I did say I was going to do Chess and Languages updates but somehow I never got around to it.
Greek — I’ve decided to give the Greek a break till next year or till I finish my Latin lessons on Duolingo. I do miss it but I think three languages is my limit for now because I’m intensely focused on academic work, classical guitar, piano and music theory (which is its own language).
Latin — I’m at the last level at Duolingo but it is a language tree still in development so I hope that by the time I reach the last checkpost there’ll be a new level. I also have the Lingua Latina per se illustrata so I suspect I’ll be continuing with that after I am done with all Latin lessons on Duolingo plus lurking on one of the Latin communities. Latin is turning out to be the easiest language to learn intuitively because I’ve osmosed so much Latin over the years inclusive of reading Horace out loud to myself because he’s one of my favourite poets. Catullus too.
French — I’m in Level 3 right now and inching closer to Level 4. The other day I managed to write a whole message in French in thanks to a Francophone classical guitarist. I’m also finding reading random French tweets easier. I also wrote my first French poem! Well, I HAVE been learning French off and on since I was 18 but this has been my most systematic and consistent effort. 320 days and counting! Maybe by the time the pandemic is over (will it ever be over), and I’m still alive and hopefully have enough change — I can walk the streets of Paris FINALLY, and speak French. Ah, what a dream.
Welsh — Progressing nicely. Again surprised at how I’m picking up things intuitively. And really surprised at how many things have resonances with both French and Latin. Some of the days of the week, for instance. I need to figure out how these languages are all related in terms of orthography. This is a skill I’ve never fully developed even though I’ve always known I have an aptitude for languages but never seemed to have the time to follow through on it. (I bought one of those book and tape Italian courses when I was a teenager, though. And finished most of it.)
It’s a language too, right? 😉
I’ve been playing chess every day. Am at level 4. But I use pointers, warnings and guides a lot which teaches me moves but to advance I need to play more without them because I still have problems doing a checkmate (though at least I can FINALLY DO THEM these days).
So I am now resolved that if I get 100 checkmates without the training wheels on, I’ll move on to playing against the computer at Level 5 on Chess.com.
I’m also using the Dr. Wolf app to learn chess strategy. It’s a lot of fun. It really amuses me how the game’s machine sounds like an actual teacher.
I won’t be playing against other Chess.com players until I reach at least Level 10 and can do checkmates without the training wheels on. When this pandemic is over I want to join a chess club and play with actual people.