This was a fairly typical week for my language studies. I managed to reach my Omuzannyo point goal and spent a good amount of time working through the translation exercises in the Luganda grammar book that I'm using. I'm starting to get to chapters that deal with some of the more nuanced grammatical points, and so I'm trying to go slowly, pay careful attention, and aim for accuracy as I practice.

An example of this type of grammar would be the use of nga. Nga is used in a whole bunch of different ways and in service of different meanings, and it pretty much has always thrown me into a panic when I've come across it while listening or reading. When nga is used before a noun it has one meaning, used before a verb it has a different meaning. When used with a prefix, yet another meaning, and used alongside the word bwe (which translates to when), another. The list goes on.

In sharpening my use of grammar like nga, I am inching ever closer to the superior proficiency level …

Kintu, Bemba, and cultural learning

This week was definitely better than last, but it wasn't a knockout week either. I felt pretty crappy throughout the first part of it and struggled to have the energy to get much done. And then, miraculously, on Thursday I woke up feeling 100% better. Hooray!

One of the highlights of my week was reading the first couple chapters of a book I'd gotten through inter-library loan, The Oral Tradition of the Buganda of Uganda by Immaculate Kizza. I'd checked this out in hopes of having a good selection of proverbs, but it also has several chapters of other oral traditions: legends, myths, and other important stories. On Saturday morning, I was idling around the house and decided to give the introductory chapters a read. I'm so glad I did!

The second chapter outlines the main creation myth of the Buganda, the story of Kintu, which I've encountered multiple times in my language learning. It also gave a nice, compact overview of the legend of Buganda Kingdom's founding,…

can't win 'em all

Ugh, this week.

I came down with some illness on Sunday, got hit hard Monday, and have spent the entire rest of the week trying to get better. Every time I've felt like I was over it, the next day I felt terrible again.

Enough complaining, but all of that is to say that I had a bad week for Luganda study (well, for any and all study). Since the semester thus far has been pretty successful, I'm not worried overall, though I am ready to start feeling better and get back to it.

Because I was sick all week, what I did manage to do was pretty limited/passive. I put in some time listening to a podcast and watching the Jesus movie. I had to cancel one of my sessions with Simon but was able to meet with him on Friday.

One thing that I did manage to do was to keep with my goal of doing some work every day, even though I didn't feel well. So that's one win!

Here is how it all broke down:
Monday: 30 minutes listening to a podcast
Tuesday: 1 hour of lesson work
Wednesday: 25 minutes …

hard work pays off

This was another solid week of Luganda work. In addition to putting in a good amount of time and energy, I had an experience where I could really see the results of the work I've been putting in.

Simon had me translate a short article from the newspaper (above). This type of reading was once completely out of reach for me - too many synonyms, too many uses of nga, too much difficult grammar. But this time, for the first time, it actually feel fairly easy to translate a newspaper article. That's not to say that I had 100% accuracy or knowledge of vocabulary, but that it felt like a pretty manageable task and that my overall comprehension was very high.

Additionally, as I translated, I noticed several elements of the language that I've been working on recently. They included:
- Vocabulary: a number of words which I've been studying lately were used, including enju (a less-commonly used synonym for house), okuteereka (to save money), emitendera (steps, stages)
- Object re…

Akwata empola, atuuka wala.

She who goes slowly goes far. So goes the proverb that is the translation of this blog post's title. It's an apt descriptor for this week in two ways.

First, the proverb reflects another week of slow and steady work. Again, I managed to put in some time each and every day of the week despite another visiting friend. I am slowly making my way through my grammar book, and slowly making progress towards my goals. I feel a sense of chipping away at the language in a new way; this semester's emphasis on sharpening feels different, slower, more intensive. I want my Luganda practice to be steady and for my learning to really stick with me for the long-haul, and I think this phase in my language learning journey reflects this.

Secondly, the proverb represents something new I started doing in the last week. After being introduced to numerous proverbs and never really remembering them, I decided I would make a change. Proverbs are used frequently in conversation, and so it's rea…

steady progress

This was a good, if pretty typical, week. I was able to reach my goal of 80 points and even managed to do that while hosting visitors not once but TWICE over the course of the week. I am continuously working to improve my skills in planning and in carving out time, and this week that practice paid off!

I've continued to focus on getting through a couple of chapters from the grammar book each week. I am really enjoying the process, and each time I do some of the activities from the book, I am able to notice patterns in my mistakes. For example, I frequently mix up the locative suffixes - my use of them is not particularly precise. Knowing this has prompted me to do some additional activities to work out the kinks (similar to my experience with relative/family words last week).

As I'd hoped to do, I printed out my ISP and now am using it more frequently to ensure that I'm on track. It's funny how something as simple as having a hard document has helped me feel more attac…

adventures in grammar and beyond

It's been a busy week! There are three highlights that seem worth sharing.

1) This was my first week actually basing my work on a grammar book and it has been fun. I was a curious whether or not it would be useful in the earliest chapters of the book, since my language skills are certainly beyond the "here's how to make a present-tense sentence" stage. However, the reason I'd avoided the book in the past was because of barely-intelligible-to-me sentences like this: "It is formed by taking the demonstrative stem, prefixing the object infix, and to the result thus obtained, once more prefixing the object infix, with a lengthenging of the vowel." When I was starting out as a Luganda learner, sentences like that made me run for the hills. Now that I have a deeper knowledge of the language, I am able to make a bit more sense of this dense grammatical language. It makes starting work on Chapter 1 much less boring!

In any case, it's been a nice review and …