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There and Back Again: Travel Notes

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Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

Jun '13

Agile Planning for Language Learning

I’m returning to French after a long break.  I lost my momentum last summer bit by bit. The less new material I learned, the staler the old material got.  After a while there were so many overdue flashcards I couldn’t dig my way out. But I missed it.  I’ve made more progress with French than […]

Aug '11

Visit Your Local Library From the Other Side of the Planet

You already knew the library has travel books and guides to sabbatical planning. Did you know you can still use the library while you travel? Many Massachusetts libraries offer downloadable books and audiobooks to their patrons through Overdrive. Visit your local library’s website to find out how to join. You’ll be able to check out […]

Jun '11

French Keyboards

The French keyboard is similar to the English keyboard, but a few of the most-used keys are in different places.  In order of irritation, those are A, Q, M, and W.  Period, slash, and all the numbers require the shift key. The ‘@’ symbol needs ctrl-alt. I have no idea where the Euro symbol is. […]

Nov '10

Now I Know My ABCs

Nearly all of them, anyway. It won’t be long to collect the whole set. Here’s some art I picked up for my apartment – an alphabet poster. The consonant song covers all of the big letters, and the vowel chant pronounces the smaller ones at the bottom. Some of the pictures are mystifying. Is that […]

Oct '10

Language Lessons

One of the staff runs an ad-hoc Khmer language class. A fellow volunteer and I met with him on Wednesday. Then we went back to our desks and practiced on our poor coworker. It was a bit like A Christmas Story: “I liiiiike coffee!” (Knom chole chet kafi!) “I work at the hospital. WIth YOU.” […]

Oct '10

Reading is Fundamental

Now I know some ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me?

Oct '10

Book List

I’m staying in one place for the next several months, so I brought some hardcopy books. If I had to carry them from place to place, it would be a different story. My suitcases were pretty full though, so some books stayed home. These books made the final cut: Cambodian for Beginners was the first […]

Aug '10

Slowing Down Language CDs

The rhythm and shape of a new language is strange at first. Not only don’t I understand the words, I can’t get my head around where each word begins and ends. My MP3 player lets me repeat, but doesn’t slow down. Pimsleur language courses teach new phrases in chunks. After the initial repetitions, a couple […]

Aug '10

Khmer fonts for Mac OSX

It’s been easy to find Khmer fonts for Windows and Linux, but much more challenging for OSX. May these links make it easier for you. Nimol’s instructions for Mac installation are excellent. Nimol includes links to the font and keyboard layout files. The Multilingual Mac site took me to more goodies at Nokorsoft. The Khmer […]