Progress report on language learning

I met with my Urdu-speaking friend yesterday. It went really well as I showed him my writing (copying text) and my blind translation, i.e. not using the English version, of a poem. I left blanks for words I didn’t know but there weren’t a lot of them. I like modern poetry b/c it uses everyday words. I checked with him on that and he confirmed that indeed the poems used common words, not the lofty vocabulary of poetry in the classical style, which still dominates Urdu letters.
I’ve left off reading in my Circuit since the election b/c I subscribed to the NYT and it takes several hours to read it. I cancelled the subscription as of the ninth and will hit the Circuit that much harder.
A new category of reading occurred to me: diaries and letters. For some reason, reading Samuel Pepys’ diary made me realize how much I enjoy reading the personal thoughts of other people, letters and diary entries that reveal their personal lives. I have plenty in Urdu and Latin and probably Russian – I’ll have to check the latter. All the other languages will require some searching of my bookshelves. I’m sure I’ll turn more up in French and Spanish. Greek, Norwegian, Dutch and Kweyol might require some purchases and my daughter told me today she’s getting me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, so there you are.
One neat thing about my Urdu work yesterday: a lady from Pakistan hangs out at Starbucks when we’re there and before my friend arrived, she walked by and I asked her what a word meant: angar. She said it meant a garden with trees at the side of or behind the house. When my friend arrived, he said it unequivocally meant front lawn. Oh well. Fun.

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