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my exciting summer - blah

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by baratron, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Hello, I'm back.

    Been having the worst summer ever. The short version is that I spent 3 nights in A&E (what 'Merkins call the ER), 4 days actually in hospital, lots of time taking antibiotics, and a few days flat on my back stoned out of my head on opiates. (This wasn't even fun, as I was still in pain.) Bloody gall bladder. It doesn't help that I'm allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen, which means the entire class of anti-inflammatories is out, which means I couldn't actually take anything to reduce the inflammation. Gah.

    Am somewhat healthier now owing to the fact I've invented my own ultra low fat diet (including such delights as fatfree chocolate brownies), which reduces gall bladder aggravation. I am supposed to be having it removed "sometime in October", but godknows when that will be. Irritatingly, it pretty much rules out the trip to the US I was going to make, which would also have involved me dropping in on the Pokemon Rocks America tour :x.

    So how've you lot been? Unfortunately, the time when I was just lying around in bed surfing the web coincided with the time the forums were down :(. Since I got better I haven't been online much because I'm trying to make up for lost time! I've been doing DIY stuff and learning Japanese. Not up to getting XD yet, though - I can read hiragana (the phonetic alphabet used for native Japanese words) fairly well, but haven't started on katakana (the phonetic alphabet used for English words and animal - and Pokemon -names). I seem to be going pretty quickly now - there are only a few hiragana I don't recognise at all, so hopefully I'll be there within a few weeks.
  2. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I was wondering where you'd been - hadn't seen you around in a while.

    Very glad that you're getting better.

    Also, as far as Japanese go - knowing Hiragana is DEFINITELY the hard part...

    The hardest part of Katakana is memorising the symbols and what they equate to.

    I've been trying on and off (very much so) since 2002 to pin down just Katakana - the idea of getting Hiragana pinned down in just a few weeks is completely mind-blowing to me.
  3. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Well, I'm just a genius :roll: :D.

    Seriously, um... it probably helps that I learnt ancient Greek at school - it "primed" my brain for other alphabets. I learnt Pokemon Braille in a couple of days, and can now happily read Braille whenever I encounter it in real life. (Real life Braille is actually a bit more complicated than Pokemon Braille - it has characters for common combinations like TH and ER. Although it has no numbers. Braille numbers are "number symbol" plus the letters A-J).

    How exactly have you been trying to learn it? I've got a bunch of books & flash cards. The flash cards are the best - they're basically what young Japanese children would use to learn to read their own language. I have 5 sets of hiragana flash cards from J-list - the alphabet, animals, sea animals (!), and phrases & interactions. I've ordered the vehicles set as well.

    If you JUST want to learn katakana, then you could try the katakana poster chart or katakana flash cards - I don't actually own either of those to know if they're any good, tho. Let's Learn Katakana is a good book, and not too expensive.

    I've got a waiting list of people to pass my books onto when I've finished with them, but I can add you to the list if you want? I have:
    Let's Learn Hiragana
    Let's Learn Katakana
    Let's Learn Kanji
    Teach Yourself Beginners' Japanese Script
    Japanese For Busy People: The Kana Workbook
    The Self-Study Kana Workbook, though it hasn't come yet
    and the flash cards & big kiddy jigsaw chart
  4. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Heh... I plan on trying to learn both forms of Japanese one of these days but my brain isn't really wired for learning languages. I couldn't pick up on french whatsoever, and while I've memorized certain common Japanese words/phrases it'd probably be a whole different story if I started trying to link words together and make sentences. Just learning English correctly has been hard enough :p

    Anyways, good to hear that you're out of the hospital and feeling a bit better. Sucks that your trip plans have been shot to hell, too. Oh well... There'll always be another Pokemon Rocks America tour (I'd hope). Here's hoping your operation - whenever it may be - goes well ^^
  5. I'm not that great at french either if you gave me a sentence on paper I would understand what it says but if you said it to me I wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. I'm trying to learn it as hard as I can but I'm not devoted to it.
  6. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Well, I couldn't even do that. I can recognize about three or four common French words and then I'm lost. My 42% mark in first semester, grade 7 French class proves that... I'm surprised I even got that high. After that I was given special permission to drop out of the French program and haven't taken a day of it since :wink:
  7. The ONLY reason I'm taking french is to get better jobs for the future and that about sums it up not because I want to, not because I can. The worst part is my french teacher usually only speaks in french so I don't have a clue on what she says sometimes. I have to think about it in my head and try to find words I know and then either get it 20 seconds later or I give up :)
  8. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Hrm. I found French pretty easy - took GCSE French a year early & A/O French the following year. Still, I'm nowhere near fluent. I'm about up to asking my way to the beach in a loud voice ;). Richard (my partner) went to the European School in Brussels, and he is fluent. They had to choose a second language to take, and were only taught maths and the science subjects in their own language. History, geography, art and music were all taught in the second language. Hence, he is actually more-or-less bilingual.

    Linkachu - have you tried learning ASL? (I'm informed that Canadian Deaf people use ASL rather than BSL). If you learn sign language as an additional language, it goes into a different part of the brain than spoken languages, so a lot of people who "can't learn languages" do ok with sign language. It would definitely be useful to you in the future, especially if you're still going into nursing - being able to interpret for Deaf people would be nifty.

    (Note, before you ask: Deaf with a capital D refers to people who are congenitally deaf who speak sign language as their first language. It distinguishes them from deaf or hard-of-hearing people who became deaf when older and who speak English as their first language. Deaf people have their own culture in which being unable to hear is not seen as a handicap. It's a bit weird to explain. I could spend all night and tomorrow typing in a long explanation of the Medical and Social Models of Disability, but I can't be bothered. Buy me a drink and I'll do it.)

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