obuwanguzi (success)!

The word of the week is obuwanguzi - success! I'm happy to report that I experienced success on several different levels this week.

In terms of time and effort, it was a very good week. I met with my language mentor twice, both of which were productive conversations. I watched a number of news segments in Luganda, read the newspaper regularly, and kept up with my long-term learning on Quizlet. I did some writing practice, and I did my monthly test of vocabulary. I listened to the radio and to Luganda music. And, as has become usual, I kept up a whatsapp conversation with a friend (it was fun to show him a photo of the snow today!).

But success showed itself to me in other ways, too.

One evening, I was listening to the radio in the background while I did some other work. As the hosts came on to discuss the news, I turned the volume up, hoping that I would catch some words here and there. When they began to talk, I realized that I was actually understanding them. They gave updates on three current event stories, and I got the jist of what they were saying. If this doesn't seem like a big deal to you, it sure felt like a big deal to me. Even at the beginning of this semester, I wasn't able to understand much except for disparate words. The announcers speak so quickly that it's been really hard for me to follow entire sentences. Part of the reason for this success, I'm sure, is that I have been paying close attention to some recent news stories (notably, these two), so I was able to catch some keywords. Nonetheless, this was my biggest jump forward in terms of my listening skills that I've experienced to date.

Later in the week, I took my vocabulary test. For those unfamiliar, this is something I do once a month, using a set of words on Quizlet that our former classmate Lindsay uploaded. It's a large set of words, over 800, and not a list that I use to study. The hope is that as my Luganda skills grow, my ability to do well with this un-studied vocabulary list will increase as well. The other advantage is that I've been tracking my progress over time. My first week of studying Luganda, I got 7% correct. About a year ago, I got 48% of the words right. And this week, I got 81%! I'm always a little nervous that one of these times, I'll do worse on the test than the month before, revealing that it's all a fluke. But every time, I improve on the month before, and little by little I can see my knowledge growing.

I acquired a couple new learning resources this week, as well. First, I found out that the Jesus Film that my classmate Regina has been watching in Krio is also available in Luganda! I definitely plan to watch it in its entirety. I also found that Wikipedia is available with some entries in Luganda, which I want to explore as a reader, and maybe some day as a contributor!

Finally, and already shared in our class's Facebook group, I made my very first Luganda pun. Not sure I've ever been so proud of a pun in my life (and that's saying something as I tend to have a lot of pun-based pride).

So, that's the week! Unfortunately it's unlikely the coming week will live up to the past one, but that's why these supper successful weeks are so important!


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