Tag Archives: Duolingo

What’s Been Happening…

last picture of my car
My car before it was towed away for scrap 😦

I’ve been fairly quiet on this blog over the last several months. In truth, things haven’t been great: I had a hard time when war broke out in Ukraine (not only because I have friends there, but I also had a really hard time with the disconnect between what was happening there, how WWIII might have started, and how life was just continuing on as normal here). I hurt my back, and later aggravated the injury. And more recently, I unexpectedly had to scrap my car 😥 (which ended up all its own saga – though I am still incredibly sad about it, thankfully the saga is over now!)

So now that things are starting to feel better (my back is doing okay, I’m in a better head space, and the aforementioned car saga is over), I thought that this would be a good time to regroup, take a look at my goals for the year, and see how things are going. I know that things haven’t been great: I haven’t really accomplished much of anything that I set out to do. But I have made some progress on some goals (and have recently stepped up working on other goals). So here’s what’s happening:

  1. Read 25 novel-length books that I already own: so far this year, I have managed to read nine books that I own, but only 5 of them were books I already owned. I’ve once again started bought a few books and read those (for my mom’s birthday, she wanted to go book shopping, so I bought myself something, too!) I also had a really hard time wanting to read things when the war in Ukraine first broke out – a lot of books, both historical fiction and fantasy, seemed to revolve around wars, and I just couldn’t deal with them. So hopefully I’ll be able to read more in the coming months without problems!
  2. Continue working on my story from Script Frenzy: so far, no work has been done on this. But again, hopefully in the coming months I’ll be able to get back to it!
  3. Work on a new story, too: this actually happened, rather by accident. Over the weekend I spent almost an entire day worldbuilding and writing for something totally new. I haven’t been that inspired to work on anything in a really long time; it felt really good! I don’t plan on sharing any of that work here though. I’m treating that as fun writing to help me get back into the swing of things. 🙂 (This wasn’t the story I was thinking of back in January, but that’s okay! I am honestly just so happy to be writing again after such a long hiatus!)
  4. Language Learning Goals:
    1. Duolingo French tree – turning to gold what I had unlocked so far: I’m making slow but steady progress on this. Unfortunately I don’t think I wrote down exactly how many lesson bubbles I had to go back in January (I said I was almost at Unit 5, and wrote down the ones I’m trying to get to in Unit 7). But as of right now, I have 64 to go. I’ve turned 9 from Unit 5 to gold so far – I just finished Junk and Education, and I’m currently on Bad Day in Unit 5.
    2. Reading 101 Conversations in Intermediate French: I haven’t gotten very far in this book at all. I was on conversation 5, restarted the book, got to conversation 5 again, and stopped reading. About a week ago I decided to just continue on from conversation 5 without restarting, and am now on conversation 8. Unfortunately so far the story isn’t grabbing me, but I’ll give it a few more conversations before deciding if I need to give up on it.
    3. Reading First Ukrainian Reader for Beginners: This is another one that’s had slow but steady progress. I just finished Unit 9: Christian listens to German songs. It took a few read throughs, and I didn’t feel that I understood it quite as well as Unit 8: Liuba wants to buy a newer DVD. But I’m moving onto Unit 10 this week. And I’m getting close to the elementary course units (Unit 13 and beyond). It’s really neat reading this book though – I’m able to read and understand bigger and bigger chunks of Ukrainian!
    4. Read another book in French: have not looked at another book yet.
    5. Read another book in Ukrainian: need to get through First Ukrainian Reader for Beginners.
    6. Finish season 2 of Ukrainian Lessons Podcast: I stopped listening to Ukrainian Lessons Podcast a few months ago. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it was in part because the episodes have been getting longer and longer – I’m not able to listen to one (or most of one) on my way to work anymore. So last week I made a point of listening to a couple of episodes in the evenings (I’m currently about to start episode 69). I feel like I should almost restart season 2 as a review because it’s been so long. But I made the decision to continue from where I left off – if I need the review, I’ll go back once I finish season 2.
    7. Finish season 3 of Ukrainian Lessons Podcast: I haven’t started it yet.
Duolingo 700 day streak

But in other language learning news, I am now on a 700+ day streak in Duolingo! I hit day 700 three days ago. 😀

I will also be working on videos of me speaking both Ukrainian and French over the next month. This June marks my second year of learning both languages! I’m going to move my video editing software to a different, faster computer – hopefully that will speed up the process of adding subtitles to the videos!

So that’s where I’m at thus far for 2022. I’m going to continue to plug along on my goals for the summer, and will check in with them again in the fall. At that time, I’ll reevaluate if necessary.

But how are things going for you? Have you been able to work on/accomplish any of your goals for 2022? 🙂

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Update: A Whole Lot of French + Goodbye Lucky Bamboo :(

The last two weeks have been kind of a blur (and I apologize because I missed writing an update last week).  I’ve been working on the editing project where I can.  It’s been slow work going, but at least it’s going. 🙂

In terms of language learning, I actually watched the final season of Game of Thrones in French (with English subtitles).  I put the final season on hold at the library, and thanks to delays due to covid quarantines, I finally got it.  I almost didn’t watch it because I don’t typically watch a lot on my own (although I admit I’m watching more on my own thanks to covid), but in the end I decided that I’d made it this far through the season that I might as well see how it ends.  Having it help my French learning was a definite bonus.

I did learn something very interesting about Google Play though: buying something digitally on that platform (and iTunes from what I could tell) only seems to give you audio in one language (in my case, English).  I found this out because one of the discs had a very fine scratch and wasn’t playing a scene from one of the episodes, so I bought it, but sadly had to watch it in English rather than in French.  So if you’re learning languages, especially common ones in your country/area (like French here in Canada), you’re better off watching DVDs.  Or Netflix – I’ve found lots of content in popular languages (like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian, but sadly not Ukrainian).

cover of Painless FrenchI was also super excited to find Painless French, a book I bought myself years ago for learning French!  I remembered seeing it at one point awhile ago, but when I started seriously learning French, I couldn’t find it and thought that maybe I had given it away.  I’m very happy to find that wasn’t the case!  I read through the first chapter over the weekend and really enjoyed it.  I’m hoping it will be a great resource for continuing to learn. 🙂

I’ve also made the decision to stop subscribing to Duolingo Plus.  Back in the summer when I was off work it made sense to subscribe since I was trying to jam in as much language learning as I could.  But now that I’m back at work (and editing), I have a lot less time for language learning.  And now that I’m done the Ukrainian tree, I’m also just not wanting to use Duolingo as much as I did.  I started the reverse tree (learning English as if I were a native Ukrainian speaker), which has given me a few new Ukrainian words, but overall I’m not really enjoying it.  I’m also not having as much fun with the French Tree and would like to have more time to go off and try other resources (like Painless French).  At this point I’m still planning on using Duolingo a bit (I would like to finish the French tree one day, even if I don’t make it a golden tree); just not nearly as much as I was.

my sad lucky bamboo plantIn other sad news, my lucky bamboo died on me. It was doing okay, then a few weeks ago I noticed the stem turned yellow.  I don’t think I did anything like last time when I put fertilizer into the water without realizing that was super bad for lucky bamboo.  My best guess this time around is that it’s due to the water; we have issues with lead in our pipes in my city right now.  I filter drinking water for me and Merlin using a filter that takes lead out, but I wasn’t using that for my plants (and the lucky bamboo is going to take the brunt of any lead that’s in the water because it’s just sitting in water).  While I’m very sad to lose it, I can honestly say I have done my best for this plant (and it was fine for quite awhile after I fertilized it – that happened back in November 2019!  It lived for over a year since that happened!)

 

I also finally got some (English) fun reading in!  I went through a bit of a dry spell this month where I wasn’t reading anything, but then a friend sent me a copy of his book and suddenly I’m reading again! But more about all of that on Thursday. 😉

So that’s been my last few weeks.  How’s everything going for you? 🙂

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Tuesday Update: Looked Over Some Old Stories :)

I finally did it: I sat down and started looking through some older stories that I’ve written. I’ve been meaning to do this for a few weeks now, so I was happy to finally make the time to do so! I found some interesting things in my notes too; one old story had some notes in the margins that I made for editing purposes, so that’s one I’m hoping to sit down with over the next few months.  And another one was very exciting – this was a story I started writing for a friend after his dog passed away (but I never gave it to him – it never felt good enough to be a gift).  I didn’t think there was much to the story, so I was surprised to see I’d added some stuff to it….specifically an unnamed, mysterious character who shows up to retaliate against the main character; my mystery man literally just says “Now we’re even,” and flees.

I still can’t believe that was in there!  Who the heck is this character and what the heck happened to them that they needed revenge like that???

So yeah….looks like I know what story I’m going to be working on! I don’t know if that stuff with the mystery man will stay, or be saved for a different story with those characters, but either way, I need to figure it all out. 🙂

On the language-learning front, I accomplished everything I set out to do this week.  I read more stories in both languages, played more Influent in Ukrainian, and continue to progress in Duolingo (I turned a few more Ukrainian lesson bubbles to gold – only 20 left for a golden tree!)

I also did manage to read a little bit for fun this week! My mom lent me her Kobo so I could read The Huntress by Kate Quinn last month; it also has The Gown by Jessica Robson, so I decided to start that rather than The Alice Network.  I sat down to read it on either Tuesday or Wednesday night, but the Kobo wasn’t working!  The screen was on and said it was at full battery power, but I couldn’t get it to do anything, even reset.  Finally I plugged it in and it started charging – for some reason it ran out of battery while still showing the home screen with a full charge!  So I wasn’t able to start reading that night, but I did get to it a few nights later. 🙂

So how’s your week been? Anything exciting planned for this week?

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