2007 – apparently was the year for pod slurping

February 5, 2008 at 12:30 am | Posted in Australia, General, News, Podcasts, Pop-cult, Random, rant | 2 Comments
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The boffins over at Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary have announced the word of the year is two words “pod slurping”. It’s good to know that they can come out with this in February well after the nostalgia [insert year] lists that normally proliferate in December/January.

Continue Reading 2007 – apparently was the year for pod slurping…

A Brisbane weekend

October 9, 2006 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Brisbane, General, Podcasts | Leave a comment

This week I travelled to Brisbane and so once again we’re sans a Sydney site. On the plus side I had the chance to see my family and celebrate my Grandfather’s 90th birthday – or really the pre-party BBQ. The main activities will be on Tuesday when the actual date is.  While I had the chance to meet some of my friends the bulk of the weekend was family fun or travelling back and forth between city and the suburbs.

I did go to the Museum of Brisbane, it was ok but not really a museum about Brisbane, rather special exhibits. This week there were several. The first was a retrospective of the history of the Miss Australia pageant (not specifically Brisbane), the second was a display of male artists’ work on the topic of male identity (presumably by Brisbane artists), and lastly in the hall were some banners about the history of Shakespearean performances in Brisbane and Australia.

All in all a very quick and easy museum, as it’s free and in the centre of the city you should check it out particularly if the exhibits are good.

Before I left I downloaded a bunch of podcasts, in addition to my standard ones I’ve added some new ones including Anime World Order, the Front Row Crew and the Ninja Consultants.  While I like all of them I’m enjoying Front Row the most. Check them out, they’ve got different topics everyday that speaks to my inner geek.

Inner geek?

My geekiness also started to pay off on my holiday as well and my flight home as I began seriously studying hiragana.  While I’m not 100%, my writing is terrible and I haven’t even touched katakana yet I do feel confident about recognising the characters so I can continue my studies. As a result I’m a bit behind on my study plans but still in relatively good shape.

Lastly, my new apartment’s views have already paid off when I was able to see some of the fireworks that were being done over the harbour. So cool! I’ve no idea why they were being set off, but who cares.

Podcast update

September 12, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Posted in French Lessons, General, Podcasts | Leave a comment

I have to apologise for forgetting to include this site for studying French in my discussion of language learning by podcast. I’ve used this for a little while and I think it’s pretty good and it is distinctly different to Japanese and Chinese pod. Personally, I quite like the musical interludes. Although as discussed before, like a balanced diet you need to mix the podcasts up with other modes of study to get the most benefit.

Also, Josh in Japan is back. So for a gaijin’s guide to Japan check him out. OK for some reason the link function isn’t working and the html isn’t showing any discrepancies so…JiJ’s site is: www.joshinjapan.com

Now on a random note, I’ve been looking at hundreds of emails at work today and it strikes me as odd that in this day and age people would submit registration emails like: http://www.address@place.com or address.place.com So weird.

Progression is good.

July 13, 2006 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Language Study, Podcasts, Random | Leave a comment

I’ve been pondering what to do with my “languages” page and as this blog is meant to be, in part, a reflection of my motivation I thought it best to, after completing a unit in my textbook, to do a recap possibly with vocab and grammar notes. If I don’t I imagine I’ll keep coming up with excuses not to study. Therefore I’ll be building that up over the week. Unless something shiny distracts me.

Also I recently listened to Josh in Japan and his very interesting pod-cast of, well, a guy called Josh living in Japan. He’ll soon be heading back to the US to complete studies, fortunately he’ll be continuing his JiJ pod-cast and possibly future endeavours. Download episode 40 for the details. I’ve enjoyed the pod-casts, it was great to listen to them while bored at work and gave me incentive to travel to Japan! Best of luck to you and your family and hope to hear more, whether it’s Japan related or not.

Random – despite updating all my software and hardware my fancy (relatively) new Dell Media PC occasionally will not restart/load from standby mode leaving me no choice but to pull out the plug and put back in again thus losing all active data and probably doing some other damage. I’m not sure if I should blame Microsoft (such an easy target) or Dell. Though as a gripe it’s not so bad.

Learning by pod

July 12, 2006 at 1:58 pm | Posted in French Lessons, Japanese lessons, Language Study, Mandarin Lessons, Podcasts | 3 Comments

I recently got a search hit for Japanese Pod 101 and I thought it would be a good idea to go into more detail with my language learning experiences through the medium of pod-casting instead of the one sentence aside I had previously.

Besides JP101 I also use Chinese Pod. I think they may be jointly owned; although they have different sponsors the similarity in their site design is remarkable. Though that’s just mild speculation on my part and has nothing to do with their product.

The great benefit of both is the ability to download lessons on a variety of topics and abilities in a fun, up to date setting that is by far an improvement over my previous audio systems – language CDs. However, just like those CDs I’d often get distracted or start pondering something or other while commuting. The easiest time to listen. As a result I’ve tended to not absorb or learn as much as I could or should. 

One of the features on JP101 (not sure about CP) is a feature providing sub titles on ipod and some other mp3 players. My Imate doesn’t appear to have this function but for everyone else it’s great!

Both as a language learning tool and a money earner (they definitely deserve it) the hosts (who are fantastic) recommend visiting the site to download a plethora of other materials. It’s these additional materials and helpful community on their forums that put both pods above the rest. They have 7-day free trials that should help if you’re undecided as well as basic and premium packages.

The audio is an important part of the learning process and the added materials help to round everything out although it’s important to note, generally, and for me to acknowledge that without dedication all of these wonderful tools will not lead to growth.

This blog is part of developing that dedication. If you have the motivation take a look at the pod-casts.

I would have liked to tell you about a French pod-cast but sadly there is no French equivalent that I’ve found of equal value. If you have a suggestion please let me know.

Not so Japan -easy

July 5, 2006 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Language Study, Podcasts | 1 Comment

I went to Berlitz last night for a complimentary beginner’s Japanese class. Overall I wasn’t satisfied with the class. While I see the advantage of a small class if everyone’s not up to speed it can bring everything down. I felt bad for one of the students who had clearly not studied at all and the teacher tried to explain the concepts but it was not sinking in. One of the other students was obviously frustrated and kind of an ass about it, the final student seemed decent. The teacher was ok and while I understood her unhappiness with the weak student I didn’t appreciate the comments she made when he was out of the room. Professionalism please! On the flip side (that’d be my puerile side) the teacher had long curly hair, occasionally she’d run her hand through it leaving a big swath of it, up and over the left to the right side. I had to stifle my laughter – I must have been bored or tired – I had had 3 coffees and a coke that day!

While I want to speak the language I also want to be able to read and write. Assuming (big assumption) I do study when I plan to I can see myself getting bored pretty quickly in class, personally I don’t need to drill the same forms relentlessly. I’d rather do it for a bit, study at home to be reviewed the next week and then move onto more content. Though, that’s just me.

Apparently Berlitz classes basically only do verbal work. They do offer private and semi-private classes but there are only two Japanese teachers, as I’ve mentioned already I’m not thrilled with the teacher I had and having to spend 10, 1 on 1 classes would be a trial. Unfortunately the other teacher comes in on a day I can’t come in.

Regardless of where I study or whether it’s self-study using tools like Japaneses Pod 101 or not will require me to actually study and make an effort. Without that it’s all pointless.

I shall make an effort as my abilities increase to write small pieces in other languages.

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