The enjoyment of reading

I’ve just been reading the BFG to myself in Greek and this makes me quite happy that I can follow what is happening in the story. I don’t quite get all of it yet but if I continue I should be a lot better than when I started.

The first time I tried to read this book I was concentrating far too much on what I didn’t know so I didn’t understand the story at all. I know the story and I’ve seen various film adaptations but to actually read the original is quite different. I also referred to the English version far too much so I lost the flow as they don’t always correlate. What I do hate in writing though is the justification of words to fit in columns that results in lots of hyphens. It’s difficult enough to read the words and to have them split across 2 lines is just plain irritating. How am I supposed to read it out loud and put the emphasis on the correct part if I don’t even know what the word is?

This is The negative side of trying to learn to read in a foreign language.

Wishing you all the happiness in the world.

Angela

Making money from blogging

This is something that I struggle with greatly because I like writing but I don’t want to dilute what I am doing by focusing on the monetary aspect of this. I would like to make money but since it is not the focus, I find it hard to find its place against the creative aspects. The writing is relatively easy in comparison to the more technical things like making sure this looks good, its performs etc. I used to be a lot better in regards to the technical side of things but then I also used to not be anywhere near as good at the writing side of things. So as usual its swings and roundabouts trying to balance everything.

In addition to the books that I have written that are for sale on my Amazon author page, I have examined the possibilities that are present on the web for earning extra income. I have looked at Fiver which is a website where people post the things that they are good at in order that someone hires they to do one off jobs or possibly more if you really find them valuable. Proof reading is another aspect that you can do in your spare time but does bunch around exam periods. There are of course apps like Grammarly that do this for you now. I’m sure you have all seen the ads on YouTube before the video you selected plays.

As I’m not much of a public speaker, I haven’t done much in the way of YouTube videos. This can be beneficial to teach others a foreign language as many polyglots and hyper polyglots employ this strategy to demonstrate how proficient they all are. this helps drive business for them as they are very comfortable talking and in some cases this is in fact how they learn. You can’t underestimate the importance of spoken communication but for a person like myself that is notoriously reticent when it comes to presenting verbally, its not for me hence no language course.

I don’t particularly like dealing with strangers and I’m reluctant to spend my entire life online in front of a computer as its not good for my eyesight but occasionally needs must. As an introverted person I prefer to spend my time with those that I know. I don’t don’t like spending money much which I’m sure many of you can appreciate how difficult it is to part with your hard earned cash. Especially if its in short supply which it always seems to be with me. I have to rein in my impulses to spend money on frivolous items as then I will be able to contribute to more worthy causes and get better value for my money. This makes my online presence fraught with problems as its how much do you reveal to gain an audience and how much do you keep secret so that you are not oversharing? As you may come to realise, boundary issues are another bug bear of my life.

Since I don’t want to add ads onto my site, I’m battling myself here as I think over-commercialization cheapens something. Meaning, that the money is in charge here and the companies that are responsible for the advertisements and not myself. I in effect don’t want to be branded a sellout as many products lose the quality that you loved in the first place when they go chasing revenue streams. I don’t wish to jeopardise my authenticity and creativity for cold, hard cash.

I have looked into affiliate marketing which is essentially promoting others services in exchange for greater site traffic and brand awareness. Its almost like doing a deal with the devil. How much equity are you willing to sacrifice to gain a foothold in the market. I see these battles on Dragon’s Den all of the time. They always have to give away more than they initially thought to get the expertise and the investment.

Having passive streams of income is a nice idea as it seems that you can have a steady stream of money flowing into your account for very little work. Again this is dependant on whether you are appealing to the mass market and for most creatives since we are innovative, we tend not to be part of the in crowd. So this hasn’t worked for me so far but it does for others otherwise this option wouldn’t be available.

The next area to address when looking for funding is Patreon. This is a fairly new idea to the market that offers you the opportunity to market to a community of creatives. It charges a small fee while you hold all of the rights towards your work. You create content, decide who can view it based on the various tiers that are in place and your patrons pay you for the privilege of early access to exclusive content. Many artists of the past were only able to create the work that they did because wealthy people funded them.

I have a problem with subscription based services as I just recently cancelled my Apple Music subscription that I have been paying for a couple of years. I now have a phone filled with music that I can’t get from anywhere else due to it being in foreign languages that mostly no longer plays. Sure I can go to YouTube to play the videos but it was for when I went travelling and didn’t have access to the internet. This is why Spotify wouldn’t work here. Since I don’t have a laptop either I can’t download from various sites that are available. That’s slightly dodgy too so I don’t recommend the lengthy steps involved to achieve this result. So I’m left with a conundrum of what to listen to and how.

I am also left with the issue of how to promote myself while not asking for PayPal donations like some other bloggers do. Is it sufficient to just blog for the sake of it given the amount of competition out there and just hope that one day I will make it big like George RR Martin, J K Rowling or Victoria Hislop ?

(It took these authors quite a considerable amount of time before they became profitable.)

Here is the follow up article I did about this dilemma:-

Reasons for and against monetisation

Best wishes

Angela

Connection

www.youtube.com/watch

While I don’t have this condition, I have experienced the forgetting people’s faces and names many a time. They are never happy about this fact and then you have an embarrassing conversation about how this is a common occurrence for you and you don’t know how to fix it. In truth I don’t think there is a universal fix for this and you just have to muddle along.

A rest from cerebral matters

Today I wasn’t sure what to do so I got creative and made some fairies. I also looked up the Greek for the phrases that I wrote. By the way the word Eirini while meaning peace is also a girls name.

You can also see a book I’m reading, Max Tegmark’s Our Mathematical Universe, My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. So you see that I can’t always be intellectual. Sometimes I need a break to be a little more childish.

Getting back to basics yet again

Everyone can learn a foreign language if they want to but many of us use the same tired excuses. I don’t have time, money the opportunity to go to a foreign country etc. These are all justification for not completing what we want to do in life. If we want something we go get it. We do this when we are children but when we grow up, life gets in the way. We need sufficient motivation to be able to pursue our goals without guilt. We don’t feel we are able to indulge our passions because of so many obligations that become part of adult life. When frequently neglect our well being to do something that is not always necessary. At least not right this minute.

I have tried many attempts to write this posts but they all were not right so in the spirit of Marie Kondo I stopped as they didn’t give me joy. I also read about the latest book by Cal Newport which advocates for Digital Minimalism. This is taking the same attitude to our digital lives. He revolutionised our work lives with Deep Work just like Timothy Ferris did with the 4 Hour Work Week. Now Newport is back to declutter our personal lives.

I’ve never been a fan of Twitter and I quickly got rid of my account as it was wasting my time. I have recently stopped posting so much on Facebook and I barely use Instagram as it’s just pretty pictures. I can’t stand Snapchat as it just seems so pointless even though I’ve had an account. There are many other social networks like linked in that I’ve joined and not used because I have seen the point in them past the initial novelty.

The best friends are ironically the uncontainable ones as you have the best conversations with them. It’s unfortunate that I rarely see any of them but that’s just how it is.

Living without alcohol is a big struggle but it can be done. You just need the right mindset and people around you. You need a support group so that they can assist when things get tough. The addiction to alcohol that a lot of us have means that we feel we can’t socialise without it. Sure it frees us from the worries of work and everything else but there are more effective methods out there. The young adults are showing us it can be done

Revolutions in societal thinking is possible but it does take a whole generation to mobilise and say we’re not eating meat, drinking alcohol or putting up with plastic pollution anymore. We are going to look after our environment by finding ways to power our planet that is more environmentally friendly.

I’m sorry this is a rather disconnected rant but I’ve had so many ideas pop into my head all of a sudden that it was difficult to sort them out. A sort of midnight madness that clears your mind before you sleep and you reanalyse it in the morning to see if it was actually any good.

What do you all think about my ramblings?

Wishing you all to be in good health,

Angela

When you suddenly realise you know more than you think

It’s interesting that at some point in your language learning journey it will occur to you how much you have learnt. You may not realise this for quite some time but when you do, it hits you like a bullet.

To explain a bit about my personal story, I love the Greek language and I started from scratch. Although being an English speaker you could debate that given the amount of words that have their origins there. I used to spend many hours listening to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDEMh-SVbgWi4o0giQEIFYvZUg Kostas Martakis songs because they were simple bubblegum pop and he is certainly easy on the eyes being a former model.

I followed this by watching Nikos Vertis – Eisai einai asteri https://youtu.be/6Ye0NOn7nrI
or You are a star. It is a beautiful love song that you can easily find with English lyrics. For those that are not quite so sappy try To Kyma (wave) by Melisses (honeybees). https://youtu.be/GBSqFT1yqqU

For more song practice I tunes is good as it’s one of the few places you can get hold of Greek songs and there English versions too. Beware because of the grammatical differences between the languages you might end up with some funny phrases. Helena Paraparizou sings about the love police in Fiesta https://youtu.be/TTEMu1t4BxM
but it’s also present to some extent in the Greek version but it’s agape poli or much love here. https://youtu.be/JG-TPHlqerg

If soaps is your thing, there are subtitled Greek soaps made occasionally by the Lacta company which makes Greek chocolate bars. These shows https://youtu.be/k4L0he1WC0I
are really funny and the acting while completely over the top is so very Greek. You don’t really need the subtitles unless you want to know every little thing. These are an amusing diversion from studying but your still learning.

I also have a Greek version of the BFG to progress with as it was above my level last time I tried reading out loud. This is a lot more difficult than just reading.

Now I have progressed to the point that I’m watching Ted x talks but in Greek. https://youtu.be/fZi1f2OS7nU
There fascinating for the cultural insight that they give you and the fact I just love the sound of the Greek language. There is of course huge variance just like with all languages and people. I haven’t got to the point yet where I’m understanding why he suddenly laughs but I will get that eventually.

As well as reading a Greek newspaper (see recent posts) with Google Translate and a Greek language learning FB group as backup; I can write to one of my Greek friends and she can understand. She has for instance asked me where am I on meeting my brother in law and asked when am I visiting as she misses me. I do still need help with spelling so the internet and autocorrect are helpful here. I don’t think I will ever have a native level but I’m not aiming for that. The ability to communicate effectively is sufficient. This has must certainly been quite an undertaking though. Learning a foreign language when you have dyslexia is not for the faint hearted.

What challenge have you undertaken that is now starting to yield results?

Best wishes

Angela

Literature

I am a keen reader of books of all kinds as I love words. This makes it fitting that I also have a love of the Greek language as so many words in the English language originate from there. In a bid to help me learn all about the Greek culture I read every book and watch every movie that I can get my hands on to further my knowledge of this fascinating culture.

To acquire this bounty it includes such classics as Zorba the Greek (book and movie), as well as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres (so far only the movie); and some of the vast media catalogue on the Durell’s for instance, the TV show about their lives as a family on Corfu and books like The Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence or the well known My Family and Animals by Gerald. However, no list could be complete without also adding in more recent books like all of Victoria Hislop‘s books and to have another Greek point of view, I’m going to start on Panos Kanezis books, The Maze etc shortly.

I can usually be found with my head stuck in a book and since I read at an astonishingly quick pace if the book is well written, I’m soon to be found in want of a person to tell them all about the book I just devoured with great relish. These are my latest interests but I do have a book on how Virginia Woolf et al fought to learn the Greek language as it was the language of the learned people and an anthology of Greek poetry from the last 2000 years as Lefkás has Sappho and the poet Aristotle Valaoritis island nearby and his shrine.

I wish to have a balanced viewpoint of people and their cultures through time hence there are books by the English living in Corfu and various other Greek Islands from the 30’s-50s (Durell’s), some of whom could speak Greek (Lawrence in particular) but there is also Victoria Hislop who has written on many aspects of Greek life as she can also speak Greek. It helps to lend an authentic air to her stories when you know she has mixed with the locals to gain inspiration for her stories. There is nothing quite like reading a Nikos Kazantzakis novel though with the gravitas that he lends to his writing. It is truly a spectacular talent that he had as he lifted all that read his masterpieces to a higher plane of thought. There should be greater appreciation of his work outside of his native lands but if I praise him too much that means the books will go up in price and I will not be able to buy them so cheaply anymore 😉

Best wishes

Angela