Tadoku July Round – week 3

18 Jul

I’ve been aiming for at least 20 pages per day throughout the contest so far although I’ve had a handful of days where I haven’t reached this goal. Unlike the last round of Tadoku, I haven’t been reading novels. So far I’ve read a Dutch grammar book and I’ve been reading news websites and blogs every day. Another difference is that last time my goal was to beat everyone else which resulted in me binge reading in the first week and then burning out and doing very little in the weeks after. So this time I decided to concentrate on setting a reasonable goal that I could reach. I hope to reach between 600 and 700 pages by the end of the month so I’ll be at around the same amount as during my binge-tadoku last time. Perhaps this slow-and-steady approach will result in me having more energy to binge at the end of the contest and ultimately read more than I did last month. Well, that’s what I’m hoping.

Bonus post within a post:

Things I have to stop doing in Dutch

  • Saying ‘Well…’ Instead of ‘Nou…’
  • Conjugating the 2nd person verb wrongly by saying, for example, ‘Je ben……………………………..(t!)’
  • Making gender mistakes that I realise I’ve got wrong a split second after I’ve said them.
  • Having a gollem moment whilst trying to pronounce any word starting with GR and god forbid followed by OE.
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It’s Tadoku time again!

30 Jun

I’m entered in Tadoku again. I have to say, I’ve fallen out of the reading habit since the last Tadoku. Reading has never been a passion of mine and I tend to read sporadically, only when I have a book that holds the interest of my monkey mind. However, I know that my language skills improve across the board (speaking, listening, writing) when I read. It’s probably the most effective learning method I’ve used since I reached an intermediate level. So I’m dusting off the library card and I’m ready to get my read on!

Judas video

6 May

I love Lady Gaga’s Judas video so much that I made screen caps of it. Let’s enjoy the highlights…

EDIT: Born This Way is now out, yay! Can’t wait to see the next video : D

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Continue reading

Tadoku – end

2 May

Tadoku has finished and I read 645 pages and came in 33rd(?) place. I have to admit, I lost interest in reading in the past few weeks. I need to get back on the horse and finish off my 12 books goal (only 2 more to go!). I still have a list of authors and specific novels I want to read and subjects (like the boeren in South Africa) that I want to read about in Dutch. After completing the 12 books goal, I’ll probably up it to 25 books. I owe myself a milkshake as a reward after I’ve read 12 books : D

Adriaan van Dis is my favourite writer so far. I’ve only read his travel writing so far the way he writes and his attitude towards his subjects. I found the book ‘Het Beloofde Land’ very interesting because it was a look into the attitudes of white South African farmers at the time of Post-Apartheid and just before the presidency of Nelson Mandela. I was amazed by how small their worlds seemed to be. I imagined the white South African to be aggressively racist after reading about the violence in the cities but it was mostly a tentative and extremely fear based kind of racism in the country side. Those in the book were living in vast, sparse environments with nothing much to do than discuss the graduoise history of the white (Dutch) South African.

Now I’m going to read some fiction by van Dis, starting with De Wandelaar.

Linguistic monogamy

27 Apr

I seem to be moving away from the idea that learning languages is my ‘thing’. I’ve had so many false starts with trying to learn languages other than Dutch that I can’t ignore the reality that I’m in it for the 3d, tangible, cultural experience and not for academic or linguistic motivations. That being said, my current plan is to study Dutch at university. I think it would be great to finally get to jump inside Dutch language culture and pull my level up to ‘fluent’. Dutch is my passion. I would compare it to being in a relationship in the sense that as time goes on you get to know more and more about a person, but the more you know, the more complicated they are and the more you feel there’s still to find out. (If you catch my drift.)  Studying Dutch would be like going on a romantic holiday to the Caribbean with it : D

Side note: On Friday it’s Kate & Will’s wedding and I’m ashamed to admit I’m excited. That’s what you get when you live abroad, a loyalty to your country that you never had while you were residing there. However, the day after is Koninginnedag (Dutch Queen’s official b-day) so I’ll be switching back to orange overnight.


Reading more, not dying

6 Apr

This is how my victory will look.

It’s only day 6 of Read More or Die but it feels longer because of how intensely I’ve been reading. I’ve finished three more books since the 1st of April (granted, they were fairly short but I make up the rules here : P) and read 354 pages.

The competitive aspect of ReadMOD is incredibly motivating. I hate to admit it, but I have a ruthless streak and the image of the Japanese lovers flicking through their mangas and racing to the top ten has me rushing towards the nearest book to get an extra few pages read. It’s made me very picky about reading material. I’ve rejected about seven books because they seemed too difficult or not my style. I want to be able to whizz through the book and up my page count.

If you didn’t sign up this time, I’d recommend going for it in the next round. A month is a good amount of time to focus on reading and eyeing up your position ranking page will have you addicted to reading like it’s cocaine *twitch,  sniff* @_@

I’m looking forward to seeing how much my Dutch has improved at the end of the month!

Read More or Die

31 Mar

Yesterday I found out that the Read More or Die competition is starting a new round in April. The aim is to read as many pages as possible and you’re ranked against other competitors as extra motivation. I was just in time to register!

As you can see in the currently reading box I’ve started reading Kaas by Willem Elsschot. So far I really like it but I’m saving myself for tomorrow so I can get a good start to the competition. The language used seems a bit old fashioned but I can still follow the story so I’m not worried about it. It’s only a short book of 111 pages so as long as my competitive streak takes over, I’ll have it finished in the next few days.

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