Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Vietnamese is Hard

I've been attempting to teach myself Vietnamese through a book for the past several months, on and off. I've given up on that effort, because the phoenetic rules governing the Vietnamese language make little or no sense to me. (I think this may have something to do with the fact that I have trouble with the phoenetic rules of English, as well, sometimes.)

I purchased a CD set of beginning Vietnamese, hoping that I could learn by listening. This is, after all, how children learn to speak a language.

Vietnamese is a tonal language (meaning, that the tone in which you prounounce a word defines it's meaning, so, the "ma" can have six meanings, depending on the tone you use when you say it.) It is very very hard. They also have some sound combinations, such as "ng" that occur in English only at the ends of words, but occur in Vietnamese at the beginning. This is a hard sound for English speakers to make.

The bottom line is: It is hard. Very very hard. I've been listening to the tapes for an hour for the last two days. I can now say "excuse me" and "I don't understand" and "Do you speak English". I can see that I am going to need these three phrases A LOT since I am pretty sure I will be not understanding much!

I've always been good at aquiring language skills, but, French, German and Japanese have NOTHING on this language. (Well, spoken Japanese. I never even tried to learn how to read Japanese.) I want to be able to talk to my daugther, I want to be prepared to at least understand some of what she is saying. I know that, based on her age, learning English will be infinitely easier for her than learning Vietnamese will be for me, but, it's still really important for me, to learn this, at least a little bit.

____________________________________

In other news, I am confused at my apparent inability to accomplish what should be a very simple thing.

I want a DVR. I want to be able to record the shows I want to watch, and not have to monkey with the VCR, which is as old as my marriage (11 years) and holding up much less graciously than my marriage is. (I.e. my marriage doesn't go all funny and crinkly and put lines across Anthony Bourdain's face.) I want to be able to skip over the commercials in the shows that my son watches because they are filling his head with all kinds of stuff. (Example: "Mom, do you know that if you go to Weight Watchers On-line you could lose weight and you don't even have to go to the meetings?") (To clarify, Gabe doesn't like it when I go to WW meetings, and I can't really put my finger on why. I think it is because they are on Saturday mornings, but, I'm not 100% sure.)

Further, the only means we have for getting local channels is through an antenna, since, at the time we signed up for Dish Network, they didn't offer local channels in our area. As a result, our local channels are kind of fuzzy, and we do not get the WB or UPN. Which is now the CW. The point is, in order to watch Gilmore Girls, I have to go to my friend M~'s house. Which is fine and all, but, I just need a different tv situation in my life.

Direct TV is offering some deals for new subscribers. All I have to do is call Dish Network and express that I don't want them anymore, and arrange for Direct TV to come out and install a system. And yet, I am paralyzed and don't seem to be able to get this accomplished. I have the coupon. I have the telephone numbers. Why don't I call? Why?

I suspect it is because I think that Dish will give me a hard time about canceling. And what am I supposed to do with the hardware? We've had the receiver for six years and the current "dish" itself for two years - do you suppose they want them back? Do you suppose they will charge me an exhorbitant disconnection fee?

It's ridiculous of me to sit here, wanting to do this, and not doing it. And embarrassing for me to admit that I am shirking away from telling a service provider that I either want upgraded service or I'm going to another service provider who will provide me with that service. I am an ATTORNEY for cripes sake. I make proposals for other people ALL DAY LONG. Why can't I switch my own damn tv service?

Oy. And Gah. And Harumph.

LM

6 Comments:

Anonymous Heather said...

This is what I did w/ Dish Network- tell them you are moving into downtown Toledo (or wherever you want your local channels from- for me it was Detroit)- you have to give them a valid address in Toledo (borrow a friend's), but tell them to continue to bill you at your current address, and that you will call them when you are ready to move. I did this 5 years ago- they have never questioned me. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger -Jenny said...

That is funny. Yeah tell them you are moving.

I couldn't live without Gilmore Girls. COULDN'T live! We have 3 tivos in the house. We are a little tv crazy over here.

Can't wait for Gilmore!

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina/Mrs. Broccoli Guy said...

Vietnamese is SUPER hard! I've tried a variety of methods and so far I think I know like 5 words. Pathetic.

We have cable and tivo (actually bought a dvd player/recorder with tivo so I can burn a show to dvd if I want to!) ... LOVE it. :-)
I hear you on not wanting to call service providers... it's just a stressful thing and you feel like they are taking advantage of you or will try to talk you out of things.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:30:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hey there,
I have just started with the Rosetta Stone Vietnamese and have had the most success (although I just started..hee hee!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Yes it is hard. Did I ever tell you that it took me 11 years to realize I was mispronouncing my own children's last name?! Now that I have the pronounciation, I am sure the tones are all wrong.

Cancel woman! ANYTHING is worth the a DVR. We have 2 - we are addicted. I do so love instant tv anytime I want, whatever I want!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:24:00 PM  
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