What I did on my vacation

Like many people, I took the week between Christmas and New Years off, but it feels like my vacation started on the 19th, the day after my German 101 final. Since then, I’ve been reviewing my French grammar and vocabulary.

For the grammar, I’ve been using Tex’s French Grammar, which I really like. The site is maintained by the University of Texas at Austin and the grammar review is quite comprehensive. The grammar points are illustrated by dialogues featuring animal characters. The star of the site is Tex, an armadillo raised by French nuns. The dialogues and examples have audio, and the website will check your answers to the exercises.

I found a lot of vocabulary through Tex’s French Grammar, but I also found quite a bit in Harry Potter à L’école des Sorciers. I’ve been looking up the words at WordReference.com. It also works with Italian and Spanish.

To learn all these new words, I’m using ProVoc, which is a really neat piece of software for Macs. ProVoc is available for free, and can be downloaded here. One of the neat features is that you can import in a tab-delimited file, so if you’re at a computer without the program, just type the new words into a text file, then import or copy and paste them into ProVoc later. The program comes with four types of quizzes, and I’ve also used the program to create some grammar drills. I’ve got one file for German and several for assorted French drills.

Besides all the French, I’m reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and working on a few writing projects that I’m keeping under wraps for now.

What’s that? Vacations are for relaxing? I am relaxing!

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