Saturday, July 18, 2009

Language Post*

My Japanese course ended the day before yesterday. Since the Sprach- und Kulturbörse at the Technische Universität isn't offering Japanese courses past level B1.1 during the summer holidays, I'll have to wait until fall for the continuation. I might learn on my own in the meantime, though. I'll practice reading kanji in any case, since the Read the Kanji website makes it so enjoyable. Apart from that, I should also read more of the Moomin book . . . :o)

Reading books in general is one of my good intentions for the summer holidays. I was thinking of reading some French books (Vingt Ans Après, Les Misérables, or something by Balzac, perhaps). Otherwise, I might try something by Joseph Conrad or Henry James. I've wanted to reread The Horse and his Boy, too.

I don't mention German books, because I am unlikely to read them. To me, there is something unappealing (mundane?) about written German. I think the problem is that I haven't had much exposure to German literature, apart from some children's books and possibly some other books that I have temporarily forgotten, so I have yet to learn to appreciate the beauty and potential of the written language.

Spoken German is a different matter, although I still much prefer French and Russian.

Speaking of Russian, I think I'll take a Russian course at the FU's Sprachenzentrum (Language Centre) in the fall. Unlike the Japanese courses at the TU, it would be free, and there would be more hours of instruction per week. Since I'll only be taking three Informatik/Math courses next semester, it'll be good to have something to fill in the gap. In any case, I've been interested in Russian for years, and I think I would enjoy the course.

By the way, here's my new favourite kanji (image taken from an online kanji dictionary):

ni(geru) Kanji

It is not, perhaps, remarkable in itself. What I find so amusing about the character is that it looks like a figure running away with flailing arms -- an image that corresponds exactly with the character's meaning: "to flee".

*A particularly creative title this time, no?


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