The Other I

March 25, 2008

Rice and words

Filed under: Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 4:15 pm

I have a long-term friend in New York who speaks Spanish well enough to make a living as a translator.  For recreation, she has been learning Irish, and out of interest has now begun on Arabic.  I admire this endeavor but there is a disconnect between what I hear and what I see, so that I have to make a bigger effort than I usually want to make to comprehend most conversation in a foreign language.

So I’ve decided not to try to keep my brain functioning by expanding my small repertoire in Spanish or my embarrassingly garbled French.  I have found a coward’s alternative, however.

 My sister Dorothy sent me the address of a website that donates rice for every word (thankfully, in English) one recognizes correctly in a multiple choice format.  I log on once a day, play it until I’ve missed five words, which I then write down, and use in a sentence at least once before I log on again.  I’m finding it a rather fun method for increasing my vocabulary.  I dare say, it might even improve my scrabble score. 

Whether it will actually make me more intelligent or just less intelligible, I’m not sure.  My words to learn today, for instance, are keloid, claymore, oculus, collier, and sibilate

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