The Island of Random Thoughts

Its been awhile since I posted. I had a three-day weekend that was pretty full of events. The biggest events of the weekend included an engagement party for my brother-in-law and two baby blessings (like christening, but with no water involved) for my new niece and nephew. On top of that, kids are back to school this week and my 5 year old is enroling in school for the first time. In New Zealand, it is year round school, so the kids only get half the summer break that they do in the States(it’s summer here right now). With all that I wanted to write a post yesterday, but I was too busy at work. I know I make it sound like I just study and blog all day at work, but I do work at my job and it does get busy here.

Despite all that, I have had many random thoughts. I can’t help, but get stuck on the island of never-ending random thoughts. I feel the worst for my wife. My wife will be talking to me about a TV show and next thing you know I am thinking about the day I got so scared that I turned and ran into a parked car, whose owner looks like a guy on a peanut butter commercial, which makes me think about feeding dogs peanut butter, which leads to thinking about feeding any animal peanut butter, which makes me think about the time I got a picture with a tiger, which was at a crocodile farm in Thailand…. Then my wife, noticing that I am day dreaming, asks what are you thinking about. That is always awkward moment for me.

In fact I do believe I mentioned before that I blog because it helps me to organize my random thoughts. Any way, sorry to get off track, I have had many random thoughts this weekend. I don’t know if they would warrant a full post by themselves, but together they make a great update on all my things happening to me. And somehow these random thoughts just fit together.

Teaching my daughter spanish

I have talked about this before, but it is still true. I want my children to love language learning and I don’t want them to learn silly one-off phrases that mean nothing to them. Out of all of daughters, my 5-year-old seems to enjoy learning Spanish the most. She just gets it. The two older girls like learning stuff in Spanish, but they don’t seem to get the joy out of it like my 5-year-old does.

Following suggestions, I have replaced random phrases in English with Spanish and she has enjoyed it! She loves saying Te amo and Buenas Noches. Still I wanted to teacher her to be confidant to make her own spanish phrases. Last night, I decided to teach her to say me gusta. I told her that it means “I like” and she took off from there. Me gusta Balls, me gusta Daddy, me gusta chicken, and so on. The best one was when she said: Me gusta me gusta. After that she just started laughing uncontrollably! Then I realized she was saying that she liked saying me gusta.

Listening to this and having fun talking about things I like, me di cuenta (I realized) that a little Spanglish never hurt anyone. In fact it was good. She was learning the pattern and the rest of the spanish words could come later! This then helped me with another random thought…

How to use Anki properly

I have mentioned that I don’t use Anki. I started to do it because almost all the language learning blogs recommend it. They treat it like gods gift to the world of language learning, but I never could get into it. I downloaded decks made by others and I hated it, I was learning words they wanted to know. Then I started making decks based on phrases found in my courses or other places. It was a bit better, but still boring and I seemed to lose as much as I was gaining. Most importantly, I wasn’t able to use them in regular every day sentences.

Then my idea came to push it to another level. I was no longer recording Spanish and posting it online, I was going to speak spanish in subjects I was not familiar with and correct myself. Instead I was going to start posting videos every friday for Spanish friday. To make this work I would speak Spanglish to help me practice the patterns of speaking Spanish and then go back and listen to the audio and correct the Spanglish out of it.

This has helped me learn spanish in a new interesting way. I find these words or phrases I don’t know how to say, but want to say. These are phrases like instead of or even though. Talking around things are ok, but it does me no good when I am not talking to a native spanish speaker. Spanglish is the best way to practice for me right now. Of course Spanglish is not a permanent option to how to communicate, it is just as a step to more fluency. I have made decks of these words and now Anki has become useful! I am practicing words and phrases that have context and make sense! They are sticking and I don’t feel bored learning any of the words.

This will help me as I continue to make Spanish Friday videos. Spanish Friday is Spanish only and I will have to talk around subjects I am not familiar with, but all the Spanglish practicing I do on my own will help improve my Spanish friday videos. Speaking of Spanish friday…..

Thai Monday

I have decided awhile ago that I will also do Thai Mondays. I was going to post it yesterday, but like I said before, I was busy. I’m the only one who does Thai Mondays anyway so who cares. So I made a Thai Video again. I am talking about my goals and things I accomplished over the weekend. I still don’t understand how to put subtitles in my video, but for those who want to watch, here ya go, I spent all night and figured out how to put it in.  Just click the CC button on the bottom of the video player.  Enjoy:

So there you have it. Three random thoughts that some how relate, kinda. Just be glad you aren’t married to me and have to get even more random thoughts that somehow don’t relate at all.

4 Comments

Filed under Opinions, Parenting, Progress, spanish

4 responses to “The Island of Random Thoughts

  1. Good for you for starting Thai Mondays!

    I totally agree with using Spanglish to work your way up to full Spanish. I’m glad you were able to figure out how to make Anki work for you. I never got into it– I found it too boring.

    BTW, you said that “me di” means “I realized,” but you’re missing the rest of the phrase! To realize is darse cuenta de algo. So, I realized is me di cuenta de que…

    Example: Ayer me di cuenta de que necesito bajar de peso.
    Yesterday I realized that I need to lose weight.

    • Thanks. I enjoy Thai Monday’s and maybe I will figure out how to put sub titles in to let everyone else know as well.

      I actually did have me di Cuenta, but some how I must have accidentally deleted it while editing. No worries.

      Thanks again for the help

  2. I think one of the most important things in working towards fluency in a language is to not be afraid of making mistakes – that can be the most limiting thing for us. Language is about communication and if you start off with Spanglish that’s fine – when you’re talking to native speakers you will hear back from them what the really correct Spanish is and they will (mostly) have no problem understanding you. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I agree its a proper steping stone and one should use it to your advantage to learn those patterns of fluency. Its easier to replace the specific vocab if you know the patterns of the language. I am fluent in Thai, despite not knowing all the vocab of politics or business and such, because I know the patterns and I know how to incorporate the missing vocab into the patterns of Thai. That doesn’t mean I am done learning Thai as I have mentioned, but I am fluent just as my 9 year old is fluent in English.

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