Tag Archive: language



The Writer's Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characterwriter's Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters SThe Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characterwriter’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters S by Marc McCutcheon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my go-to book for NaNoWriMo. It is great to set up characters for your book. I don’t know how others do it. I have a program called WriteItNow that is good for generating names. Other people use that program for everything. But I write in yWriter. After I have my names, I go to this book. I have tabs set up for different characteristics and I use a number generator on my phone to give me the characteristic according to the list of each page. I try not to cheat. If the character is very flawed it is easier to write them. Between the name and the characteristics, a story seems to emerge.

The beginning of this book has a character development questionnaire. I have found this handy, also. This is the best book to get me started writing and helps me keep writing unless my characters are stuck behind boulders and not moving. Then I need bigger help. Probably a sprint/prompt=sprompt will get my characters out. Or I’ll pull a George R.R. Martin on them.

If you get the chance to buy this book, you will be buying a treasure!

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Am I small? Bin ich klein?Am I small? Bin ich klein? by Philipp Winterberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

According to my GoodReads goal, I am 5 books behind. Since the books I am reading lately have been longer I decided now is the time to read some of my children’s books.

This one is delightful! The pictures are fun. It is bilingual. German first then English under. I was proud that I actually could read the German. There were a couple Questionables. Like, so far I’ve not seen a German contraction. But it was there.

Though this starred a little girl, I think this would be a fun read for either gender. And just becuase it’s a picture book doesn’t make this simple. Adults can have fun, like I did, practicing either English or German while enjoying the story and fun creatures presented for comparison of large or small and extremes.

***

Quick edit:  I also read the French and Esperanto versions of this same book. I didn’t do so well with the French as it isn’t one of the languages I play with as much. At least there were English subtitles. But the Esperanto had no English to help. Luckily by this point I pretty much knew what it said. Still the pictures are fun.

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1000 Japanese Flash Cards: For Smart Phones and E-Readers1000 Japanese Flash Cards: For Smart Phones and E-Readers by Kevin Marx

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is no a book you read straight through. As the name implies it is flash cards. I played with a few pages but since I need more progress in my DuoLingo Japanese program, I can’t blame the book for my lack.

Still, for the sake of my goal of 100 books read in 2017, I needed to get it off my currently reading shelf. It will remain on my tablet to play with on a daily basis. I like the idea of flash cards and in the shape of a Kindle book. It is well laid out to play with often.

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1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English - Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 - 日本語)1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English – Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 – 日本語) by Yael Manor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As many of you know I have been learning languages from Duolingo. Japanese is one of them. I find it to be the hardest of the four I’m working with. German, Spanish, Esperanto are the others but I feel more confident with those three. (Not conversant but able to read it a little.)

I like to get children’s picture books to help me. I figure if it helps a kid to learn, it may help me. Not sure there is hope in this case. Yes, Duo has covered primary colors and primary numbers. But when I try to follow the written language I am totally lost. I do find a couple words here and there that I recognize but most of it is still squiggles to my eyes. The worst part, for me, is trying to get word order. That is true of all these languages.

That isn’t a slam on this book. Even if you weren’t trying to learn Japanese, this would be a fun book. The little story is fun and would make a fun read aloud. It might also be fun to string balls with the children in the book.

I think if you had a child who only spoke Japanese, this would be a fun one to learn the English from. So it is fun from every angle. I just wish there were a small section in the back helping with word order. Very educational and re-readable for everyone.

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The Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas PerdidasThe Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas Perdidas by Dina Bursztyn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book for anyone, young or old, trying to educate themselves in Spanish or English. Timely in my case since I am working with colored pencils. And I seem to lose things. And obviously, I need more work with past tense in Spanish. And–And I see how much more work I need on word order. As if I am good in my own language!

The pictures were wonderful! Imagine a forest of blue pencils! Or an umbrella garden! Very creative! And what if you could look into a hole and see all your lost things? If only most of my lost things didn’t happen during my multiple moves or in that storage unit we gave up on. Still, there are things I think made it here. My old glue gun, my polymer clay? I know I’ve seen them since I moved here. My hands put them away without informing the brain!

Anyway, this is a fun book and it helped me on quite a few levels! And I’m not a kid!

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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