samedi 1 mai 2010

Phrasebooks, recent purchases, lang-8 and French

Our boxes finally arrived from Montreal. From a language learning perspective, this means I now have my EN<->NL pocket dictionary, my Dutch phrasebook, my Dutch grammar, and the Dutch books I bought when I was here in September.

I'm really glad the phrasebook has arrived, actually. While I like Assimil's dialogs, they sometimes fail on giving you they structures and vocab you need _now_ to be able to handle the basics in a new language. (French in Action is really bad for this: it teaches you how to shoot-down a pick-up artist before you learn how to order in a restaurant. However, if the expectation is that you'll complete the course before moving to France, the exact order doesn't matter. Having a phrasebook solves the problem of not being able to communicate until you've completed the course.) When I was learning French, I had a French phrasebook that I carried around for ages and pretty much memorized. Hopefully the Dutch phrasebook will be as effective.

Picked up H2G2 in Dutch, and a Tintin (Kuifje).

Did another lang-8 post, this one on our outing on Queen's Day. A brief description of the days activities is about all I can do in Dutch -- that's already at my limit. In French, I needed to find a topic that interested me because the language was much less of a barrier.

Speaking of French, I've been feeling my French getting worse. Comprehension is still great, but just my production. I might either see if I can find a somebody in Amsterdam who wants to do French<->English conversation exchange or possibly start doing lang-8 posts again.

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