Showing posts from February, 2018

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)

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

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 at

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 a