The last few days, I’ve been practicing my French vocabulary. I don’t get much chance to actually use my French, but it would sure be nice if I had somebody to converse or write with. I suppose I could write my blog in French, but that wouldn’t be very nice for anybody, other than my one Francophone Canadian friend, who could then make fun of me.

I also spent about an hour with my Hebrew vocabulary. I can’t do too much of that at once. French, at least, shares the occasional common root word. Not so with Hebrew. The word for airport — “nemal tufah”, or taxi — “moneet”, or even hotel — “malon.” They don’t even look like their English counterpart. French, by way of comparison: “l’aéroport,” “le taxi”, and “l’hôtel.” So, learning French, basically, is taking a break.

The Hebrew alphabet, for those who care about such things.

Now as for the Hebrew front, I’m slowly remembering things: verb forms and that sort of stuff; the main prepositions and pronouns; even a few nouns (man we talk a lot about weird stuff in English). Hebrew is, fortunately, a very logical language. Most words have a 3-consonant root that, by adding suffixes, prefixes, and various vowel combinations, one can say just about everything. Hebrew doesn’t use vowels in their writing system, and the script reads from left to right, so it’s quite slow to make out what’s being said at any given time. Still, I’m up for the challenge, so I plug along, learning new vocabulary at a considerably slower pace than I’d like.

A croissant. What? It's French!

My French, on the other hand, I’m learning words I should have known years ago (say, when I lived and studied in France) but never mastered. “Frost,” for example, or “to sink”, or “so that…” I only got 2 years of formal training in the language, so my vocabulary was spotty at best. Of course I augmented my 18-year-old self’s vocabulary by learning all the swearwords I possibly could. Then I learned other stuff. Most things, I learned by hearing. I could tell you that things are said a certain way, but not why they’re said that way. Now, I’m learning the “why” and adding a few new words here and there.

In other news…

There is no other news. This is sort of consuming a lot of my time until I’ve found out if I got the cataloging project at National Archives.

Wish me luck.


2 thoughts on “Studying.”

  1. Yeah, Hebrew vocabulary is a bitch. Modern Hebrew has borrowed a number of words from English, so that makes it ever-so-slightly easier, but even that has its problems. On my first trip to Israel, I kept staring at these signs advertising a “bnq” (בנק), and tried to figure out what ancient tri-literal root it went back to (“Banak? Benek? Bonek? Still doesn’t sound right…”). Eventually I figured out that these signs were advertising a “bank”.


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