How to overcome irrational language fears

https://blog.thelinguist.com/the-mind-the-brain-and-language-learning

For the longest time I had an irrational fear of offending people with my language skills. To this day I don’t speak if I can get away with it. This is due to my childhood but also many subsequent incidents. However, this does not mean I am incapable of speech or that I don’t understand other people when they speak. I’m slowly overcoming all of my childhood fears about being inadequate and growing into the adult I’m meant to be. If I can do it then surely everyone else can also accomplish all that they set out to do. It just takes time and patience as well as hard work. These are not always around in a great abundance. Therefore we have to make the most of the resources we have. With the desire to change you can achieve much more than just having the talent for something. Attitude and motivation are key factors here.

This is inspired by one of Bogdan ‘s many questions on the blog over at Pointless Overthinking . You should check out the daily question that turns up about 6pm. It may vary where you are but it’s always at the same time without fail. It’s one of the constants of blogging here on WordPress along with several articles by Cristian Mihai as he does have 4 blogs.

Best wishes

Angela

How to increase your attention reblog

https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/08/increasing-the-attention-span/

This is yet another series of blogs that I have been digesting recently. This is also quite the mammoth undertaking so be prepared for the time investment required to properly appreciate what is written here.

If you were to write at length, what would be your topic of choice?

Angela

The Durells

This is good Sunday night television as it’s relaxing and idyllic. It’s set on Corfu in the 1930s. It features Greek conversation between the natives but also Lesley Durrell.

Sometimes you just need something that isn’t intellectual to practice on. The speech isn’t very distinct but there are subtitles to help. Normal speech tends to be quick and you only catch the most accented words. This can be problematic so going with the gist can be useful since this is only for enjoyment. However, the problem comes when you need to put this into real life. I will hopefully get better this year but as I’ve learnt this isn’t something you can rush. It happens at its own pace.

Do you have any tips that you use to increase your foreign language learning abilities?

Αντιο

Αγγελικα

How to learn conversational Greek

https://www.alphabetagreek.com/about-me

Danae Florou is a lovely lady that writes for this website. It is her passion that she started and she saw that there was a gap in the market for those that had surpassed basic tourist knowledge but wanted more and to be able to converse with locals in a more natural manner. It would seem the blogosphere also adores her as my ratings rocketed after posting yesterday’s email from her. As much as I would like to keep this information to myself, it isn’t right so I’m sharing it all for you to help yourselves become better learners.

Which gems have you come across recently?

Best wishes

Angela

Longevity

  • Do you have what it takes to commit to blogging?

    • Are you prepared to blog continually no matter what happens in your life?
    • If you are not then why are you starting a blog in the first place?
    • Are you going to stop blogging when you come across the first hurdle ie you become disheartened?
    • If you do then why did you create your blog?
    • Are you one of those that thinks a blog is a get rich quick scheme?
  • If you are then your going to be sorely disappointed.

  • Making a successful blog takes a lot of time, patience and hard work. You have to :-

    1. write well,
      write about interesting topics,
      write in an engaging manner,
      write so that you connect with your audience and
      write in your own authentic way.
  • This is a tall order to do all of those things but you have to persevere. Everyone knows that anything worth doing isn’t easy.
  • In fact it is the most worthwhile moments in our lives that scare us the most. The life defining events like our marriages or the birth of our children terrify us to our very core as we are never sure we are ready but we overcome all obstacles in our path.
  • What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
  • I may be starting to sound rather cliche here with all of these maxims but there true and have passed the test of time.
  • We all know how to live our best lives but occasionally we need help to keep ourselves on that path. It takes courage to admit we need assistance and that we are not flawless. When we open ourselves to the fact that our egos do not define us and in fact are holding us back. Then we can progress and make the world a better place.
  • I plan on using this motivation to continue my blog and not to quit.
  • How are you planning to keep your blog going through thick and thin?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Reasons for and against monetisation

    I watched this video and she brings up some amazing points. These are things we all know and we all do yet we powerless to prevent them. It’s autonomy that we all crave and control. The ability to decide for ourselves what we are going to do when, how and also why. We can all live richer lives but without the riches that we think we need to do so. She draws upon Ancient wisdom but also the knowledge we learn growing up and foolishly discard as being outdated. We need money but not as much as we think. It’s about learning that self discipline and if we cannot planning accordingly so that we never run out of money.

    This is the first video that deals with making money and my issues with this :-

    How to make money from blogging

    Best wishes

    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

    Lightbulb moment!

    I read an article about Keira knightly who said that she was dyslexic but that they only found out a year into her schooling. This was because her mother read lots of books to her and it’s only when they came across new ones that problems were discovered. Keira had memorised them and that’s what I do with words.

    It explains why I read everything in sight so this would not ever be an issue. My autism allows me to combat my dyslexia in a novel way but it’s still an acquired skill that can disappear if I’m not feeling top notch. I covered up my problems so well, that despite a few grammar issues that persisted throughout my education; nobody including myself ever thought I was dyslexic.

    I only uncovered this with my attempts to learn Greek and the fact that I most certainly do not read in a normal manner. This causes lots of additional difficulties in Greek because of genderized conjugation. Grammar is also completely different and highly flexible. This requires a lot of attention to learn all of the spelling patterns and word pairings especially since I have sequencing issues due to my autism. The cases (dative, accusative etc) are a big thing here which is not quite so obvious in English. There is also the tonos to account for which isn’t present in English. Thank goodness they got rid of all the other accents and breathing marks from modern Greek that are still present in older styles of Greek.

    As regards my reading I can sight read to pick up the gist of something but I may miss subtleties or I can read all of the words in a normalise fashion. I know when I’m tired as I’m reading words and there just not sinking in. They remain on the surface like bread floating on a pond instead of being submerged as they have absorbed water.

    This also explains my difficulty with speech as there are so many different ways to pronounce a word and the right way depends on so many factors. Your country, age, education, class, the influence of those around you, the language(s) you speak and for what purpose you use them as well.

    I have more difficulties with grammar and spelling now with the English language as well. Which is why it is helpful to write my blog as I continue to keep my level up. Without this constant practice I will certainly diminish my skill level.

    Just like a muscle wastes away without use so does the skills that we learn throughout life and the abilities present in your brain. So keep active and keep positive. If you do the things that you enjoy even if your not initially good at them. This will cause neuronal growth and you will learn that activity. So nothing is impossible. As the saying goes, even the word says I’m possible.

    Good wishes to you all,

    Αγγελα (pronunciations produce all manner of spellings and there all right as Greek is a phonetic language.)

    Happiness comes from surprising places

    I saw this and then I read it – it’s the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Followed shortly after by this as it’s on the adjacent page. I knew nothing of what it contained so it was a real joy that I could actually read this without resorting to Google translate.

    The article starts with Penelope Cruz talking about what she thinks of what I now know to be world famous Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. This bit didn’t initially make sense so I had to read it a couple times and keep coming back to it. It makes sense when you realise Penelope Cruz is Spanish and he has worked in Spain. I read this in a rather bizarre manner hence this is constructed in a rather odd way. A bit like myself really.

    Where an Iranian filmmaker Asgkar Faranti, is talking about his love for his home country Iran and how long it took for the film displayed in the picture of the article and that he has just been in; to be made. He mentions being lost and without purpose as he had stayed so many years away from his country of origin. As he had previously worked in the USA, Spain and Paris. He hopes you will understand his longing to make a film in his home environment.

    The article goes into detail about the struggles the actor has faced trying to build his craft and get his catalogue of films to market. It hasn’t been easy due to the political situation but he has studied hard gaining a bachelors of art in 1998 that allowed him to pursue a dream that he created for himself when he was just 14 years old. He had previously had to satisfy himself by working on Iranian television but by 2006 had transformed Iranian cinematography with 4 films.

    A win at the Cannes film festival and Oscar nod in 2012 has suddenly brought his discography into the limelight. He was the first from his country to win an Oscar for a foreign language movie. Which he repeated in 2017 with honours from the Berlin festival too. He believed it was so important to showcase everyday life in Iran. It has stories about how family life still goes on despite difficulties. For the longest time he was not able to work in Iran. It mentions Donald Trump too and his fear of Iranians that was quite an issue for himself in 2015. However since he is now the biggest artist in Iran, he has become a celebrity.

    Άνγκελα (This is how Angela Merkel’s name was written in a recent newspaper report and it’s always said with a hard g sound).

    Reading

    Reading is very important for comprehension but also so is understanding. Reading is difficult for dyslexics of which they are many in both my own and married families. I’m starting to think that in my adopted language of Greek that I possibly have this too but not in the way that any of them have. You can also read in a hyperlexic way. While a dyslexic has an inability to read hence the term coming from 2 Greek words dys and lexic; a hyperlexic can very easily read and in fact will do quite quickly. It is this apparent ability that causes issues. The problem with a hyperlexic is that they don’t understand what they are reading. This is similar to how an autistic reads. They can do sight reading because that is just pattern recognition after all. This is another thing that is common across all 3 conditions. The ability for words to transform into hieroglyphs so you recognise the symbols (letters) but when they are combined in new ways, you don’t always get what they are trying to tell you in terms of content or pronunciation.

    Autism is another word originating from the Greek language meaning self. As it’s a gendered language you have he, she it being auto, aute and autos. The strange thing here is with it being said afto, afte and Aftos. Then of course you have to factor in that it is a different alphabet with only 24 letters so not everything maps directly. This causes lots of issues with spelling etc as the above words are represented as αυτό, αυτή και αυτός. This is quite bewildering at first and will still get me on quite a frequent basis. It probably always will which is a pain but that’s life.

    This is another article I did on the challenges of learning to read in another language The positive side.

    Αντζελα (yet another way of writing my name in Greek that’s closest to the English pronunciation.)

    It’s ok to take a break

    As you may have noticed the primary purpose of this blog is to write about things that are Greek in some way. I don’t always have sufficient material to write this so sometimes I take a break and write about things that while not inherently Greek; perhaps got there start there or have a rather tenuous link to the Greek culture etc

    I get distracted easily so I often having many projects on the go. Reading a Greek newspaper is very demanding as I have to look up lots of words etc so if I’m not in the best of health like right now; I will chose easier hobbies like watching videos about how Greeks came to America…

    It is ok when you are focusing on something so much to allow yourself a little time off. This often provides clarity and stops you getting into a rut. As an example, one of my friends is getting married soon and we went dress shopping but since she had seen so many dresses, she was getting colourdrunk. The more common phrase for this scenario is you can’t see the wood for the trees or you can’t see the bigger picture as your focusing too much on the detail.

    These things trip us up more than we think and we mentally berate ourselves for not doing enough or for not being perfect. We are all human at the end of the day so we need to take a chill pill occasionally.

    After the break we should have regained our energy to be able to fire on all cylinders once again. However we have to be careful not to continue with the same habits that created the problem in the first place. Our daily lives need to be adjusted to cope with more flexible working hours etc. Re-education is a constant way of reminding ourselves that there are always better ways to do things both at work and at home. Innovation only comes through rest though as stress is its opposite.

    So here I am, Angela the English Introvert taking a break like I do most weekends in a bid to find some creative energy to make comment worthy posts. Filakia (little kisses) as is said in Greece.

    Persistence

    Now persistence is most certainly a quality that I have in spadefuls; but it’s difficult to know when one is being obstinate and when one is simply being determined.

    I follow through on many an idea until what I believe is, it’s logical conclusion. This is obsessional but if I didn’t pursue things to that degree then I would give up very soon.

    On the times where I did give up shortly after starting, I do wonder what would have happened. The result however is the same regardless of the duration of the pursuit. I know lots about something or someone but everyone else is oblivious as usual.

    The lack of interest by the world at large makes you think you are doing something wrong. You can never figure out what it is despite the examinations and your just left in a quandary. It’s quite deflating to constantly put in all this effort, to have all these grand plans and for them to never reach fruition.

    Without feedback you are stuck in a loop that never ends no matter how much you try to escape. That’s why I need the help of the community so much.

    With hopeful expectations of brighter things to come.

    Angeliki (a Greek version of my name)

    Feedback

    I just thought that since I have recently started my second blog; I would do things differently on this one. Therefore I’m going to ask if there is anything that my readers would like me to write about. I want to hear your opinions on what you like/dislike and how I can improve. As regards contact how do you want this to happen and in what way? I’ve never had much success with blogging even though I’ve done it for quite a while now. I write because I need to share my thoughts and feelings with others. It’s therapeutic for me and hopefully it helps others who experience the same issues that I have. Would the audience like more frequent posts, a variety of posts? I stopped writing on here for a while to focus on other areas of my life but now I’m back. It’s good to build connections but they have to be worthwhile otherwise they just drain you. It’s very difficult being me but I try my best as that’s all a person can do at the end of the day. Comment, email, like, share whatever you prefer.