I’ve been using the additional time I’ve had since the school shut down for the Christmas/New Year break to, um, go to the supermarket a lot, cook two meals a day for my family, and wash masses of dishes!
Plus, I admit, I’ve drunk quite a lot of beer.
And nibbled a lot of nuts. It is, after all, the festive season.
I haven’t yet begun work on my new Swedish B1/2 course book, which is still sitting on the kitchen table looking hopefully at me.
One thing I did manage, though, was to reorganise the apps on my smartphone – an unexpected but significant development!
Now, I assume most of you already know this, but bear with me.
Previously, I’d been trying to cram the applications I used regularly (mostly media and communication tools) onto the ‘home’ screen page.
But hey, it turns out that if I swipe right or left there are OTHER pages to put app icons on, like five or six of them.
After lots of messing about, I settled on putting the Gmail, Whatsapp, SMS, phone, contacts and all that sort of thing on one page.
While using the other pages to organise everything else BY LANGUAGE.
So page 2 is Swedish.
There I put the national TV website app, which I get my breakfast news from. Plus the TV ‘replay site’, which live broadcasts all the channels, and has the back catalog of programs I might want to watch one day…
On the same page are the national radio station apps, to listen to while I’m washing the dishes, and three or four newspapers, of greater or lesser use.
Page 3 is Turkish. Again, it’s a mix of broadcast and print media, all free.
Page 4 is French, which I studied at school thirty-five years ago and am hoping to pick up again, given that it’s so similar to Italian.
I did Duolingo in 2018 and have a subscription to ‘Le Monde’, which includes a lovely little app called ‘La Matinale’ (which I heartily recommend). I glance at it with good intentions each morning before getting out of bed, and sometimes come back to it in the evening. Quality journalism!
Talking of which, not, page 5 has Italian bits and pieces.
So how come I can get half-decent, free newspaper apps in loads of languages, but that the Italian press apps are just so rubbish?
La Repubblica, for example, a classy newspaper staffed with professional writers, but one which manages a mobile version comparable only in quality to a steaming pile of dung.
Worse, it’s a manure heap with clunky and intrusive advertising.
And should you, improbably, find an article you actually want to read, you’ll be blocked after three lines with a demand to subscribe.
Or nothing. Subscribe or that’s your lot, my friend.
Show me something decent (like the Le Monde guys do) and I might.
Until then, forget it.
I do have the RaiPlay (state TV) and RaiPlay Radio (state radio) apps, which look OK but which I haven’t got around to evaluating properly.
My favourite Italian radio station, Rai Parlamento, is included on the radio one, so I’ll definitely be taking a closer look, or listen. At which point, I’ll update you.
Be aware, the Rai apps are likely to be geo-protected, which could make life difficult for those of you not in Italy and ethical enough not to want to cheat by using a VPN (look it up…)
As I told you in previous articles, it’s been BANISHED.
Once I realised I was spending all my free time listening to and reading my native tongue, plus what with Brexit, and Trump, it became a no-brainer to get rid of it all.
Life’s too short.
And, since you ask, yes, it’s going really well!
Yesterday, for example, I listened to a New Year speech by Turkey’s rather shouty but charismatic President – over and over again, since it seemed to be on a loop on every Turkish media outlet.
I even understood some of it.
And this morning I tuned in to a program that I used to think was called ‘Ring Pete!’, Pete being a friendly guy on the premier Swedish national radio station who takes calls from the public each morning:
“Hej Gunilla from Lund! What do you want to talk about today?”
Turned out the program is actually called ‘Ring P1‘ – ‘pee-ett’, said in a Swedish accent, sounding a lot like Pete to my ears…
So there, I might not have actually ‘studied’ over the holidays but I’m getting plenty of listening and reading practice.
And I now have a very well-organised smartphone.
So, if you’ll excuse me?
Gotta go wash the lunch dishes and listen to the latest news bulletin.
Don’t forget the 2019 January Sale!
Don’t forget, everything at the ‘club shop’, EasyReaders.org, is 20% off this week.
Use this coupon code:
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- Use the coupon code as often as you wish before then
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The coupon code you need to get 20% off the prices you see in the shop is: