Giving back

I was on Twitter earlier this morning checking out someone who recently followed me. My first response was “why did this person follow me? I tweet so infrequently and have nothing of value that I contribute”. That got me thinking about this blog and my general recent usage of social media, and how there used to be a time several years ago where I tried to both partake of and contribute to the stream of consciousness that is social media. Yet for the past 1-2 years or so, that hasn’t been the case.

Part of that has been because of where I’ve been personally in the past few years. I’ve been in recovery, and when you’re in recovery, especially initially, it’s best to scale down what makes up your world. This makes things more manageable and essentially allows you to build a new foundation of personhood. But during this time I’ve still been pursuing one of, if not my biggest, passion and talent, which is learning and studying languages.

The pursuit, however, has been happening in what I would characterize as a safe way. That is, I’ve only interacted within specific, closed communities: an online language forum, a Skype group of language enthusiasts, and a Whatsapp group of the same. Of course these three avenues by themselves are pretty public and open, but the two groups have only a limited number of members and the membership doesn’t change frequently. Even the forum has a particular core group of members who regularly post. In fact, the Skype and Whatsapp groups were initially started by some from the forum, which has meant that a number of the same folks are on all three platforms.

As I already mentioned, some of the reason for this safe-style pursuit of my hobby has been where I’m at personally. But some of the reason has been because of how I see myself in regard to this talent. I tend to see myself as “not an expert” or, in other words, a lay person. I’ve been studying various languages, and along the way learning how to study languages, since 2011. And in that time I’ve tried quite a few different methods, learnt bits and pieces of various languages, broadened and deepened my understanding of linguistics, and also progressed in my 3 best languages. However, despite all that, I’ve always felt that there was nothing I could share with anyone else, whether that person be a language enthusiast like myself, or someone solely interested in only one language.

So, what’s the point? I guess what I realized is that I do have some knowledge and experience to share. And also, maybe it’s time I share what I’ve learned. One thing I’ve learned from recovery is the value of helping others, and in particular, of giving away what you have with respect to things like knowledge and experience.

Don’t get me wrong; many of my blog posts have been just that – me sharing what I have learned or what I know in regard to languages and linguistics. But in 2014, the first year I started this blog, I posted 24 times. In 2015 I posted 33 times, and in 2016 I posted only 8 times. That’s quite a drop. This year I’ve only had one post … well, make that two posts now!

DH

Why did the Celtic population of Great Britain switch to English following the Saxon invasions?

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I recently came across this question and the following answer on Quora. The responder, an assistant professor of linguistics, does a marvellous job explaining what could possibly have happened. Further, he explains the various aspects that sometimes bring about linguistic change.

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How to Use Duolingo to Learn Two languages at Once [Repost]

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I found this great article on another blog post by a fellow language enthusiast called Eureka Language Bits. Below is the article about using Duolingo to learn two languages at once.

If you have recently tried to learn a new language, you are probably already familiar with Duolingo, the free app that can help you learn as many as fifteen languages if you are an English speaker.…

Source: How to Use Duolingo to Learn Two languages at Once

Verbs

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I recently spent a bit of time studying Portuguese verb conjugations. I was using this site that focuses on Brazilian Portuguese verb forms.

That got me thinking about verbs and how different they are across different languages. It also got me thinking about the different parts to verb conjugations – time, aspect, mood, transivity, voice, modality, etc. Let’s look briefly at each part and then at how verbs across several languages work.

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My Language Journey Update

It’s been a few months, but I haven’t forgotten about this blog!

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