Thursday, 19 January 2017

Çfarë ka në televizor sonte?

What is on the TV tonight?

One thing about me - I watch TV next to none, as I usually have no time for that and I read the news that interest me instead. But I try to be consistent with the Albanian one, as I think it greatly improved my listening so far. Actually, I believe it's a really good way for your ear to get used to the language, as well as to learn new words. The biggest challenge for me is to understand what something is about without concentrating on each and every word out there. I sometimes even play it while I do something else, just to listen to it, and I believe it helps a lot.

There is Albanian TV online, make sure you Google it! I personally love the news (on some channels only though, the popular ones like Top Channel, as it drives me crazy when people skip the correct writing, namely ë, in their news titles... I mean, you can't expect a learner to pronounce an unknown word right if you don't write it right, can you? Plus, you're pretending to be literate... guess not.) and the ads. Yes, you heard me right, I sometimes skip around the channels just to watch the advertisements - something that would annoy me in any other language I'm more familiar with. But they tend to talk a lot slower and less, compared to anything else, so it's interesting for me. Usually the news in any language are helpful to get used to the pronunciation. Sometimes, as I always have inspiration and usually also time during the night (as I work more day shifts compared to evening ones now), I get some really awkward discussion shows (we have the same in Bulgaria!), as they usually discuss interesting topics. I say awkward, as at one point the guests just try to talk at once and you lose track of who is saying what haha. I watched one about the flu a week ago, until that I-cannot-get-a-thing point.

The other really cool thing is to watch English movies with Albanian subtitles - there are so many movie channels, so you'll catch something. Of course, you have to be really proficient in English listening to benefit fully from it, as sometimes they talk quite fast, but it's always interesting for me to see how they translate some sentences (or skip words or even sentences, haha!)

And of course, music. But the singers who don't sing in any Gheg variation are really few (will review some of them in another post), so usually the ballads are better for understanding what they sing. However, I'd recommend improving your listening via songs only if you have the basic knowledge of the language already, as the online lyrics tend to be written wrongly, with so many mistakes, like q instead of ç, c instead of ç, unnecessarily skipped/written as "e" ë's and so on (ok, I'm becoming a bit of a perfectionist here, but I do correct Albanian lyrics, and sometimes it takes me ages to get what they're trying to sing, based on their accent and the wrong version I have in front of me - let alone understanding it to translate it later... But I love the ë, although it's a strange letter that doesn't get pronounced in so many cases - but I think it's really important to learn, write and pronounce it correctly! It changes the whole meaning of the words sometimes - like mjeke - female doctor(s) and mjekë - male doctors. Or me - with and më - to me. It also took me AGES to get that "ktu" actually means "këtu". Fun times!). It helps if you have an idea what the correct "version" of the songs are, and if you're not listening to some singers that no dictionary can understand. I actually love Albanian music, I just believe it's not a good learning tool, as opposed to some other languages with more "official and unified" use that use any dialects/slang in specific cases only.

As you can see, I'm working really hard on my pronunciation at the moment (because l, ll, r and rr drive me crazy! It's so hard to do a soft R when you have a rather "hard" native language regarding the pronunciation. Not to mention ç, q, xh and gj, these take extra effort too, as we don't have the q and the gj sound, but I'm getting there... slowly. At least I'm lucky enough to be familiar with c, ë, zh, sh and x as sounds already!). So the TV helps a lot, I also watch YouTube videos and repeat until I collapse after the Memrise's Discovering Albanian course, I've done 1/3 of it, so getting there slowly. I have a really specific accent that makes any other language sound awful, I needed around year and a half or two to change my English one, so I now try to learn the stuff as naturally as possible, as I see no point in wasting time to correct it later. Maybe sometime when I'm having less work I'll even upload some short Albanian audio, haha. It always reminds me of these polyglot videos on YouTube when people speak 10 languages, I wish I was brave enough to do that too. I really want to understand and speak Albanian to at least full B2 level, so I do everything possible to engage myself, even for 5-10 minutes everyday, and I think my effort pays me out finally.

Kjo është gjithçka për sonte, shpresoj që t'ju pëlqen. :)

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