This is a crucial aspect to language learning and I may have touched upon this in the past. This is why when you immerse yourself in a language its much easier to pick it up then if you are only reading it for example. This is why my Greek has come on leaps and bounds recently as well as writing lots of inane sentences online that I wouldn’t dream of writing in English due to their simplistic nature. Listening helps you pick up on the stresses in words and can help you detect where the person comes from as all regions have accents. Even no accent can possibly be classified. This however presents a problem if I want to learn other languages at the same time as I need to create immersion environments for them all but they might come into conflict and make my brain explode. I don’t fancy having that happen to me. So how do I work around this? Multi lingual people? A friend in each language? A place that speaks various languages as standard? As you can probably figure out I haven’t a clue how to resolve this as yet.

Going back to basics with Greek

Sometimes there is nothing like reading a proper old-school book (Collins Greek phrase book from 1977) to cement certain knowledge into your head that you know because you’ve seen it lots but you haven’t quite grasped it in its entirety. So far I have understood the Lefkas road sign (it wishes you a good voyage instead of welcoming you as your leaving), the reason why I can never say toothpick (οδοντογλυφιδα) correctly, why Bravo and only this is always said to congratulate me on speaking Greek correctly and the ever presence of οριστε (oriste) to mean a variety of things depending on the inflections used.

I know words are used to communicate but with the same phrase meaning so many different things, ποτε (pote) for instance, meaning both when and never depending on where you place the accent, it’s extremely difficult for me to differentiate between them yet alone reproduce them in speech or writing. Yes, I can deal with παρακαλω (parakalo) being please, your welcome but also a person in a shop getting your attention or even you getting theirs. Using it as excuse me too is pushing the boundaries but then there is also γειο σου (yia sou) which literally means your health but is a catch-all for hello, goodbye and goodness knows what else and is why I’m getting rather perplexed with the Greek language as these are just the most basic of phrases. Extend this to the 4 different ways to say my name is με λενε … (me lene …), Ποιο είναι το όνομα σου? (poio einai to onoma sou) etc and you get the picture as to why Greek is such a different language to learn as I haven’t even started on how are you? or anything more complex than an introductory phrase. As you can see I’m not even taking into account the gender changing the ends of words, the form in front of them, whether its single or plural, the formality that is required to be used here or sentence organization which can be rather flexible at the best of times. This is enough to drive any logically minded person like myself insane!

Others may look at that and think well that’s easy there are fewer words for me to remember but its the way you say them to infer the various meanings that gets to me the most and how are you to decipher this in text without the different stresses you can reproduce when talking?

Completed book projects

As you may know, April is Autism awareness month and since I have Aspergers Syndrome I wrote a book about our preferred forms of communication. Aspergers and preferred methods of communication

Also my most recent Autistic interest has been learning Modern Greek and I have learnt it sufficiently to write a small ebook about it. How I learnt Greek – An English Introvert’s guide

I published them at the same time as there both related to language and speaking and one helped the other etc.

Pointing at the Autism

a very good article illustrating that we are different yet the same.

Autism and expectations

I can’t always tell which bits of me are a result of being autistic, and which bits would have been there anyway. It may not be helpful to know one way or another.

I share as many personality characteristics with other autistic people, as I do with other brown eyed people.

What we do have in common are some experiences, some ways of seeing social interaction, some loves and hates of sensory input.

What we don’t have in common, is a sense of humour, a dress sense, an accent. Because autistic people are just people like everyone else.

Autism is something that can isolate us. It can lead to difficulties in dealing with social situations. It can lead to sensory overload.

Just like I don’t understand the more common negative reaction to certain stimuli – I can happily scrape my nails down a chalkboard, or rub a balloon and make…

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