Friday, July 18, 2014

7QT : Swedish, kale, coffee : some of these got kind of wordy

1. I'm trying to not sit on my computer as often as I usually do. On Monday evening I decided I just would not even turn on my computer, and I accomplished so much. I read an entire book (in Swedish, so that counts as studying and leisure), did some cleaning, some cooking, some baking, and probably other things too! The really crazy part was how often I felt like I wanted to just go sit at the computer, but realizing it wasn't an option, opted to do some other task which I typically would have ignored all evening (dirty dishes, I'm looking at you!).

2. On Sunday we harvested our kale! We had just enough to make a small salad to accompany our meal. It is really nice to be able to grow a little bit of our food, but it makes both of us really miss having a plot of land where we can garden and grow larger quantities of delicious foods.

3. I have finally found a way of learning Swedish which I really enjoy - reading books in Swedish! I am currently only reading books written in "easy Swedish," but I am finding it really helpful and really enjoyable. I have written a lot about how I am not naturally good at language-learning, and that it is really a chore for me to do any of the things that are helpful for learning more Swedish. But this is one thing that does not feel like a chore. Finally! Of course, there is no way I could have just started at this step. It is only possible because I've built up a small vocabulary to start with. I still have to always have my pocket dictionary at hand to look up words I don't know, but I am needing it less and less with each new book. Plus it makes me feel awesome when I read a book that is not already listed on goodreads.com and I have to add it.

4. Did you know there is a simple English wikipedia? Most of the articles use only words that are among the 1,000 most common words. I find language things so much more interesting now that I'm in the process of learning a new language. It makes me wonder how many Swedish words I know.

I know that I am in the B1 level of CEFR, so I thought that maybe there was a list online showing approximately how many words are known at each level. Apparently this isn't a thing they do, although random online reading makes me think that it is possible I do know 1,000 Swedish words.

BUT. More importantly, my internet searching led me to discover the Kelly Project, which I might be a really big fan of! They have a list available of the 9,000 most commonly used words taken from nine different languages. I got the Swedish list, which looks good, but it didn't include a translation to English… They also have an app for language learning. Super cool, but I have no device that handles apps. Oh well.

5. This week I started preparing myself two cups of coffee to drink at home before I leave for the day…  as in, two distinct mugs of coffee… 
Maybe it seems strange, but to me it feels so smart! I always drink two cups of coffee, but after I finish the first one, the coffee has cooled down a bit and it takes forever for my sugar cube to dissolve. Plus! (science lesson coming up) When you add milk or cream to coffee, if you add it immediately, your final result (coffee + milk) will be hotter than if you wait some amount of time and then add it. This is just thermodynamics.
Even including the time it takes to wash a second mug, I feel like I am saving so much time and effort with this new method!

6. There is an … ad? … well it functions as an ad, but is actually an interesting video from PhD Comics about coffee … that plays if I watch youtube videos that starts with "How much coffee is too much coffee?" Or something along those lines. It just makes me think of this old post of mine.

7. I won a round of Bingo in Swedish class! Unfortunately, I felt a bit sheepish, because I had previously tried to say I got a Bingo (blackout round, too!) but I had wrongly marked a number off that was never called. I blame someone else for having poor pronunciation… it could never be due to my poor comprehension of spoken Swedish. No sir. Also, for the record, it ended up that the number I wrongly marked did not even exist in the group of little balls of numbers. Vindication.

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The End & The Link-Up!

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