Seedtime Multilingual™
Toni's Visit to China - PHOTO of Temple Roof

Toni wants you to notice the Chicken designs atop the roof in her photo. Is this significant in China architectural designs?

1/7/2020

polyglot2abroad

INTRODUCTION

The top five apps that you should download before coming to China. You will need to either open your current phone plan to allow for international use or purchase a sim card when you arrive so that you can have internet access outside of Starbucks and the airport. You can usually get a sim card at the airport when you arrive or you can go to any phone store and get one. For someone coming for their first time with no use of the language and no one to help translate for you, I would suggest just getting it at the airport when you arrive.

TOP FIVE APPS Read More

How we define community is important to our survival. The perspectives that we take on the community of others work for us or against us, against our own community.  One point of foreign language acquisition is to broaden one’s view of community by extending interaction with others.

Checking the definition from Dictionary.com, we could subscribe to what is generally agreed upon as a community or at least by definition.  I submit that this is a limited view, but a good place to start. What is your idea of community? Why does community matter? I propose that we agree to start here, with at least a general description:

community[ kuh-myoo-ni-tee ]

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.
  1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
  2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
  3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the): the business community; the community of scholars.
  4. a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
  5. Ecclesiastical. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.
  6. Ecology. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area

Whoa!  It’s way too deep!  How about this: community, commune, commute, come, comic, communist, commutate… I’m not looking these words up in the dictionary, do we see any pattern though, relationship to an exchange or transfer, crossing over and over crossing, maybe?  Ok, so I couldn’t resist going out to do a “cheap” search on Google for the “commutative property of addition”… my husband is a mathematician so he speaks the language of numbers, it’s really the language of everything just about, at least in principle, the principle thought explained is best communicated Read More

What makes the characters so difficult to remember? Why do Japanese have two readings for Kanji? What are keys to memorization? This blog does not attempt to teach linguistics nor the elements for learning the Kanji (this can be done in your own self-study) , but in my experience (with learning Mandarin Chinese and Japanese), I have tracked a few tips: spending time looking at the characters is the first step to becoming comfortable with what we see!  That feeling of discomfort with foreign writings and sounds, letters, script is no doubt the same feelings that we get in the presence of those (characters or persons) most unlike ourselves, linguistically and culturally.

Learning Kanji or any other non-alphabetic, non-Western writing system is like making  new friends.. from a different culture.  We size them up first, their appearance, hair, features phenotypes/genotypes, speech, sound or what they portray in character.  Is this right?  I think that the more we look, listen, and pay attention, the more familiar we become with the unfamiliar.  Thus, the less uncomfortable we feel learning Kanji…. and characters!

Dare to look, breathe, read.

Kanji are Japanese characters (adopted from the Chinese writing, called Hanyu (in the early 7th century,) literally meaning Han Characters https://www.japan-guide.com. Laying to rest formal linguistic words, like orthography, logographic, let’s simply agree that as English-speakers, non-alphabetic characters seem very scary! 

Remembering The Kanji 1 Flash Cards 2
http://www.polarcloud.com/rikaichan/ offers Kanji Cards for free download.  These are suitable for Beginners, great review for more advanced learners.  Kanji is the subject here, but also the underlying human feeling of discomfort with the unfamiliar.

Clifford Black,  https://redpilltraining.ning.com/profile/CliffordBlack, a former mentor, and I refer to as,  a Super Educator par excellence, introduced me to the concept of “taking a picture” with my eyes at a time when I was struggling with Kanji. This is among the many tips and tricks for learning how to learn that he proposes to learners of various subjects.  It’s been helpful in remembering the Kanji.