Ziphen Central

Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

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Some people have wishlists of things they hope to get for Christmas, or places they would like to go to on vacation. As a language nut, I understandably have a long list of languages that I would like to learn. There are so many interesting languages in the world, and so little time to learn them!

Looking at the languages I have tackled, however, the thing I’ve realized is that I only become proficient in a language when I have a community of people to speak it with. Take Spanish, for instance—for the past 9 years, I have spoken Spanish on a weekly basis with Spanish-speaking Christians, and thus I have gotten pretty good at speaking it. However, I still cannot speak Greek, even though I have been studying it even longer than Spanish. And why is that? Perhaps it’s because I don’t know anyone who speaks Greek, and it is a language I only use for reading and writing.

Recently I watched some interview videos on Chickasaw.tv about Joshua Hinson, the current director of the Chickasaw Language Department. He grew up in west Texas, and dabbled in some of the Chickasaw language early on, but he didn’t become proficient in the language until he reconnected with the Chickasaw community in Oklahoma and began actively seeking out native speakers to talk with. (keep reading)

Posted on 17 March 2017 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Greek,language,Nahuatl,opinions,wisdom

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff

Wales photo album

Wales! That little country tacked onto the side of England… we were only there a short time, and didn’t really get to explore much. However, what we saw was interesting. Most of these pictures were taken at a pretty little park, where we walked around a bit. Our other destinations in Cardiff were a souvenir gift shop, a book store, a thrift store, and a fast food chicken place.

At the thrift store I was tempted to buy a bunch of interesting books on the Welsh language, but I maintained my self-control, reasoning that it would be very unlikely for me to return to Wales anytime soon in the future. As for the chicken place, well… we were hungry, and our options were limited. My memories from the chicken place were that if you wanted ketchup, you had to pay extra, and we were practically the only white people in the restaurant, everyone else looking middle-eastern! So much for traditional Welsh food.

Maybe one of these days I will make it back to Wales. I’m sure there’s much more to see than I was able to breeze through on my short visit!

Posted on 4 July 2016 by Mashkioya
Filed under: photography,United Kingdom,Welsh

Korean Language Mission 2016

하얀 풍차Memorial Day marked the fourth anniversary of my arrival in the state of Georgia, and it was also four years ago that I began learning the Korean language. Although I’ve learned a lot, I know that I could be much farther along in the language if I had applied myself during those four years.

Language learning is tricky, and often something that you can’t rush. However, you can make significant progress if you make time every day for study and practice, and get some momentum going. And that’s what my goal is for the summer of 2016.

From June 1st through August 31st, I will be intensively learning the Korean language. The well-known Irish polyglot Benny Lewis has done several language missions in which he goes from essentially zero to reasonable fluency in 3 months, so I figure if he can do that, I can definitely go from an intermediate level to fluency in 3 months!

For 79 days (I’m taking Sundays off), I will study and practice Korean for at least two hours every day. I estimate my current level in the language to be A2, and my goal is to reach level B2 (CEFRL).

In the last few months I have become lazy with my language learning, but no more! Too many times I have taken the easy way out and spoken English to Korean people, but from here on out, I am enacting a strict no-English policy when talking to Koreans. Also, I essentially live in the Koreatown of Georgia, but I have not really taken advantage of this opportunity to practice speaking Korean. This summer I’m going to go out of my way to put myself in this immersion environment more often.

I will be making mini missions along the way, to have smaller achievable goals to tackle. I will also try to identify which aspects of the language are giving me trouble, and solve those as quickly as possible.

If you would like to stay updated on my progress during these 3 months, why not follow me on Instagram? I will be posting at least one picture every day to document my language learning adventures.

The first three days of the language mission have been good, and I am excited about the rest of the summer! Now, enough of blogging–I think I hear some flashcards calling my name…

Posted on 4 June 2016 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Korean,Language Missions

My Language Friends: Greek

Hill of the Muses

Although I was passively exposed to Spanish growing up in Texas, the first language I started learning was Greek—koine Greek to be precise. My father had “taken” it in college, and while he didn’t retain much of it even over summer break, he wanted to spark my interest in it at an early age. He taught me the alphabet and a few key words, and he even made a little quiz for me, to test my rudimentary Greek knowledge.

I was proud of my accomplishments, and soon began studying Greek as part of my schoolwork, going through the series of workbooks called Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! (That’s the beauty of homeschooling—your study options are limitless!) The Hey Andrew! books were good, but went along at a dreadfully slow pace. I felt like it would be forever before I got to learn about adjectives! But by the time I went through the whole series, I had a good knowledge of Greek grammar. I think they may have even added another level since I finished.

At university, I wanted to minor in Greek New Testament, but I was afraid that the first basic classes would just be a boring review of things I already knew. So I had a talk with the Bible faculty, and arranged to take a special test to see if I was ready for second-year Greek classes. I brushed up on my Greek skills, and easily passed the test. So it was that I was taking Greek 3 as a freshman! From there I took all the Greek classes that my university offered, and quite enjoyed it. (keep reading)

Posted on 14 May 2016 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Greek

Adventures of a Language Nut: Meet My Friends!

english

Greetings! I am Mashkioya, and I am a language nut. I am not a linguist (although admittedly, being a linguist would be pretty cool), and I don’t often use the word “polyglot” because it sounds kind of ugly, and not many people know what it means. Plus, I don’t claim to aspire to fluency in 20 languages, or anything like that. I just like to dabble, and happen to have dabbled quite a bit in this particular area. Thus, I am a language nut.

You may have heard this proverb among Latin students:

Latin is a language,
Dead as it can be.
First it killed the Romans,
And now it’s killing me!

I understand the sentiment, but instead of thinking of the languages I learn and speak as enemies out to kill me, I like to think of them as friends. Some of them I’ve been acquainted with my entire life, while others are budding relationships that I’m just beginning to explore. And each one is beautiful and unique in its own way. This post will begin a series in which I will introduce you to my language friends, one by one, and hopefully motivate you to get to know them as well, or at least to begin widening your linguistic circle in other directions. (keep reading)

Posted on 6 May 2016 by Mashkioya
Filed under: English,language,poetry

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