Little by little, day by day

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Last week was terrible Hebrew study wise — I got some studying done but very little compared to how much free time I had.

However, the last few days I’ve got a decent amount of Hebrew done — at least compared to the last week when I barely got anything. Yesterday I had to pick 100 kilos cucumbers so I did it listening to Pimsleur Hebrew and this morning when I was chatting with 은하 and Joseph I was watching two episodes of החברים של נאור (Hahaverim Shel Naor) — the first time I barely understood everything, but the more I watched it and had it playing in the background the more I started understanding what things meant and what the story was about.

Right now I just put on Pimsleur in the background — I find even if I don’t get everything from the lesson that way, it’s still in the background and I’ve been surprised that I’ve been getting more than I realized.

One of the reasons I haven’t gotten as much Hebrew done as I had hoped for was for lack of energy — so I need to try to combat that as well as working on Hebrew. Two strategies I’ve found immediately helpful – make sure I drink lots of water, and put my contacts (I wear contacts) on early in the day instead of spending the morning and early afternoon contactless.

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Looking ahead

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I’m trying to think of how to shake up my Hebrew language learning. I need to find a way of getting lot more speaking practice, and participating — as well as finding mediating people who can help me get into the culture.

Watching movies seems to help incredibly with learning phrases, words and even complete sentences that come in very handy later. One problem is that I get incredibly bored watching movies. Something I’ve done to combat that is to put the movie in the background so I only concentrate on the movie when there are actually interesting parts — otherwise I count it as my passive listening.

I’m keeping on working on building up my Anki words database. I would like to start my sentence database as soon as possible.

Cafe studying

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It’s been raining and pouring here where I am in Israel. Although it makes it hard to work it makes it easy to sleep or study — two luxuries I’ve enjoyed indulging in the last few days.

Yesterday I tremped to the Aroma cafe and got about four hours of decent study done — from four pm to nine thirty. I can definitely concentrate better there than at the farm. I mostly worked with Colloquial Hebrew. I got to the middle of the seventh chapter. Since there are only fourteen chapters I’m hoping to finish the book by tomorrow.

Because I want to move fast through the book I’m skipping most of the exercises and focusing on the grammer, vocabulary, usage, and the dialogues — writing stuff down in my notebook as I go. I want to internalise the information by practicing with people and working with source materials or listening to and memorising the dialogues rather than doing the exercises.

My practice in cursive writing has gone very good. I’ve been practicing writing the first few lines of ‘Vodka and Bread’. I also wrote a lot of my vocabulary from Colloquial Hebrew in cursive which gave me a lot of practice. I can write almost all the letters confidently now — if I keep practicing by tomorrow I shouldn’t have to look at my cheat sheet at all.

Discouragement, Pimsleur and Writing Hebrew

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I’ve been discouraged recently how little Hebrew I’ve been studying and learning. The zest for studying comes and goes and my laptop is broken so I can’t watch stuff in Hebrew in my downtime.

My laptop should get fixed soon though and in the meantime I want to finish all three Pimsleur courses that I’ve been wanting to finish for a while but have only half-heartedly worked on. I was hoping I could study them in the fields but there hasn’t been enough farm work to give me time to listen. So today I decided to go for a two hour walk and fimished four episodes. I think I’ll keep on doing this because I have a lot of time on my hands but if I listen to them sitting or lying down I’ll fall asleep.

I bought the audio book ‘Vodka and Bread’ and have been listening a lot to that in my down time — and have been able to pick out words and phrases which is a lot of fun. I also bought the hard copy so I can use it with the audio.

While my computer is away I want to get really good at writing Hebrew– which is my goal for the next three days. My plan? Copy out the first several pages of ‘Vodka and Bread’ in handwritten script.