Memorial Day Weekend

The essays will resume on 5/29, as I plan to spend the three day weekend reading a much anticipated novel:


Economic Collapse Tomorrow – Still Learning French

If you have access to the Internet in America, you have probably seen this warning about an economic collapse occuring on May 28th, 2016. I really do not understand the motivation to make such videos and predictions, and I find it hard to believe that the videos themselves generate enough income to cover the cost of producing them.

052816 Collapse

At the end of the day, I really don’t know what to make of the fascination with doomsday predictions. These particular videos lack substance and offer no sane alternatives. As I look at the US Dollar, it certainly appears to be trading in a normal range. How the dollar collapses on a Saturday, with there being no trading of the currency on that day, further mystifies me…

052716 USDX

Should I be able to make it to next week in one piece, I should be able to continue to learn French and Italian, instead of wasting my time worrying about mysteriously predicted events. Good luck everyone.

Language Learning

As many of my readers know, I process languages using a method that includes templates, and have used them to quickly create blogs and study material. Today I came upon this article:

The premise of the article is that by exposing yourself to the early stages of several languages, in this case computer languages, you begin to see the similarities in their structure and are no longer intimidated by a particular language’s unique syntax and nomenclature. Instead, by slowly and thoroughly learning the first language’s logic, subsequent languages will not seem unique. Personally, I just started working through a free on-line computer course, similar to the website based language learning “Duolingo”, and chose their Java offering:

Since I’ve programmed in Python and Visual Basic for side projects in my professions in the past, the “basics” module of this Java course felt surprisingly familiar. Once you have taken the time to work through a computer language, like Python…

your next computer language is merely an acceptance of new syntax and nomenclature, not structure or theory. This helps explains why polyglots (and language course marketing departments) often claim that you can learn a language fluently in three months. A polyglot is able to become proficient in a new language in a short period of time because they have previously learned and understand sentence structure, and advanced grammar concepts. An inexperienced language learner must plod through these concepts, often disheartened by this unforeseen challenge, and very often quitting early in the program.


Most of the time, my blog  is of interest to no one, except to the hardcore French language self-learner. Lately, the verb conjugation page that I worked up for French, when I first started with French, a year-and-a-half ago, has become the subject of ridicule, in both English and French:

duo wtf

I felt the same way when I was attempting to put it together, so I don’t feel anything other than agreement. Romance languages and their obsession with verb tense manipulation are similar to the honorific obsessions of Asian languages. Every language has it’s challenges (even Esperanto, and I personally feel that language is a nightmare, and received much hatred for sharing my opinion) and those that love their language,  are in denial.

Quick Quizlet Creation

This may be valuable information to you, and I don’t want to leave it buried in the comments…

It’s incredibly easy to copy two-columned lists into Quizlet (from Word, Excel, etc), and they show how to do it here:

On my Korean blog, I posted an entry summarizing all of the other tricks to importing/exporting lists into and out of Excel/Anki/Quizlet, here:

As an example, I work with this page all the time:

If I wanted to create a Quizlet deck (and the Quizlet site will automatically add the audio for me), I would copy and paste the columns into Excel, delete the titled lines (any line without the English and French), and then copy and paste the finished Excel columns into Quizlet, following the directions in the first link of this post. The result would be this:

Besides the cards themselves, there are several other tools that Quizlet offers. Try the “Learn” button, after you’ve mastered the flashcards, and you will be challenged to take your knowledge to another level. Now try the other site functions with your “deck”.

Now you understand why I put all of my wordlists on all of my language blogs into simple two-column formats (except Korean, I use three-columns, but you know how to combine texts from two columns into one, and we’ve been using Anki on the Korean blog so far). You can simply copy and drop the two-column list from my blogs into Quizlet, and you’re off to the races.