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Posted on Tuesday 13 May 2008 at 8:59 am

Dutch is messing with my head

My Dutch language studies fell by the wayside towards the end of the semester. What with writing two fifteen-page lectures a week, grading 36 8-to-10-page papers, writing a final exam, and grading 36 final exams, I didn't have enough brain power to remember how to spell my name somedays, let alone work on Dutch. Since it had been a few weeks, I spent the past couple of days reviewing all the lessons I did previously and then did a new lesson last night. I've about decided the entire purpose of the last few screens of the new lesson was to mess with my mind in ways not completely connected to language acquisition.

With the Rosetta Stone program that I'm doing, everything is based off selecting the correct picture out of a set of four. For example, there might be pictures of an orange fish, a white fish, a black cat, and a white cat. Then a voice says "The cat is black" and you select the correct picture. Easy, right? Last night, human, adult, child, and animal were the new nouns but then there were also some more complex sentence (or phrase) structures thrown in. It started off OK. There were pictures of a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl and the voice would say things like "The girl is a child" or "The man is an adult." By the end, there were pictures of a man, a baby, a horse, and an elephant and the voice was saying things like "the human that is not an adult" or "the animal that is not an elephant." To me that's a bit like the whole "What is the color of the following text: green?" kind of thing. I know the color of the text is red and I know the horse is the "not elephant" option, but I click the green/elephant (not the green elephant since that would be a whole other problem) before my brain quite catches up with my hand. I'm not picking the wrong thing because I don't understand what it means when the program says "een dier, dat geen olifant is" but simply because the word "olifant" is just staring me in the face and I react before I've completely processed.

Oh well. I'm fairly confidant I'm not going to need to be able to pick out not elephants while doing research on the Dutch in New York in the late 1600s so I guess I won't worry about it too much.
Groggy-phone woke me up early
Feeling: Groggy-phone woke me up early
Exploring: Desk
Listening: The Beatles - All You Need Is Love


train_lindz at 5:57 pm on 13 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
At least you know where you are going wrong - although that doesn't really help you fix it. I'm simply impressed that you are learning Dutch.

Chances are, there weren't that many elephants roaming New York in the 1600's... I don't think that the NYC Zoo was quite there yet :)
bratty_jedi at 3:49 am on 14 May 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I suspect the real solution is to slow down and think rather than clicking buttons as fast as I can but that makes too much sense.

lol I'm definitely thankful for the lack of elephants in 17th century New York.

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