It’s the last day of February which means that, in addition to today’s adventure, it’s time for a review of the month and my next guest adventurer!
For today’s adventure I try my hand at learning Mandarin. I watched this brilliant video and then gave myself 30 seconds to learn my chosen phrases. Can you guess what I’m saying? (I’ve put a translation below the video to help you out 🙂 )
Translation : Hello! How are you? I’m fine. Bye!
Here’s me reviewing this month of adventuring :
And here’s my fabulous guest adventurer for February, Kate Trafford. Watch what happened when she took herself along to a dance workshop …..
It’s the last day of my first month of adventure and I’m really going for it today! You’ll see that there are 3 videos in today’s post : the first is my adventure for today ; the second is a review of what I’ve learned from my adventures so far; and the third is a submission from my first “guest adventurer”, David Orchard!
Today’s Adventure ~ I’ve really enjoyed my language-learning adventures and I wanted to stretch myself today. So guess what I’m going to do? (Okay, you’ll never guess. Not in a million years. So I’ll tell you 😛 ) . Today I’m going to learn how to describe the parts of my head in Inuktitut. Inuktitut is the language spoken by the Inuit living in the eastern part of the Canadian Arctic. To make it even more exciting, I’m going to learn a specific dialect : Inuinnaqtun. This dialect is spoken in Qurluqtuq, Iqaluktuuttiaq and Ulukhaqtuq. I used a fabulous resource to help me with this adventure (and you can compare how I got on with the vocabulary resource there too 🙂 ).
What I’ve Learned From My Adventures So Far ~ I knew this project would be fun but I just didn’t realise how much I’d learn! I’m musing about my first month of adventures here :
January’s Guest Adventurer ~ David, who lives in France, really knows how to dive right into adventure 🙂 “For my job I am lucky to be able to travel to many different parts of the world and I have had many adventures along the way, notably in China and Colombia. But the idea of adventures on my doorstep intrigues me because often we miss the amazing things right in front of us. After reading “The Four Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss I knew I wanted to experiment with cold water. So this is the beginning something new. And my dog thinks it is great as well.” You can follow more of David’s adventures here
Watch his January “cold water swimming” adventure here :
For today’s adventure I decided to see if I could learn to write my name in Japanese. It’s absolutely amazing what you can find on the internet these days : sure enough, there’s a 37-second tutorial on YouTube entitled “How to write Jane in Japanese“. How brilliant is that? (By the way, there are all sorts of names on the E-Japanese Channel if you’re curious how to spell your name in Japanese too!)
I watched the tutorial 3 times and then gave myself 1 minute to memorise the characters and their locations. You can compare how well I did with the YouTube tutorial but I think I got it right ~ more or less 🙂
I’ve been living in Northern Ireland for 2 and a half years now and I’ve learned a whole new language in that time! For today’s adventure I’m going to see if I can speak for a minute using words from the local dialect 🙂 .
The language in the area in which I live is heavily influenced by Ulster Scots and many of the words you’ll hear me speaking find their roots in the Scots language. There are also words which find their roots in the Irish language.
I’ve put a translation key below the video (and you can follow the link here for more etymological details. Just scroll down for a table of words and their roots 🙂 )
Let’s get straight to it today! For today’s adventure I’m going to attempt to speak for a minute , sound like I’m saying something really important but actually say nothing at all!
This was quite challenging because as I was speaking, I was thinking “this is easy, this sounds like utterly meaningless , but important, gibberish”. However, when I listened back, I began to make meaning : us humans just can’t help ourselves when it comes to making meaning!
If you’ve been following my adventures, you are probably aware of my outstanding talent for fudgeling. Keen to develop this skill to the level of mastery, today’s adventure gives me the opportunity to learn the vital art of snudging.
Watch me resurrect this 18th century word in style 🙂
Today’s adventure involved learning Braille. What a whopper of an adventure it was too 🙂 .
Setting myself the challenge of learning the numbers 0-4 in Braille seemed quite do-able. I made myself some Braille cards to practise with (image below the second video) : I made them nice and large to make it easier for me. That was mistake number one because when I got to test out my Braille skills, I discovered that Braille is TINY (the little bumps are very close together too) and you need a very well-developed sense of touch (a bit of a concern for me with finger-tips hardened by 30 years of strumming a guitar!)
I decided to give my new skills a real-life run for their money by taking myself to a lift in a department store to see if I could get myself from the 3rd floor to the 2nd floor.
How long do you think it took me to find the correct button to press? Watch the first video to find out! (I’ve put all the timing details below the video).
What really surprised me about this whole adventure was how quickly the human brain can adapt. Watch the second video to see if my skills improve on my second attempt! (Again, you’ll find all the timings below the video).
Braille Lift Test 1
I set the clock ticking at 20 seconds when I was fully inside the lift. I had a bit of a panic when I realised that the Braille numbers weren’t on their own but preceded by a different character (that character turned out to be “#”). So my first task was to separate the preceding character from the number.
It took me 24 seconds to find the button for the 3rd floor. It took me 2 minutes and 35 seconds to correctly establish the location of the button for the 1st floor. It took me a whole 2 minutes and 45 seconds to find the second floor button! I realised that there were some buttons I didn’t know (Lower Ground and Ground). On returning to these buttons I incorrectly identified them as 4 and O (so I learned that my brain distorted the information to make it fit with what it knew!)
I felt quite pressured during the experience – I even broke into a sweat. At one point I thought “I’m not going to get out of here”. Soon after this point , whilst fumbling with the 4th and O floor buttons, the thought arrived “what would happen if I ever lost my sight?”
Braille Lift Test 2
Unperturbed by the stress of my first Braille experience, I decided to have another go in a different lift. I was curious how I would fare.
The second lift had less “noise” – there were less buttons; I was ready for small bumps with tiny spaces between them; and I knew to expect unexpected characters. I was also ready to run a “distortion check” on the sensory information.
This time it only took me 13 seconds to locate the 2nd floor button! I found the 1st floor button in 26 seconds and the O button in 35 seconds. Within 45 seconds of entering the lift I was 100% confident of having located the button for the 2nd floor.
Human brains are BRILLIANT 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was astonished at how much easier it was the second time around and at how much I’d learned from the initial experience. Being able to apply the learning felt really good.
Here’s my practice set of home-made Braille cards.