Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tweets: December 4, 2009

  • 08:35  さっきオフィスに着きました。今日も1日がんばります!

  • 10:26  Am taking a short breather now from work. So much work to handle during the day!

  • 11:37  Am feeling a bit sleepy today as I've slept for only 4 and a half hours last night. Luckily, it's Friday today.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Tweets: December 3, 2009

  • 01:53  やっと今日の仕事が終わりました!

  • 01:58  As of now there are 14 followers of my tweets. The number has slightly increased from last week!

  • 04:57  I've just booked an airplane ticket and a hotel room for my next vacation. I'm sure my vacation will be fantastic!

  • 11:36  さっき起きました!今日はランチで人に会うので、これからすぐに身仕度をします。

  • 14:09  ランチが終わって、スターバックスでゆっくりしています。午後3時から仕事です!

  • 23:33  今日は苫米地さんの『年収が10倍アップする 超金持ち脳の作り方』を読み終えました!とても面白かったです!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tweets: December 2, 2009

  • 13:58  Finished learning today's portion of French idioms. Up till today I've learned about 250 idiomatic expressions. Will keep on learning!

  • 14:07  今天早上,我聽了林憶蓮於1996年推出的『夜太黑』專輯。這張專輯我已經聽過無數遍,到現在還是覺得這是林憶蓮最好的專輯之一。另外,我也非常喜歡聽她在2005年推出的粤語專輯『本色』!

  • 18:08  Am taking a one-minute breather from work now. Luckily today is shaping up to be a less stressful day.

  • 18:10  Still haven't made the final decision on where to go during my vacation, which is coming up in just 3 days. I migh

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tweets: December 1, 2009

  • 02:14  What a day it's been! Just finished work and I can finally go home. I'm exhausted!

  • 11:13  さっき起きました!これからフランス語の勉強です!

  • 13:17  I've just finished learning today's portion of French idioms. Now it's time to update my Japanese blog with what l

  • 14:57  Arrived at the workplace. Will commence today's work in just a few minutes. Am feeling great as usual after a good night's sleep!

  • 19:41  苫米地英人さんの『年収が10倍アップする超金持ち脳の作り方』を読み始めました。面白いです!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tweets: November 30, 2009

  • 01:22  If possible, I want to go to Istanbul for my next vacation!

  • 10:19  Woke up a short while ago. Am feeling wonderful after a good night's sleep. This week I will be working on night shift.

  • 11:58  Just finished learning French for the day. Today I've learned another 25 idiomatic expressions. Up till now I've learned about 200 of them.

  • 12:02  Given that my target is to learn 500 idiomatic expressions, I am about 40% done. I'm confident that I can achieve my goal in about 2 weeks!

  • 12:58  我喜歡聽盧廣仲的第二張專輯『七天』!

  • 20:36  Finished dinner just now, and I'm back to work! There's so much to do and quite frankly I don't know where to begin...

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tweets: November 29, 2009

  • 01:27  Just finished watching the movie "Deconstructing Harry" directed by Woody Allen. It was really funny and I laughted a lot during the movie!

  • 01:31  Among Woody Allen's works, I like "Manhattan" the best, but I also like his recent works shot outside of

  • 01:34  Luckily my wireless Internet connection just got fixed. I will do my online shopping tomorrow. There are tons of books and DVDs to buy!

  • 10:08  'Morning! Woke up a short while ago. Started my day by surfing the Net with my iPhone. It's going to be another wonderful day today!

  • 11:40  Watched the Spanish movie "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" this morning. I've seen it a dozen times, but I still love it!

  • 12:57  Now that I've finished my sumptuous lunch, I need to get back to my French learning!

  • 14:37  Am taking a breather from my French learning now. I'm already halfway through today's portion. It's fun as usual!

  • 14:40  正在聽大陸歌手孫楠於幾年前所推出的『燃燒』專輯。他的歌喉確實不錯,我很喜歡!

  • 15:08  今日のフランス語の勉強がさっき無事に終わりました。これからネットで買物をします!

  • 18:06  ネットでのショッピングは完了です!商品を厳選していたので時間がかかりました!

  • 23:37  さっき夜の買物を終えて家に帰ってきました。面白い雑誌を買いました。ブログで紹介したいです!

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Tweets: November 28, 2009

  • 10:54  Morning! Woke up at 9:45, but stayed in bed until just now, surfing the Net using my iPhone.

  • 10:57  Will watch shortly the remainder of the movie "The 400 Blows". I have roughly 20 minutes remaining on this film.

  • 12:11  Am now at Arab Street, sitting at a French restaurant, waiting for the food to be served. This restaurant serves excellent food!

  • 12:48  I'm about to finish lunch. After I get back to my flat, I need to study some French as usual!

  • 12:55  Finished watching the movie "The 400 Blows" this morning.

  • 12:57  Now I want to see the movie "Stolen Kisses" by the same director.

  • 15:27  I've just finished learning French for the day. I'm really thrilled that my French is improving day by day!

  • 16:59  これから買物をします。と言っても、出かけるのではなくて、ネットでフランス語のイディオム関係の本を幾つか購入しようと思います!

  • 23:09  There's something wrong with the wireless network at my place and I can't get connected to the Internet with my PC. It sucks, big-time!

  • 23:12  Given that I can't surf the Net with my PC, I'll do some reading or watch a DVD to kill my time! Hope the problem will be fixed tomorrow!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Tweets: November 27, 2009

  • 01:48  今夜はフランス語の勉強中に仲良しの友人から電話が入り、そのまま長電話をしてしまいました。今やっと勉強が終わったところです!でも友達とのお喋りって必要ですよね!

  • 10:48  我從3點鐘一直睡到了10點鐘,真舒服!現在正在一邊喝咖啡,一邊看『魯豫有約』。今天的嘉賓是電影『花木蘭』的導演跟幾位主演。我覺得趙薇很漂亮,很性感,人也特聰明。我也很驚訝地發現房祖名的國語講得超流利,真想知道他是在哪裡學會了這麼好的國語。

  • 10:56  真的,我一點也聽不出房祖名的廣東口音,聽上去跟臺灣的男孩子一模一樣。我也想重新好好學習普通話!

  • 12:42  又學了25條法語的成語,真是越學越過癮!

  • 14:39  僕は今、フランス語のイディオム辞典で良いのがないか調べています。例文が載っていてイディオムの使い方が分かりやすいのが必須です。

  • 14:53  とりあえずフランス語のイディオムは500項目マスターしたいです。1日25項目で、約3週間かかる計算です。イディオムができるとフランス語の理解度もグンとアップします!

  • 15:07  やっぱり僕は単純暗記が苦手なので、イディオムもスラングも例文を通して学びたいです。

  • 15:13  それにしてもフランス語のイディオムって、中国語の四字熟語ほど辞典類が充実していないので、良い辞典を探すのが結構大変です。

  • 15:35  それにしても、英語でもフランス語でも、普通の小説を自由に読みこなせるレベルに到達するのって、すごく大変なことですよね。僕のフランス語は、まだそのレベルには到達していません。

  • 18:55  今日は語学の勉強に関していろいろ考え事をしました。のちほどブログにまとめて発表します。

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Tweets: November 26, 2009

  • 08:06  大家早上好!我睡到7點15分自然醒,感覺很爽快!

  • 08:09  今天早上,我又看了一點杜魯福的『四百擊』。覺得這部電影挺好看!

  • 09:07  One of my best friends in Singapore might be migrating to Hong Kong soon. I'm saaaaaaaad...

  • 09:23  Could it be that if I twitter too much my iPhone batteries get used really fast? Maybe I need to recharge them more often!

  • 11:15  I make a point of drinking a cup of water at least twice during the day. Believe it helps me control my weight and prevent bad breath!

  • 14:22  My lunch break is finished. Took a little nap after lunch. Am feeling wonderful!

  • 21:09  Finished work for the day, finally! Tomorrow is a holiday, luckily!

  • 21:39  フランス映画『400 Blows』は、今朝から英語字幕に切り替えました。英語字幕は翻訳が上手で読んでいて快適です。香港産のDVDの中国語字幕は、「広東なまり」が強いことがあるので要注意です。

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tweets: November 25, 2009

  • 07:42  トリュフォー監督の映画『400 Blows』は昔のパリの様子を見ることができて、とてもいいです!

  • 08:32  最近アメリカの放送局NPRを聞いてアメリカ英語の発音を研究しています。アメリカン・アクセントは本当に奥が深くて難しいです!

  • 08:32  さっきオフィスに着きました。今日もがんばります!

  • 10:06  Am taking a breather is shaping up to be another wonderful day!

  • 11:59  By the way, this coming Friday is a public holiday in Singapore, so we have a long weekend coming up! I still don't know what I'm gonna do!

  • 20:07  終於回到了家,可以鬆一口氣!吃完晚飯之後,我還是會照常學法語!真是越學越有趣!

  • 21:32  剛剛看完了今天的『魯豫有約』。今天的嘉賓是演員余榮光。我覺得他的人生故事非常精彩!他所做的努力與敬業的態度,很令人欽佩!

  • 21:33  現在開始學習法語!

  • 23:27  フランス語の勉強は無事完了です!これからブログをアップデートして寝ることにします!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tweets: November 24, 2009

  • 07:06  Good morning! Had another good night's sleep and am feeling wonderful!

  • 07:42  今天早上我開始看了法國著名導演杜魯福的電影『四百擊』的DVD。這盤影碟是在香港製作的,所以它的中文字幕不免有一點"廣東腔",水準遠遠不如臺灣的中文字幕!我覺得中文字幕還是應該堅持使用標準國語!

  • 08:09  既然這樣,這盤硬碟還是乾脆改用英文字幕觀賞吧!

  • 10:29  One-minute break from work right now to do some stretching! By the way, I've got 9 followers of my tweets as of today.

  • 15:25  Am taking another 1-minute break, as I was getting a bit drowsy. Did some stretching as usual to refresh my mind, and am feeling better now!

  • 19:32  吃完了晚餐,現在是享用甜點跟咖啡的時間!真開心!

  • 20:31  勝間さんの『断る力』を読み終えました!この本は読みっぱなしにするのではなくて、得られた知識を実践に応用したいです!

  • 22:15  現在在一邊學法語,一邊聽蔡健雅的My Space專輯。超好聽,超舒服!

  • 22:39  我最近一直在學法語的成語。覺得非常有趣。我希望能夠學會上百、上千條的成語!

  • 22:50  今日の勉強は無事に完了しました!25個フランス語のイディオムが学べて、とても嬉しいです!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Tweets: November 23, 2009

  • 08:10  Woke up at 7:15 as usual. Slept for 7 hours straight, which is not bad! It will be another wonderful week!

  • 10:32  Am taking a short break from work right now. Afer a good night's sleep last night I am feeling fresh as a daisy!

  • 10:35  By the way I'm determined to finish work tonight at 6:30 sharp, on the dot!

  • 11:25  I've found that my attention span tends to be longer in the morning than in the afternoon. Guess I should take fre

  • 12:56  It's freezing cold in the office with the air conditioning on full blast! I've put on my leather jacket lest I be frozen to death!

  • 13:41  Off to lunch now...finally!

  • 14:28  勝間さんの『断る力』は、目から鱗の連続です!!!

  • 17:29  1 more hour to go before I leave the office for the day!

  • 20:05  My colleagues keep asking me why I'm wearing a smile all day long. Well, I'm just happy I guess! La vie est belle!

  • 22:00  家に帰ってからしばらくインターネットで遊びました。これからフランス語の勉強です!

  • 23:22  今日の勉強は無事終了です!これからブログをアップデートして寝ることにします!

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Tweets: November 22, 2009

  • 00:39  今夜はInternet Explorerの調子が悪くて何回も勉強中にエラーメッセージが出ました。Google Translatorを昨日インストールしたのですが相性が良くないみたいです。

  • 00:50  決定今晚不再上網了!會繼續看法國電影『去年在馬倫巴』的DVD。

  • 01:20  I'm currently watching French movie "Last Year at Marienbad". The problem is that I don't understand it at all! It's too profound for me!

  • 01:22  I am right now halfway through the movie. I'll watch the rest tomorrow. Think it's quite artistic and beautiful all the same!

  • 01:41  現在正在收看臺灣Channel V的音樂飆榜節目。我已經很久沒有看流行歌曲的排行榜了,都不知道現在在流行些甚麼樣的歌曲!

  • 01:49  剛剛看了蕭亞軒跟羅志祥合拍的MV。我覺得他們超酷!

  • 01:56  排行榜的第一名原來是蕭敬騰的新不了情。我不怎麼喜歡他的唱腔。

  • 02:04  Now I am watching The Practice, my favorite program!

  • 03:18  Am lying on my bed now, getting ready to sleep. Have set my alarm for 8 tomorrow morning, as I don't want to oversleep.

  • 03:21  今夜は苫米地さんの本を再度読んで、ようやくエフィカシーという用語の意味を理解できました!

  • 08:24  Just woke up a few minutes ago. Have a feeling that it's going to be another wonderful day today!

  • 09:00  剛剛吃完了早餐,現在就開始學習法語!

  • 10:25  今朝は新しい方法でフランス語のイディオムを15個学んで見ました。効果が上々ならブログにて公開します!

  • 10:31  剛剛聽了陶喆的太平盛世專輯,非常好聽!我覺得他還是適合唱R&B!

  • 10:35  The Internet explorer is working well today, luckily! I know that it was the WordTranslator of Google Translate that was causing the error.

  • 11:55  Just finished surfing the Net. Read my favorite blog, but I'm not gonna tell you which one. It was brilliant and thought-provoking as usual!

  • 13:11  これから勝間和代さんの『断る力』を読みます。

  • 14:48  『断る力』は半分まで読みました。これからまたフランス語の勉強に戻ります!

  • 14:51  Like the concept of "return maximization" put forth in Ms Katsuma's book!

  • 17:33  ただいまフランス語のイディオム勉強中です!現在ちょっと休憩中。イディオムは面白いです!

  • 17:34  As of now I have 8 followers of my tweets. Hope the number can increase in the coming weeks!

  • 17:43  今天下午看了鳳凰衛視關於中國跟阿爾巴尼亞兩國之間的經貿援助關係的紀錄片。內容非常有趣。我覺得鳳凰台製作的節目很有質量!我最愛看的節目是『魯豫有約』!

  • 17:46  For those of you who follow me, do you find it disruptive that I switch from language to language? Code-switching constantly occurs to me!

  • 18:39  勉強が終わりました!これから外に出かけて遊んできます!

  • 21:00  這是我於今晚在新加坡的市中心拍攝的照片。我熱愛這個城市的紙醉金迷與繽紛燦爛!

  • 21:24  I've learned today that stress leads to oxidization and makes you age faster. Need to avoid having too much stress in life!

  • 22:32  Just finished watching French movie "Last Year at Marienbad." Didn't understand the movie at all!

  • 22:38  今朝は早起きしたおかげで、もう眠気が襲ってきました。日曜の夜に早寝できるのは幸せです。新しい1週間も快適なスタートを切れるでしょう!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tweets: November 21, 2009

  • 10:38  Just hopped on a taxi, on my way to my hairstylist's. I'm really lucky that I've found a good hairstylist!

  • 10:42  I've uploaded a new post on my blog and notified my Twitter ID to my readers. Will wait and see when I will get my

  • 10:48  Arrived at my hairstylist's ahead of my appointment at 11. Will sit around and tweet some more. This is so much fun!

  • 10:55  昨晚看了魯豫有約的錄像,這次的嘉賓是珠寶設計師萬寶寶。我覺得這個女孩子形象很特別,才華橫溢,又有一顆純潔善良的心,給我印象特別深刻!

  • 10:58  據說方大同最近上了魯豫有約做嘉賓,我很想看那一回採訪!

  • 11:13  Barely into my second day of Twittering, and I'm already hooked on it!

  • 12:16  Just got a new haircut and I'm feeling like a new person!

  • 12:19  There's always a million things running through my head, and I wanna say them out loud to everybody. Twitter enables me to do just that!

  • 12:22  Am riding a bus now, on my way home. Need to do the laundry in the afternoon and also study French!

  • 12:29  理了一次髮花了八十塊新幣,不過我覺得這筆錢花得很值得!

  • 12:41  今天的午餐是海南雞飯!每逢週末,我一定會吃一次雞飯,真是百吃不厭!

  • 12:48  正在享用美味至極的海南雞飯,同時在聽王菲的廣東歌曲。

  • 12:51  By the way, my hairstylist is a Japanese guy. He is damn good!

  • 12:57  I think embracing new technologies is a lot of fun! It's really cool that I can stay connected to the world through these fantastic tools!

  • 12:59  I'm thinking maybe I can post these tweets on my blog at the end of each day as a summary of what went through my

  • 13:03  The problem with iPhone is that the batteries get used so fast. I can hardly get through the day without recharging them!

  • 13:06  Having said that, I still luuuuuuuuuv my iPhone!

  • 13:10  Will I really get addicted to Twitter? I think I will!

  • 13:23  Amazing! I've got 2 followers of my tweets already! I've no idea how they found my tweets!

  • 15:08  I have just recharged the batteries of my iPhone! Now that they are fully charged, I should have no problem till the end of the day.

  • 15:09  そんなことよりも、早く洗濯を終わらせて遊びに出かけるつもりです!

  • 15:31  Just discovered how to type French characters with accents such as à, é, ê, etc on my iPhone. It's really cool that I can type French now!

  • 15:38  我還不敢嘗試用法語寫我的tweet,因為我的法語還太差。不過我也不著急,到時候我的法語學好了,我會自然而然地寫法語。一切都不必勉強,順其自然就好!

  • 19:20  Just woke up from a nap. Ended up sleeping for more than three hours. Didn't get to go out this afternoon, but it doesn't matter.

  • 19:30  Got 3 more followers of my tweets during my sleep this afternoon. Not bad...

  • 19:57  Normally when you get followed on Twitter, should I follow them back? I'm afraid that if I follow too many people

  • 20:28  我雖然愛聽方大同的歌, 但是不怎麼欣賞他的造型,尤其是他的頭髮。另外我覺得他太瘦了,好像沒有怎麼鍛鍊身體。他要是再健壯一些,可能就會有一種氣魄。衷心地希望他能夠越唱越紅!

  • 21:06  終於打掃完了我的房間,再過15分鐘我的衣服也會洗完!感覺真不錯!明天我會玩個痛快!

  • 21:11  I've found that I can pack much more info in a tweet in Chinese than in English, given the limited number of char

  • 21:19  不懂現在外面在放映些甚麼好看的電影?我已經很久沒有上電影院看戲了。新加坡的電影院的問題是,冷氣開得太強,感覺像在冰箱裡一樣!

  • 21:59  苫米地英人著『残り97%の脳の使い方』を夕食を食べながら読みました。2回目です。今後もまた読み直すと思います!

  • 22:02  Now that I've finished my dinner, I need to get back to my apartment and study French!

  • 23:03  ただいまフランス語勉強中。センテンス10個作成完了です。これから語彙収集に入ります!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Created My Twitter Account!

Hello from Singapore!

This is to let you know that I have finally created my Twitter account yesterday!

From today onwards, I will be posting my tweets regularly on this blog, so you can see what goes through my mind during the course of the day. What's shown below is my tweets from yesterday.

If you already have a twitter account, please follow my tweets on Twitter! My ID is @UnclePolyglot. Looking forward to receiving your feedback soon!

Wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Fri, Nov 20

  • 13:35  I have just created my Twitter account!

  • 13:55 View from Marina Square food court today. Cloudy in Singapore today.

  • 14:41  眠くなったら、僕は足の指を思いっきり「パー」の形に拡げるようにしています。血の巡りが良くなって頭がスッキリします!!!

  • 16:11  今、避難訓練中です!

  • 21:53  iPhoneでTwitterを使えるアプリをさっきインストールしました。有料ですがランドスケープ・モードも利用できてとても便利です!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Self-Introduction Video in Japanese!

Hello again from Singapore!

I have just shot my very first video in Japanese and uploaded it on YouTube.

For those of you who are curious as to what I look and sound like when I speak Japanese, please check out this video:

Needless to say, Japanese is the language that I am most comfortable with, and shooting this video was way easier than my previous videos in English and Mandarin.

All the same, given my rather shy personality, I think I still come off as rather tense and awkward, even when I'm speaking in my native tongue!

Clearly, my presentation skills still have a long way to go, but I believe that I can improve myself bit by bit, as I shoot more and more videos and do a lot of show and tell, just like those elementary school kids in the US.

Anyway, in case you are wondering what I'm saying in this video, I am mainly talking about my greatest passion, which is learning foreign languages, and in particular I am elaborating on why French is my favorite language among the many foreign languages that I have learned so far.

Currently, I am planning to shoot a video in French, but given my limited French skills, it will take some preparations. Hope you can check it out when I do upload it, in the not-so-distant future!

I will talk to you again soon.

Have a prosperous week ahead!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Self-Introduction in Chinese

Good morning from Singapore!

This is to let you know that I have just uploaded another video on YouTube.

Please check out this video, in which I have made a self-introduction in Mandarin Chinese:

It was my very first time to shoot a video in Chinese, and I got really nervous in front of the web cam!

For those of you who speak Chinese, please by all means write your comments or suggestions, so that I can improve myself!







Uncle Polyglot

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bought American Accent Textbook

Hi Everyone!

I have just uploaded my second video on YouTube. Please check out this video, which is about the American accent textbook that I've bought this afternoon at a local bookstore in Singapore:

As I have mentioned in the video, this is a learning kit specialized in accent reduction.

The reason why I've bought American Accent Training is that, after I had watched my first YouTube video, I felt that my English accent still leaves a lot to be desired, and I decided that I really should do something about it.

This learning kit cost me 72.48 Singapore dollars (approximately USD 50). If I can really master a correct American accent, I think it's well worth the price.

From today onwards, I plan to study this material bit by bit everyday, and get my accent gradually corrected. I hope by the time I complete this book, I will be able to speak English with a more natural accent.

In the course of learning to speak American English, I will be posting more videos on YouTube, so you can also monitor my progress as I go along. Hope you will check out those videos also.

As always, you are welcome to post your comments on my videos, as I would really like to improve myself.

Many thanks for watching this video.

Talk to you again soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My First Video on YouTube!

Good afternoon from Singapore!

It's been quite a while since my last posting on this English blog. Please forgive me for not updating this blog often enough!

I am writing this today to let you know that I have just uploaded my first video on YouTube, to give you a brief self-introduction. I am wearing sunglasses in the video, so as not to entirely give away my identity.

I'd been meaning to do this for quite some time, but given that I'm not really technologically savvy, I didn't even know what kind of device I should get in order to shoot a video and upload it on YouTube, and as such I had put it off until today.

In order to put an end to my procrastination, I went to an electronics appliances store in town yesterday and finally purchased a web cam.

The installation of this device was surprisingly easy, and it took me only a few minutes to figure out how to shoot a video. Since it's so easy, I can do a lot of YouTube postings from now on!

As I have mentioned in my video, the purpose of this YouTube posting is mainly to record and measure my progress in language acquisition, be it in English, Chinese or French. As I am striving to improve my accent in these languages and my presentation skills, it will be fun to watch my videos again in the future and look back over the progress I've made.

After shooting this video and watching it myself, I have found to my astonishment that my English accent and intonation sound very stiff and awkward, and it's still very far from that of native speakers of English. Obviously, my English still has a long way to go.

All the same, it's really fun to shoot a video of myself and watch it on the Internet, as it gives me an opportunity to analyze more objectively what I look and sound like to the others. I think I can make use of my self-shot videos to pinpoint my problem areas and correct my accent, so that it can approach perfection bit by bit.

Of course you are always welcome to post your comments or suggestions on my videos, as I would love to know what you think!

Many thanks for watching this video today. I will come back with more videos in the near future.

See you again soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Relaxing Weekend on the Swiss-French Border!

Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland!

It's been ages since my last posting on this English blog! I've been meaning to post a new article here for quite some time, but what with my recent transfer to Switzerland from Singapore and all, I've been putting it off until today.

It's really about time that I posted an update here, lest my English blog be completely forgotten by my readers. It feels great to be back all the same!

For those of you who haven't been following my Japanese blog, I've been posted by my company to Geneva effective March 1 on a training assignment, for a period of 6 months.

It's been more than a month and a half since I got to Switzerland, and fortunately I've been enjoying my new workplace and living environment to the uttermost.

Anyway, in today's posting, I would like to tell you about my little trip this afternoon to Hermance, a tiny village in the outskirts of Geneva.

View Hermance in a larger map

As can be seen on the map above, Hermance is located on the Swiss-French border.

From the center of the village, it only takes two to three minutes to get to the French border by foot.

The Swiss-French border runs along a tiny brook...

...and the two countries are connected by this little bridge.

This is the Swiss customs building, but it stands empty with no customs officers standing on duty.

The picture on the left shows the French side of the border, in the village of Chens-le-Pont.

This is the customs building on the French side. Like its counterpart on the Swiss side, it stands empty, with no officers checking the comings and goings.

After crossing the bridge into France, if you turn around and look on the Swiss side, here's how it looks.

Seriously, if you are not paying enough attention, you wouldn't even notice that you are crossing a border.

Out of all the border crossings that I have done in the past (US-Canada, US-Mexico, China-Hong Kong, Singapore-Malaysia, and the ever-unforgettable Panmunjeom conference room in the 38th parallel Demilitarized Zone between North and South Koreas), this is the most casual, peaceful and hassle-free crossing I've ever experienced! I forgot to bring along my passport today, but it turned out to be totally unnecessary.

Back on the Swiss side in the village of Hermance, I spent an immensely enjoyable time taking a leisurely walk in the quite streets, lined with old beautiful buildings.

This is a charming cafe in the center of the village.

Most buildings in this village have gray walls, with green-colored decorative wooden shutters attached to the windows.

In Switzerland, I've begun to appreciate the beauty of simplicity and minimalism.

I saw a lot of wisteria trellises in this town.

The light purple color goes really well with the gray background!

Almost everywhere I went, the streets were almost empty.

It is so quiet that the only sound you hear is that of the birds chirping.

You feel really peaceful here!

This is one of the very few restaurants that I found in the village.

Having meals while sitting on the terrace on a day like this must be really delightful!

I really love this view of the back alley!

To me, these buildings look almost medieval.

It's as if they got frozen in time, and they won't change their appearances for decades, if not centuries.

I sure hope that if I have a chance to revisit this village years from now, these buildings will still look exactly the same!

In the past few weeks, the weather in Europe has been exceptionally nice and warm.

I saw a lot of flowers in full bloom today.

I am so glad that I visited this town in the right season of the year!

My last stop was at the street cafe in the town center.

I ordered a piece of strawberry cake and a cup of coffee.

The cake was really delicious!

Sitting on the terrace and slowly enjoying the yummy strawberry cake was really heavenly --- honestly, I felt that it was so great that it should be illegal!!!

Though it's by no means a famous village, and most likely you cannot find it in your Switzerland guide books, Hermance is indeed a lovely town worth visiting.

Hope in the coming months I get to discover a lot more beautiful towns and villages in Switzerland. Of course, as and when I make new discoveries, I will bring you updates on this blog to share the enjoyment!

Talk to you again soon!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Watching ER Season 3

Good Sunday morning!

Feels soooooo great to be back on my English blog after a long, long break!

My first posting for the year 2009 is about the DVD that I've been watching for the past few weeks, and some thoughts about language acquisition through watching DVDs.

The DVD that I am currently watching is ER season 3. I bought this DVD box set ages ago, but I stopped watching after only a few episodes as I got busier with my other commitments, mainly my French learning.

However, I resumed watching this DVD recently, after I bought a portable DVD player as a little treat for myself, for having finished learning my French-English dictionary shortly before the end of 2008. Luckily, this portable DVD player is region code-free, so I can play DVDs from any country on this player.

Coming back to the ER DVD box set that I've been watching, it is formatted for region 3 (Southeast Asia), and comes with English, Spanish, and Portuguese audio tracks and subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean. Maybe I can make use of this DVD to study Spanish or Portuguese in the future.

Up until very recently, seeing as my listening comprehension in English is not that spectacular (or so I thought), I had always made a point of turning on English subtitles whenever I watched English-language DVDs, but this time around, I've decided to go without the subtitles, so I can concentrate more on what's happening visually rather than trying to grasp every single word in the dialogue.

Surprisingly, I've found that I can understand each episode far better without the English subtitles than when I switch them on!

Maybe that's because I can pay more attention to the physical actions and facial expressions of the actors without the subtitles to divert my concentration. I am more convinced than ever that the important thing is not to try to get every single word that's being said, but to try to get the general idea of each story.

Anyway, I think ER season 3 is indeed fun to watch, and as I am now really hooked on this series, I expect to finish watching this DVD box set pretty soon. My sister told me that ER gets boring after Dr Mark Greene dies in season 8 (in her own words: ER basically dies when Dr Greene dies.), but that means that I still have 5 more exciting seasons of ER to enjoy!

Can't wait to find out how this captivating hospital story unfolds in the next few seasons!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!