Learning French at school vs Learning Greek as an adult

At the moment my mind is making me remember the French I learnt at school which is something that I haven’t really needed to use in about 15 years. It’s possibly because tourists are always in Canterbury or it could be because I’m learning Greek using Memrise which is a brilliant app for a visual learner and I’m remembering what the same questions are etc. They say the best way to learn a language is to piggyback it off another making steps and connections between the two.

French was difficult to learn as it was in a classroom, by rote and there never seemed to be any use for it outside the classroom as it was purely academic. Greek is because I would like to speak it, I hear it all the time when I’m over there and I would like to have a conversation in it despite my shyness/social awkwardness/bad accents/inability to speak loudly/distinctly enough. So completely different reasons and environments.

Greek is also quite phonetic so it seems quite easy to pick it up as long as you can hear it. That seems to be the key as my retention is improved dramatically if I can listen to the words as well as looking at them. I’m learning to spell, read and recognize too so total immersion except practising speaking. Check out my youtube channel if you want to see me practise words like these and more.


The questions I’m certainly thinking of are the basic ones in all languages.

Hello (Bon jour, Yias sou),

How are you? (Sava?, Te can nis?), 

I’m very well thankyou, (Tres bien, mer ci?, Poli kal la, e fal a stow?),

and you? (Et toi? Kai sou or just sou),

What is your name? (Com mon tu t’appelles?, Por se lene?),

My name is Angela (Je m’appelle Angele, Me lene Angeliki),

I am 30 years old (Je suis trent e ans, trianta, eimai trianda chronos )

I live in England, (Je hab bite Ang le terre, zou apo tin Anglia)

I would like a ham and cheese sandwich please (Je vou drais en jam bon et fro mage sandwich mer ci, The lo kai ty ri para kal lo),

How much is it? (C’est com bi en? Poso kano?)

What time is it? (Te or in ne?)

Where is Tim? (Po e say Tim mo the us?)

Do you speak french/english? (Parle en francais/anglais?, milao gal li ki/ang li ka)

Yes a little, (Oui en peu, Nai ligo),

No (Non, Oxi!),

Excuse me I don’t understand, slowly (Excuse m’ moi je n’pas Sig nom mie, then cat a la me ra si gar si gar),

OK (En dax i),

I don’t know (Thank seroh!),

Why? (pour quoi?, y ati),

That’s life (C’est la vie, Te can e mai),

and Goodbye (Au re voir, A di o).

Apologies if I’ve spelt things wrong but spell checker even seems to work in French as it was correcting my spelling as I was going and possibly even in Greek too as it doesn’t seem to disagree with what I have written. There are a couple of gaps but I’m sure they will be filled in soon.



Watching beer being brewed

Yesterday I went over to a friends house to see how beer is brewed. While the procedures was simple enough and there wasn’t too many ingredients or equipment involved, it’s extremely time consuming and keeping your concentration on the same task for 6 hours was quite an effort. Plus that was only making it, it’s not fit to drink for about a month yet. This is a very generic recipe for a hoppy pale and that was how he brews it but you can do it a lot more scientific and measured if your that way inclined. He has posted the recipe online but I just thought I would do a general operating procedures post as he doesn’t tend to write down what he does relying on memory as he has been doing this for about 2 years now so knows what he is doing.

Step one

Get a big pot and boil some water in it it. If you have limestone heavy water some carbonate reducing solution is advisable because it will affect the quality of your beer otherwise. (Like when making hot drinks etc.)

Step two

Get a big container and put a permeable lining in it so that it doesn’t touch the bottom. Then put your carefully weighed out malts in it and possibly oats/other grains.

Step three

Put the hot water from your pot into the container and let it steep for about an hour depending on how much grain etc you have.

Step four

While your waiting weigh out your hops into separate containers for later adding to your wort. Label so you remember when to add each of them as you could have 4 different additions or more and there is so many different combinations you can use.

Step five

Make up some sterilising solution if you don’t already have some as you will need this later to sterilise the bucket that you will be using to contain your beer. If its already made, you can sterilise your bucket but keep it away from fruit flies which will be attracted to the sugars present in the fermenting malts/alcohol.

Step six

Put a little bit of your wort in a bottle and use iodine solution to check to see if all the sugar has come out of the malt. This may take as little as 30 minutes or may take significantly longer depending on quantity used. The test itself is instant and if its stays the same colour, a yellow/brown then you can move on to the next step. If its a black/purple colour then you need to let it continue for a bit longer. This is not a definitive test but works well enough.

Step seven

You drain the liquid from the container into another tub. This is your wort. You look at the colour/clearness of it and it should resemble a murky brown that clears as you continue to wash your malts etc in clean hot water. It is ok if it doesn’t come completely clear just clearer than the start. Three times should be sufficient

Step eight

Your wort goes into your big pan and you use what is in effect a bain marie to put your hops in so that they are contact with the water so that they infuse it with bitterness, flavour and aroma but you don’t get bits of disintegrated hops in your wort. Irish moss is useful for keeping your beer clear and doesn’t add any strange flavours etc that other ingredients may.

Step nine

So your water has boiled, you have added your hops and now it is time to cool your beer. This can take about 2 hours again depending on heat, quantity etc. You can get piping that absorbs heat and lets you flow through cold water to assist in this endeavour.

Step ten

When your liquor has reached about 20c you can put it into your sterilized bucket being very careful not to get anything that may taint the liquor also inside. Now you add your yeast and oxygenate the mix so that the yeast works quicker and close up your bucket when done.

Step eleven

Your beer is now made as you have added water, malts, hops and yeast which are the four main ingredients. Now you need a sample of your beer to check its gravity. This is important as it allows you check its alcohol percentage and how much sugar is still unconverted. It can be diluted possibly if you want a weaker beer.

Step twelve

Now the boring bit, the washing up. Plus you will probably be hungry after all that time so eat something.

Step thirteen

After about a week look to see what state your beer is at. You could possibly dry hop it at this point in time (more on this later) or you could possibly bottle it (more on this later).

Step fourteen

When bottling it must be sterile and if fermentation has not finished it could cause the bottles to explode so you have to be careful but if you have done everything right it shouldn’t happen. Its best to label your brews otherwise you will forget what’s in them if you make lots of different types in the same type of bottle.

Step fifteen

Drink and analyse to see what went right/wrong and what you would do differently if you were going to make it again. Temperature and humidity can affect how a beer turns out as well as the storage conditions. Freshness of ingredients is also key as well as cleanliness to prevent degradation and off flavours from entering your precious beer. Documentation is helpful not just for posterity.

4 containers of hops


Aspergers and language learning

Now on the face of it you would think that the two go together really well because really good memory, desire to learn, curiosity, appreciation of culture, history, word association and lots of time to devote to it plus the ability to search out all the resources that are free through the internet, print, audio etc. We might even devote sufficient time to write a book about acquiring these resources as languages are built upon other languages and if were really interested and go to a place frequently we can understand the need for permanent copies. The tricky thing is interacting with people and checking that what we have learned it correct. If your pronunciation is anything like mine its atrocious and I can’t even be understood in my own language let alone any other. This creates issues as how are you ever going to progress if all your doing is learning a language much like you did in school that consists of memorisation of words but no way of actually conversing with any one? How does one get over the innate shyness that is present with Aspergers and prevent yourself from becoming a laughing stock as you accidently said something extremely rude etc? This could be a common occurrence as there are words called false friends as they sound very similar but are completely different in meaning. Well I don’t know how to overcome this because while the safe subject to talk about after you have introduced yourself is the weather in the UK this doesn’t follow for most of the rest of the world. So do you talk about sports, politics, religion, current affairs? I tend to not really say anything which is really hampering my language development. I can order food, drink and ask base questions like what is your name, what time is it, where is ? but beyond that I’m a bit lost. My degree of comprehension varies depending on the language and I can read/understand a fair bit but talking forget about it. I’m just too shy which is very weird if you have ever heard me talk. I tend to be a bit extreme in details at times because the filtering process isn’t really there. Perhaps I should apply that approach to my own language lol. I guess it comes down to getting an interest in people’s lives so that I sufficiently relate to what there dealing with which is a difficulty in Aspergers becoming involved in the minutiae of daily social lives.