Why you should cover sex ed in your target languages

So, I got home late last night and my flatmate had an electricity crisis (long story), so I was a bit preoccupied.

Yesterday was quite similar to the day before. More Russian, more of my French novel, more Italian/Spanish laddering and yet again more Arabic (I don’t want to move on until I know all the vocab from the first two lessons).

Today, I did some slightly more formal French study, looking at some vocabulary on la vie sexuelle*, as well as les beaux arts, like la littérature and le théâtre, because the reality is that they are up there in terms of the subjects I love discussing in French. Oh! I also had a super long French conversation with this adorable Italian man. He had a very strong Italian accent, pronouncing jusqu’à (“jus-ka”) as “juice-kwah” and conjugating “venir” as if it was une bouteille du vin, but I managed to understand his issues with his employees and helped him translate.

Naturally, my Russian studies continued. My Russian has improved a lot over this week, at least in terms of my comprehension. I know feel comfortable with words like нада, нечево, игра, я можно и я могу and so on, after hearing them often and in many different contexts. I haven’t progressed much in the Ruslan books, and I’m yet to finish Babbel, but I think I’ve had valuable listening and speaking practice over this last week.

*Fun story: when I was 15/16, I stayed with a French family for a month and my period came earlier than expected. I was unprepared. We were staying in the middle of no where; I had no wifi or phone signal, either to find a shop, or to find a dictionary for help. I looked up what the word “period” was in the dictionary — nothing. Then “menstruating” — nothing. “Hormones” — nothing. ” In the end, in front of the family, because the daughter got very confused, I said something to the effect of “every month, I have blood. It happened today. Help me.” Naturally, they were very sweet, thinking that I had started for the first time. Somewhat embarrassing, but hey, we all can learn from this. So here’s some “key” French vocab, and feel free to share your stories with me.

Period: les règles

Tampon: un tampon

Sanitary towel: une serviette (hygiénique)

Menstrual cup: une coupe menstruelle

Condom: un préservatif/une capote

Pregnancy test: un test de grossesse [what a terrible name]

Morning after pill: la pilule du lendemain

One-night stand: une aventure sans lendemain

STI: MST (une maladie sexuellement transmissible)

GUM clinic: les consultations génito-urinaire

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Salve.

So. Day two. I am super sleepy, so it will not be the most informative post ever.

The smaller stuff:

I got back into Duolingo today, doing quite a bit of French and Swedish (my poor Swedish; it’s a disaster currently) as well as continuing with my hablo español y quiero aprender italiano laddering, which has really helped.

I went back over the first and second lessons of ArabicPod101.com, and redid the first lesson of the DK book. I also went back over the HindiPod101.com and KoreanClass101.com lessons I did yesterday. Arabic is definitely my preferred language of the three at the moment, although I’m slightly intimidated by their alphabet (my TeachYourself© To Read and Write Arabic Script book should have been delivered by the time I return from Italy).

MOST IMPORTANTLY HOWEVER WAS TODAY’S RUSSIAN PROGRESS:

Я говорила по-русски час! It wasn’t perfect, or anywhere near fluent, and I struggled with vocabulary, but we did it! An hour’s conversation! We talked about learning multiple languages at once, with the benefits and disadvantages of that, as well as how cinema is both helpful and disheartening when learning. All in all, a pretty exciting development.

A la mañana,

Ophelia.

안녕하세요 // नमस्ते // السلام عليكم

Hey pals, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

I’ve decided it’s long overdue for me to get back into blogging; it wasn’t really possible while I was making daily videos, but now I’m making only one a week (although I’m trying to really increase their quality to things I’m incredibly proud of) I think it would be a good idea to get into the habit of blogging again. I mean, I love writing plays, and I talk too much as it is, so why not spill over into here?

Not sure why I’m trying to justify it. Probably because I need a kick up the arse to keep at it. I think previously, because no one was reading, I ended up not holding myself accountable.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, I want to start logging my language work every day, at least until the end of August.

Le français

I had several conversations in French today, two with native Italian speakers, and one with a native Russian speaker. I’m not used to using the vous form, so I should really try to improve that.

Русский язык

I have to speak Russian all the time at the moment, and I intend on working through more of Ruslan for A2 and also refreshing my Babbel vocab tonight. I shall update here if it is successful or not.

Edit: I ended up completing the Duolingo ‘Phrases’ chapter and starting on ‘Plurals’.

Italiano

I also have had a few conversations in Italian this week and today, albeit struggling with conjugations and plurals, taking a bit of a “Spench” (Spanish and French) approach.

Español

I had a very brief conversation with a waitress I’d met the other day, establishing that we had reserved a table and how many people there were.

Edit: I added some pages to my jotter, as I’m trying to ladder Spanish and Italian, but I have a very visual memory so just writing out a list isn’t going to help me much, but hopefully this will (colour to be added soon).

Key Verbs: Español–Italiano

Useful Words: Español–Italiano

العربية

I STARTED TODAY. I did the first ArabicPod101.com lesson. I am so excited. I cannot convey. Imagine Wallace with all the Cheddar the world can give.

Edit: I also did Lesson one from the DK 15 Minute Arabic. مرحبا، اسمي أوفيليا (hello, my name is Ophelia) and I did a second lesson from ArabicPod101.com

한국어

I ALSO RESTARTED Korean today, doing the first KoreanClass101.com lesson. I used to be obsessed with Kpop (before Gangnam Style, may I add).

हिन्दी भाषा

I ALSO STARTED TODAY. I am very very very excited. I don’t plan to dedicate much time to Hindi, but I wanted to give myself the option, and do an introduction lesson.

I’ve been choosing between taking up Korean or Hindi as a fun language, and I’m still no further in deciding. I love both of their scripts, and am fascinated by the history of their countries. I’ve decided to commit to French, Russian and Arabic as my major languages for next year (I’ll talk about that properly in a later post/video), but a fun dabble language would be good. I should learn some Icelandic before going to the polyglot conference, however.

I hope you’re having a very lovely week, and I will be writing again tomorrow.

Ophelia Vert