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Learning Srpski: Serbo-Croatian Language Resources

18 Nov
I’ve always loved learning new languages, random ones in particular. Right now, my target language is Serbo-Croatian, because in about six months, I may have to explain to an 80 year-old grandmother that, yes her cooking is delicious, but no, I don’t really like fish.

Free things are awesome, and learning a new language is no different. Lack of time and money means a full-on language course isn’t possible for me, so I chose to go the online route. There are actually way more resources out there than I thought at firs. Here’s a list of what I’ve bookmarked so far:
First and foremost is LiveMocha– by far my favorite place to go to learn a new language, and the one offering the most comprehensive curriculum as far as I can tell. (I haven’t gotten all the way through it yet.)

Then, something else to try is Byki‘s free language software. I wasn’t sure about downloading it at first, but then I thought, “I have a Mac. It’ll be ok.” And it was. It’s basically a lot of flashcards, and it’s good for practice.

101 Languages- Serbian. Some basic vocabulary and information about the language.

Word2Word: Free online language courses (in a lot of languages. Check out Croatian, Serbo-Croatian, and Serbian.)

Visit Montenegro:  Very basic info, designed to get the tourist around.

Serbian School: This one is intended for Windows machines with Internet Explorer browsers. You can add an extension/plugin to Firefox to let the scripts run, and the material seems thorough enough, with there’s 24 lessons in the text.

For the best results, I would mix and match these, as they are suited for different types of learning and different paces. Some people might find LiveMocha a bit slow if they’re familiar with learning foreign languages already, and some of the other resources are just meant for increasing vocabulary or for helping the passing tourist. From all of them, however, you could cobble together something that works for you.


If you’re working on a language now, or if you have any online courses or resources that you really like, tell me about it!



Tracy Anderson Method: Losing 20 Pounds in 6 Weeks

5 Oct

Not really.  Or, that’s not actually my goal.

But I have recently become obsessed with Tracy Anderson and her interesting theory of “muscular restructuring.”  She promises to take any woman of any shape, and give her a “teeny-tiny dancer’s body.”  Gwenyth Paltrow is an avid fan, and Tracy used to work with Madonna.  (Although if you ask me, that woman’s body is kinda scary and not at all feminine.)

Coming from a dance background this both appeals to me and seems overwhelming, because both dancers and celebrities put in a lot of hours training.

The online response to Tracy (and the T.A.M.) is mixed.  Seems either people love her or they hate her, with the haters either writing her off as a hack or as someone promoting an unhealthy exercise and diet regimen.  Tracy herself claims to have spent years researching her method.

There is a whole post describing her plan, if you want to really try to lose that much weight that quickly (and as someone who has done a lot of research into fitness and dieting, I am not recommending it).

For all the Tracy Anderson videos you can handle, you can see the Funemployed YouTube channel. I made a playlist just for you.

You can also see the whole mat workout here, if you ignore the Hebrew. (Google video really comes in handy.)

TAM mat workout

For someone who spends most of her day reading and learning about fitness, my lack of practice in my own life is…typical?  I’d much rather watch the people on the exercise DVD do the moves than actually do the work myself, and long hours at work coupled with a long commute make it seem impossible to get in time at the gym, even if it happens to be down the block from my job.  Meals are on the fly most of the time, although I have been getting better at eating at regular intervals.

So as a sidebar to the information above, I will be embarking on a one-week mission to stick to the Tracy Anderson method.  One week.  First, to see if I can actually do it, and second, to see for myself if there are any results.

If you want a workout buddy, supporter, someone to share notes or commiserate with, feel free to drop me a line. And if you’ve tried the method- please, please tell me what you think!

28 Sep

Every morning starts with a brisk run to the train.

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