish words. As for my absolutely favourite Swedish swearword, well if you speak Swedish it won’t be anything very exotic – I love skit. Skit is pronounced similarly to the word sheet, but sk is quite a weird sound, although I can make it I don’t know how to explain it to other people. It means shit, but I love how creative Swedes are with using it. First of all, it is milder than shit, and heard almost all the time among young people. It’s not like a normal word you’d use in any situation, but a very mild swearword. ANd it may also mean dirt of any kind. It’s a bit like English fucking, you can just throw it in a conversation to strengthen the negativity of what you’re talking about. But they also use in in a positive context, like “Det är skit bra” (This is shit (very) good), Du är skit kull” (You are shit cool). ANd that was kind of new to me and I liked it a lot, to use skit to accentuate something positive. It’s just such a skit cool word.

Then another language I speak a little bit is Welsh. I love, love love the word pilipala (simply pee-lee-pah-lah). It means butterfly and omg it’s so charming, isn’t it? I like words that have pil in them, they’re cute in some way. It often makes me wonder how different impressions this nice little insect might make on people in different languages. We in Polish have motyl – which sounds pretty elegant for me, like a butterfly slowly unwinding its wings and majestically soaring over the meadow. Swedes have fjärill – it’s also a cute, little word, but in a different way than pilipala. Pilipala is funny and kinda mischievous, but fjärill is very lyrical and almost poetic, it has some nostalgic vibe for me, don’t know why. Germans have their schmeterling (don’t know how it’s written as I’ve learnt German only for three years at school, so excuse me if it’s wrong) and it sounds so heavy. I mean, many people don’t like harsh languages, I like them a lot, but schmeterling just doesn’t match with what it means, imo. I’m not a big fan of French and other ROmance languages, they just don’t speak to me, but French papillon is adorable and when I hear it I feel like this word somehow flies, is light and smooth, just delightful. Dutch vlinder is cool, but it’s hard for me to picture something particular when I hear it. But oh gosh, as much as I love English, I don’t like the word butterfly. What I see in my mind when I hear it and focus on it, is definitely not a butterfly. It is simply a fly, desperately wagging its wings in the butter. Ew… Yuck! I don’t know who created this word, but it’s a little bit weird.

Oh gosh what a long digression!!! but well, I’ll leave it… you can always skip it if you want, but I’ll leave it to show you how freaky my mózg can be at times haha.

ANother Welsh word I like is hiraeth. I’ve mentioned it smetime before on my blog. Hiraeth means a longing or yearning to something that basically doesn’t exist. It’s usually in context of your home country, when you’re an emmigrant, and you’ve seen your motherland years ago, idealised it, but it’s not like in your mind. It has changed, plus as I said, the picture in your mind is idealised. But it can also regard anything. I very often experienced hiraeth as a child, that’s probably why I resonate so much with this word. Also I’ve heard from my Welsh friend that hiraeth is a longing for something you can’t precise for some reason. And that’s also a thing I’m familiar with.

I would also like to mention a very expressive Wenglish phrase here. It’s actually Wenglish. Wenglish is easily enough a combination of Welsh and English, mainly spoken in the south of Wales, in the valleys. Actually, in the form I like it the most, it apparently isn’t seriously used. They have three words for describing the feeling of rage, anger, madness… These are: tampin’, fumin’ and ragin’. I love them all! And I’ve heard that there was a series in Wales called “The Valleys” and one of the characters used to say “I’m tampin’ fumin’ ragin'”! I loved it immediately as I’ve heard about it. ‘Cause when you like all these words, why make a choice or compromise? Use them all! I love how accurately they describe it when you’re super mad. It doesn’t happen often to me, but when it does, it’s really hard and overwhelming, and it’s really like tampin’ fumin’ ragin’.

Lastly (I promise!)  I want to tell you about my favourite Finnish swear word. I don’t speak Finnish, I know some basics, and my Finnish friend who is also blind taught me a lot of swearwords and other handy expressions like that, but that’s all I can say in Finnish for now. Nevertheless I love this language. It sounds so cool and calm, or at least it seems so, it seems to me just like Finns, but because they always accentuate the first syllable, in my opinion, their language sounds like what you say is very significant. So it’s perfect for declarations of love, or hatred, or releasing your silent anger. You don’t have to scream when you swear in Finnish, just put enough expression in what you say and the rest will come on its own. My favourite swearword of all those I know in Finnish, is vittu, which means cunt or pussy and it is used like fuck in English. For some reason I like it much more than English fuck. It’s also the most popular Finnish swearword apparently. I also like to use perkele, which means devil, or helvetti for hell, or even Swedish helvete with the same meaning, also used in Finland very often.

If you speak any other languages than your native, do you like to swear in it/them, even if not in the country where it’s spoken? I like it a lot and it’s fun, although of course not in all circumstances, sometimes I guess it may lead to pretty awkward situations. 😀 I’ve had a few, but they turned out to be pretty funny. My school friend used to joke I have to be possessed, because she heard somewhere that when people are possessed they swear in multiple languages. 😀 I doubt it though, that would be a rather weird sign for me and sounds like taken out of some paranormal book. 😀

OK, sorry for making it so long, but really wanted to share with you my at least a few most favourite words, and maybe hear what yours are, and what you think of all these i mentioned.

 

Question of the day.

Any goals/plans/things you’re excited about for the rest of March? My answer:
Nothing spectacular. Maybe I’ll be able to pass at least most of my school term exams until Easter, although that’s highly doubtful. As always I hope to develop all my languages, I try to not miss any opportunity to it, although I think I should work more on my Swedish, it’s been my most neglected child lately in all that storm of blogging and writing in English and learning Welsh. And that’s it, I suppose. You?

Question of the day.

Today, my question for you guys is:

How often do you read? Where do you get your books? How do you decide what to read, next?

My answer:

I read ALL THE TIME. Well whenever it’s physically possible while doing other things. As I’m blind, I read (or some of you would probably prefer to say listen to) books usually on a specialised device called Plextalk Linio Pocket (I may post a picture of it just for fun sometime later as although it’s nothing very unusual, I’m sure not many of you could ever see it before 😀 ). It’s small and portable and I can either have audiobooks or talking books in a special format called Daisy on it or I can read ebooks or any other text files with speech synthesis and that’s how I do it most often. I also can read on another device called Braille-Sense which is basically a Braille notetaker with a Braille display, you can read and write in it and it has some APPS and if you write in it you can save it to a text file so it’s not like you have it only written in Braille. I like to read on my own, I don’t do it as often as I listen to books, but I like it even more ’cause I just simply prefer to read than listen usualy, especially if I read in another language, other than Polish I mean.

So when I have time, I read in bed in the morning before I get up, then I read from time to time throughout the day, I read when I’m waiting for something or someone or am bored and have PlexTalk with me and can do it. I always read before falling asleep in bed, very often in the car, and almost always when I can’t sleep at night. So there are lots of opportunities to read, I think.

As for where I get books, it can be problematic at times. Usually, the first place where I go to if I want to read a speciffic book is the website of the library for the blind that we have here, the main library, they have an option that you can simply download any book that is in their collection if you have sent them the proof of disability, speciffically blindness, and if you live in Poland. These are accessible books, but of course not all books are there, and books in other languages aren’t there, well only a few, and certainly not in Swedish or Welsh. 😀 So if something isn’t there and it is in Polish, I usually will need to either just buy it as an ebook if it is available in such form and if it’s in an accessible format, or would have to get a physical book and then scan it, which I just genuinely hate as it’s a bit of a sisyphean task, especially if you’re totally blind like I am, ’cause apparently people with some sight have it a bit easier. So I only scan books that I really really want to read. With English books, I use Audible and Bookshare and have just started with both this year. With Swedish books, an immense help was my Swedish teacher, who borrowed me a lot of books when he was teaching me and I have scanned them, but as I don’t know any blind Swedish people I don’t know how they really get books, well I know they have some organisation like NFB is in US or RNIB in the UK or PZN in Poland and they can have books from their library, but not people from outside the country, so, it sucks a bit. With Welsh books it’s just a pure luck if I get one and I always appreciate it even if it’s not my level yet. There’s so few Welsh books overall so I’m always extremely happy if I succeed to get something or if someone is so nice to help me. I recently got Mabinogion in Welsh, but I’m far behind with the vocabulary yet, so it’s waiting for me.

The way I decide what to read next, is very simple. I have quite a lot of books on SD cards, which I use with my devices, and usually I just read them in alphabetical order, unless I need or really want to read something speciffic at a certain time. And as I still get new books, I never run out of them. As for how I choose books I want to read, I use either our Polish site called BiblioNetka, which is basically like your GoodReads, or I use GoodReads and then check the original title in BiblioNetka whether it’s translated into Polish and if the book is available anywhere for me, then I get it. Also I regularly check new books in our library and get what sounds like I might like it or what I’ve been waiting for, and sometimes I’ll read what my friends or other people I know read if we have similar tastes.

How about you? 🙂

New gem stones in my collection.

I’m really starting to wonder about taking photos of all the stones in my collection and putting them here. It would take a lot of time and obviously I would need someone else to involve in it and take the pictures, but I think it could be a good idea. What do you think?

My Mum wanted to make me a surprise and bought me some more stones which are really beautiful. They are standing on my window and everyone says they look brilliant in the sun. It’s very snowy here recently, but also the sun is shining a lot so they have great conditions to present themselves. I am really happy I got so many new stones recently. I plan to go to the Festival Of Minerals which will be sometime in August in Silesia. I’d love someone acquainted to take a look at my collection and tell me whether all of these stones are really natural and I’d love to take a look at some minerals I’ve never seen before.

As for other things, yesterday I had an intensive Welsh day, well I’ve heard of people having much more intensive days, but it was the most intensive Welsh day I’ve ever had, because I did 5 challenges during one day. My brain felt drained, but, in contrast to the brain drainage I always get when I have Maths, that one felt really good and I felt glad and proud of myself, not depressed and tired as I usually am after my Maths lessons, simply because my achievements were much much bigger. I decided to praise myself for that and when we were going for a walk with my Mum, we also went to the grocery shop as she needed some vegs and I bought myself a chocolate with nuts which is really yummy. We had a really long walk which I definitely needed after all that brain fitness and which felt very refreshing, and my leg didn’t go as crazy as it did recently, I think it’s healing and going better, slowly, but surely. I can’t wait when I’ll be able to go horse riding finally, gosh I didn’t ride for TWO MONTHS! My horse will forget me! 😀 No, seriously I don’t think he will, I had a few years break time years ago and he seemed like he remembered me. 😀

Today I went to my GP in the morning, as he finally came back from vacation. I decided I will listen to my therapist’s suggestion and will ask him to prescribe me Afobam again. Also I asked him for some more Hydroxizinum as I was running out of it and then picked my prescription along with that from the dermatologist I got on Thursday.

I did some more Welsh today too.

I just had a very yummy dinner, pasta with Napoli sauce. Dad and Olek are both at work, so we don’t necessarily have to have some meat. They must always have meat for dinner, but not me and my Mum, so always when they’re not at home, we have something we like and Zofijka usually likes it too, or she eats at school.

Today I also helped Zofijka with her English homework a bit, but it only led to both of us being frustrated. Zofijka is very hard to teach, it is difficult for her to focus and she hardly ever listens what you tell her and doesn’t really get English and I am not really good at explaining language stuff to people and the last thing I’m good at is teaching anyone anything, but since as for now she doesn’t have any English lessons besides school as she used to have, I try to help her as it’s at least something.