A Letter from Clumsy Linguist #10
Dear citizen of Clumsy Linguist,
Long time no see! I hope you’ve been doing well (or at least managing while having been stuck at home for a year now).
This month has been a bit of a ride - I went through some of my all-time lows and then I moved back to my mum’s for a bit just so I don’t have to be stuck in lockdown in a foreign country where I don’t know anyone.
And just like that, *snaps fingers*, my mood has drastically improved! Finally, I’m coming to you with another newsletter, this time for March.
Since my last newsletter, these are some of the articles I’ve posted on Medium:
You can read more of my recent work on my Medium profile.
Image found on Goodreads
The Unbearable Lightness of Being is one of my all-time favourites. The author, Milan Kundera, is Czech. I come from the Czech Republic and I must say that this book is one of the few amazing pieces of work in Czech literature I’ve stumbled upon.
The plot revolves around a Czech couple in communist Czechoslovakia. The main reason why this novel is so brilliant is that Kundera dives deep - he explores subconscious motives and philosophical topics related to details and small situations in everyday life. He opens up discussions about deeply fascinating aspects of life, love, existence and the opposites.
I re-read the book recently and I ended up giving it 5 stars again because it’s simply breath-taking. I highly recommend this book.
Paradoxically, moving out of Germany for a bit makes me want to learn German more. I know - it’s weird.
In any case, I downloaded some apps for verb conjugation that I find extremely helpful. The verb conjugation is an essential aspect of learning languages; for those of you who don’t know the term, it’s when you take a verb in its infinitive form (for example “to be”, “to go”, “to eat”) and you change the form of the verb depending on what person it relates to.
“To go” is conjugated in English like this:
As you can see, not much changes. The only thing that’s different is the third person singular because you add an s at the end. However, things get trickier in other languages, for example German:
“Gehen” (which means “to go” in German):
The verb has many more forms as you can see, and these are important to memorise. French is even more varied:
“Aller” (“to go” in French)
And that’s verb conjugation for you, my friends. It applies to every single verb and you can’t properly construct sentences without memorising the conjugation of the verb in question.
That’s where apps come in! I’ve downloaded an app called “German Verbs” for practising German and “Conjuu” for French. So far, they’ve both been amazing.
(This isn’t sponsored, by the way. I just really like the products.)
If you’re not a fan of apps, you can write the verbs down and practise them from time to time. I used to do that all the time when I started learning French.
Apart from accidentally jumping on my mum’s foot, I’ve been good.
Have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you soon.