Learning Arabic & Persian: Language Challenge Week 2
I realize I'm stumbling as I'm speaking. So as a result of speaking with Sahra every day, I decided that I should go back and review the verbs.
Hi there, Steve Kaufman here again. And, uh, I, first of all, I want to review my week. Uh, my... I'm in this, uh, you know, a Streak with Steve challenge and I'm trying to maintain my LingQ streak and Arabic and Persian.
So I want to update you on my activities for the past week. Remember if you, uh, enjoy these videos, please subscribe, uh, click on the bell for... for notifications. Um, you know, I'm, I'm hoping, and I think the reaction I get from any of my viewers is that, uh, my videos doing encourage them in language learning.
I think it's very important for people to be encouraged. I think the most important role that anyone involved in language teaching or language instruction, the most important role one can have is to, is to trigger curiosity, enthusiasm, hunger, the desire to learn. That's the absolute key, more important than any explanations or techniques of learning or anything of those, uh, of that kind it's to get people motivated to trigger their enthusiasm, their hunger for learning.
So I had my week, uh, in Persian in Farsi in Persian, and every day I spoke with my tutor Sahra in Iran who is in the town of Rasht in Gilan province, in Northern Iran. And she showed me some pictures from there and it looks, semi-tropical quite unlike the image that we normally have of Iran is sort of a very dry climate.
And, um, I certainly feel that I spoke a lot better at the end of the week than I did at the beginning of the week. I try to start my day with 13, my obligatory, obligatory sort of minimal goal of 13 LingQs created in each of Arabic and Persian. So I do that. Get that out of the way. That's my sort of duty.
Uh, and I did, uh, again, a lot of listening and reading, but in particular as a result of, of, uh, talking to Sahra every day for an hour, of course, I realized where my gaps are. And the biggest problem I have is with verbs. Of course, I'm missing a lot of vocabulary, but I like I'll, you know, acquire those over time.
Uh, I'm often missing some of the most basic items of vocabulary, which I've forgotten, which I once knew. And, uh, as I said, in one of my tweets, I'm always impressed with how easy it is to forget even the most basic, you know, words in the language. And yet here we are, I'm speaking with Sahra, we have a conversation.
So some words do stick, but some words when I need them, I can't find them. That's absolutely normal. And, but what I find is that verbs give me trouble. And I think that's true in a lot of languages. That's why our mini stories at LingQ focus on the most, you know, common verbs in the language, the highest frequency verbs for comprehension.
Of course, we're always going to miss some key nouns, but when we go to speak, I find that if I can't do well on the verbs, I have a lot of trouble expressing myself. And when I was speaking with her, I realized that I was. For example, in, in Persian, there's a subjunctive. And when do you actually use the subjunctive?
And, and, uh, there are different tenses, uh, and, and in the spoken form of the language, there's no future. So it seems strange that we're using the present tense for the future tense. And there are many things like that that I realize I'm stumbling as I'm speaking. So as a result of speaking with Sahra every day, I decided that I should go back and review the verbs.
Which, and I've read this book many times and you know, it just has a hundred, the most, you probably can't see these too well but the highest frequency verbs in all their different forms. And I just kind of leaf through it. I go jump around, look up different verbs. The other thing I did was I did a lot of listening to the mini stories where I know, you know, I wouldn't say all, but a lot of the vocabulary, but the mini stories are based on the most frequently used verbs.
And there, you know, the story, you might have one story in one tense and another story in another tense or another person. So this is a great way to review the verbs. And I think this is again, an important point, you know, I've often said in some of my other videos that you can't master the basics. We're constantly looping back to do the basics.
Again, I've listened to the mini stories, 30, 40, 50 times. And I discover something new every time I listen. So to me, language learning as a matter of constantly looping back, we push forward into new content, uh, in order to quiet, acquire more vocabulary, but at the same and improve our comprehension.
But at the same time, in order to be able to talk, we have to be able to use the words, the verbs rather. And so I go back to the mini stories and there's this constant looping back and then charging forward. And of course it helps to have a great tutor that, you know, triggers that enthusiasm, that hunger,
uh, gets you going, uh, which is the case with Sahara. And I never have to think of what I'm going to say because she constantly asks me questions, keeps me going. I don't have to worry. What are we going to talk about? That's her problem, not my problem. And I know that she will get me talking and she's a wonderful tutor because she not only has created content for us at LingQ,
uh, on the history of Iran, on the cuisine of Iran on so many different things. Right now, she's done one on the famous Iranian movie directors, and she's even found, she sent me a 30-minute sound file from one of the famous Mahmud Farhadi is a famous director and he has this movie called The Salesman. Um, Forushande.
I don't remember. Uh, I don't worry about what I can remember and Forushande I think it is, but, but so then the sound file is so full of car noises and doors slamming and other miscellaneous noises that it's not great listening all by itself because it's not sufficiently word rich. And I think this is often the case with movies. Movies again, stimulate you. They create that hunger. You want to learn the language. Uh, I'm enjoying watching Danish, you know, Badehotellet, but in terms of really working on either verbs or increasing your vocabulary, uh, I find that, uh, audio content that's richer, denser in terms of words is more effective.
Anyway, that's what I've been doing. So I wanted to update you on my week two of my challenge. I think I'm keeping up with my streak. It's a low bar, 13 LingQs created every day. Uh, typically I'm creating, if it's the language that I'm on for that week, I'm creating, you know, 50, 60 at least, uh, next week I'm into Arabic.
Uh, and I'm hoping to be talking every day with Mohammed. I sometimes get very kind offers from people who say they'll help me in my Persian or my Arabic. Uh, right now I'm kind of committed to those tutors and don't have a lot of time to get involved with other people in those languages cause I'd also have other things to do.
The last two days I played golf with, with my wife and we did a lot of cleaning up after our renovations in the kitchen. So there's always lots of stuff to do, but I have my routine in Persian and Arabic and that's what I'm kind of sticking to.