You’ve got to have a plan…

Road Sign - Victory Blvd. - DSC2554

The British Council’s recent language learning drive has – so far* – inspired me to take a more methodical approach to my Bengali study, which has tended to wax and wane over the last ten years.

It’s fine when a family holiday to India looms and I know I’ll actually be able to use the language. But it’s more sporadic when there’s no such goal at the front of my mind.

Unfortunately we only go to India once every five years, so I often fall into troughs when my study is neither as consistent nor as effective as I’d like. Continue reading

What’s the best way to learn vocabulary?

Words.

The British Council recently uploaded a series of YouTube videos as part of its language learning campaign.

One of them – see below – takes aim at vocabulary and provides some practical advice on how to increase the number of foreign words you know, clearly a vital step down the path of learning any new language.

As the videos’ star, Alex Rawlings, puts it: “Learning new languages is about learning new words.”

Continue reading

The first 1,000 words are the hardest?

Dictionary of the Frisian Language - Word archive

In the flurry of New Year-themed campaigns – drink less, exercise more, be a better person, etc – there was one that particularly caught my eye this year.

International education and cultural charity the British Council put its weight behind a language-learning drive, calling on Brits (notoriously resistant to anything other than the ‘talk slowly and loudly in English’ method of communicating when abroad) to include learning a foreign language in their 2016 resolutions.

There’s no specific Bengali angle of course, but the campaign’ broader message and tips should resonate whatever language you’re studying. Continue reading

New Bengali dictionary in the works


The venerable Bangla Academy celebrated turned 60 in December and, having celebrated its diamond jubilee, there are plans afoot for a brand new Bengali dictionary.

As director general Samsuzzaman Khan told Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper: Continue reading

Meting a goal – books in 2015

From studying Bengali to blogging regularly, I struggled to find the time for many things I wanted to do more of last year.

But reading was one I did manage to keep up with, even meeting my annual Goodreads challenge to myself of finishing 35 books in the year.

Certainly there were some judicious choices made along the way to help keep the target within reach, but -for the first time since 2011 (during much of which I had a long train commute to work) – I did it. Continue reading

Must try harder, or my WordPress 2015 Review

I hate those blog posts that apologise for not having written more/more recently, though it was certainly something I alluded to in yesterday’s post.

Nevertheless, this blog’s sixth year of existence was hardly its greatest one, with a miserly four posts all year thanks to all sorts of valid but mundane reasons.

Naturally the plan for 2016 is to try harder, write more, learn more, do more, but then isn’t it always at this time of the year. Continue reading

শুভ নব বছর – বাংলা দিনলিপি

Flower for the new years eve
এই বছর এখানে হয়তো আরও লেখা থাকবে – অন্তত, আসা করছি ।