Language learning in the electronic age
Language learning has become tremendously more convenient thanks to modern technology. I just can’t say it enough. I discover new benefits constantly.
Yesterday was a day of travel. My wife and I flew from Vancouver to Amsterdam, and then on to Vienna where we now find ourselves. During the flight I read a diary of the year 2010 in the life of Michal Viewegh called Další báječný rok. I have the feeling that I got to know him personally just by reading his very frank entries in his diary. Therefore it was a shock to discover that in late 2012 Viewegh suffered a traumatic aortic rupture, which has affected his ability to continue to write novels.
I started reading this diary in Vancouver. His language is easy to read for a learner of Czech such as me. I then found some online sources for Czech e-books and audiobooks, ereading.cz for e-books, and audioteka.cz for audiobooks. I was able to go to both sites, find books by Viewegh, pay with PayPal, and import them onto my Kindle app on my iPad, or in the case of audio books, import them to iTunes.
For much of the flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam I was able to read Viewegh’s diary and other works, while looking words up in my excellent Bitknights Czech dictionary, which I have on my iPad. I accumulate one hundred words on the dictionary, which appears to be the limit to the number of words you can save in your history file. I then email this history file as a CSV file to myself, and from there import it into my vocabulary section at LingQ. Therefore these words which I am starting to learn will appear highlighted in yellow in my future reading at LingQ. So I am able to close the loop on reading that I do out of traditional books, e-books in Kindle and LingQ, and make sure that I acquire the new vocabulary that I encounter in my different forms of reading.
The convenience of the whole process, from finding the sources, paying with PayPal, carrying a bunch of books and audio books in my iPad, and closing the loop with the dictionary lookups back to LingQ, is just amazing. We live in interesting times.
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