Friday, February 27, 2015

Music and learning Spanish

Music is a great tool to learn any language, it's one of the easiest ways to discover new vocabulary and memorize it, just enjoy the music, then search for the translation , that's it.

Everyone has it's own technique to learn vocabulary through music, mine is that every time I listen to a song I like, and I know I'll be replaying a lot. I search for it's lyrics and translation on internet, then I copy down on my notebook the chorus of the song, and try to memorize it. the chorus is always easy to remember and has always some really interesting vocabulary. I tried before to copy down the whole song but I ended up not remembering a word from that song. and I don't know why, maybe it's just too much for my brain. so ya that's my way.

Even though spanish is a language that a lot of people speak, a LOT, when I first started learning it, I couldn't find songs that suits my taste, til now all I'm listening to are songs by Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias, and I really like those three, but I would like to discover more singers, that's why I'll be posting blogs about my favorite spanish songs, I'll try to make an effort and search for new musicians and songs that I didn't knew before, maybe those posts will be useful to someone out there!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My spanish learning journey

Today I wanted to write about my spanish learning journey, how I started and where I am now.
I started learning spanish in my first year of university, I didn't have a specific reason for this choice, it was just that I  wanted to do something useful in my free time, and also I thought it would be a good addition in my CV.
Since there was no spanish course in my majoring, I started learning it by myself at home, first I started searching for some free resources online, and that's where I discovered this really interesting youtube channel called SpanishDict, it's a great start for someone who knows absolutely nothing about the spanish language, the videos in this youtube channel are in english, they present spanish in a very easy way, I learned a lot of vocabulary from them.

It was a really useful learning resource for me, until that stage where the lessons become more about the grammar, I couldn't understand much of those lessons since the spanish and the english grammar are so different, so I stopped watching the spanishdict videos but I liked their page on facebook, every day they post a new vocabulary which is a good thing.
I didn't find much about spanish grammar on the internet, so I bought a book called 40 Leçons pour parler espagnol, this book contains 40 spanish grammar lesson explained in french, this book helped me a lot, mainly because there is a lot of similarities between the french and the spanish grammar.

I learned so much from this book from grammar to pronunciation; but it was so hard to learn just grammar; grammar is important but learning it is so boring, plus I kept forgetting the rules. so I gave up learning from this book around the lesson number 25, and I had to switch up to another  thing.
I returned to internet, and that's where I found about the podcast Notes In Spanish, and I downloaded their mp3 episodes from iTunes, they are free which is greet. they are presented by Marina and Ben, where they talk to each other about different subjects in spanish and english, I still listen to them, I think they are really interesting.

Now after two years of learning, I try to listen to a podcast every day, I listen to music in spanish like always, and every now and then I read a children's book in spanish, but I'm so far from being fluent, there is, on internet, some people who say they become fluent in spanish in three months, I don't know how those people did that, all I know is that it's not my case, learning this language is so hard, it needs patience, some days I lose all motivation to continue, especially that I'm doing it alone with no teacher, I took learning this language as a challenge, I wish this year I stay motivated enough to achieve it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The day I took the decision of dropping out of university

Tuesday 03-02-2015

At 08:00
the first exam of the first semester, I was well prepared for it but not so confident as always, I spent all the waiting before the exam alone, I looked at people's eyes trying to recognize someone but I didn't, I couldn't find a single person I knew. After a quarter of an hour the teachers handed us the exam papers, the exam wasn't hard but it was all about the theoretical part of the course, which I wasn't expecting. I did my best, just thinking about restudying for this course made me sick.

At 10:00
Half an hour before the second exam, again I didn't find a person to talk with, I didn't know much people in this university it's my first year in here, but it was so weird that I couldn't see the few people I knew, to calm down I sung in my head all the songs I knew from fayrouz to saad lamjarred.

At 10:30 
Before distributing the exam papers, the teachers asked us to clean our tables from any documents, even the authorized one "le plan comptable", at first I thought it was a misunderstanding, but no it turned out we are not allowed to use it, I felt my body trembling this wasn't fair, but what shocked me the most was the attitude of the students, the class had more than 100 student, no one said a word they just accepted this unfairness, I found myself thinking about what would happen if the same thing took place at my old university, with no doubt no one would have passed that exam, but this is not my old university, this made me realize why I couldn't make friends, the same attitude happens every other place I go to, people not respecting each other, not caring, thinking just about themselves.
The exam was about a practical course, but half of the questions were about the rules that normally we find in "le plan comptable",
I didn't do much in this exam either, simply because instead of thinking about the answers of the exam, I was thinking about going out of that class.

 At 12:00
In the bus on my way to home, again I was alone, but this time I needed to be alone, I had a decision to take, either I give up and take a half a year vacation, or take a deep breath, accept those conditions, just get used to them, and finish what I started. 

 At 13:30
At home, my family was around the table eating lunch, I washed my hands and joined them, dad asked me how the exams passed I said fine.

 At 15:00
My sister asked me about the exam I have tomorrow, I told her I have none, she knew I had exams in three successive days, she knew that something was wrong with me, that moment I knew I’ll have one of the longest days in my Life, where I'll have to convince my two sisters, my mother then my father why I don’t want to continue studying.
It was a long day but my family kind of respected my decision, it was clear I had suffered much already, it wasn't a decision I took because I had a crappy day, I had worst days before, and I was so tired of fighting, but they kept insisting on me to just pass the rest of the exams even if I’ll not attend school the next semester, but I had already took the decision.

I didn't want to forget this day that's why I wrote about it with so much details, education was always an important part of my life and I wasn't picturing my last day of it would be like this. 
I have no plan for now, and I don’t know what the future hides for me, I don’t know if I’ll regret this decision in year or two, all I know is that now I feel like I took the right decision.