darthfar: (Default)
 This is largely for the benefit of the friend I'm trying to teach Malay. ;) These notes basically cover what we did yesterday, and what we'll be doing in the next lesson.

A note concerning pronunciation:  On the whole, the Malay language has only one sound for each consonant and vowel, with the exception of E (so it's actually much, much easier than English). However, when encountering a word that ends with the letter A, the "hard A sound" rule may be relaxed so that the final A is pronounced with an "er" sound, which sounds far more natural than a hard "ah!". The government once tried to standardise pronunciation by introducing BAHASA  BAKU (which is equivalent to Received Pronunciation in English, and which rigidly conforms to Malay pronunciation rules. BAHASA = language; BAKU = main/standard), but it never caught on. Those of us in school at the time used to jokingly refer to it as BAHASA  BEKU (frozen language)!

Read more... )
darthfar: (Default)
At biology class...

Far: Okay, you do this one. Subject A's heart beats 50 times in 38 seconds. How many times does it beat in one minute?
Student: [works it out laboriously on paper because she's not allowed a calculator] Uh... 2,180...?
I couldn't help laughing. Although I shouldn't, because it really isn't funny at all. All I kept thinking was, What the hell are they teaching kids these days? I tutor biology, but sometimes I find myself teaching math as well because... apparently, whatever else they might be doing, school teachers aren't teaching their students manual arithmetic.

Semi-rantage follows )

Art Digression

Force, I am so good at starting twenty new art projects simultaneously (without finishing half of them), I don't know what to do with myself. Here's a work-in-progress for a portrait that I started for absolutely no reason, and now have absolutely no idea what to do with:

(Robson Green, because he rocks).


In the meantime, my *actual* ongoing projects are being put on hold... for no reason. Like, oh, the latest installment in the Stephen Garrity saga, or the webcomic my Tank-phobic friend and I are working on. Gah.
darthfar: (Default)

What is the first thing one should do before trying out new media? Why, look up tutorials and tips, of course. Unfortunately, because I am a doint of the first order, I neglected to do said research beforehand... with the result that when I found out the following piece of information, it was too late:

(And because one of my professors had always stressed that "a negative result does not mean no result", here's that information on technique, Despard!)

1. Pencils do NOT go with soft pastels. Charcoal does. I tried it on a test sheet and bingo... the pastels just sort of skid over the pencil lines.
2. Nor does dark-coloured paper. (I found this out by trying said pastels on said test sheet). Because soft pastels are already muted in colour, so any attempt to apply them on brown paper results in... unsaturated bleargh.

I have thus unwillingly changed the Lucien Barbarin project to a colour pencils one.

Barbarinism )

But I did also break out the pastels earlier today - this time on white (cheap) paper. And considering I didn't even start out with a sketch (and in fact didn't even have any clear idea where it was going), but just built it up from shapes, it could have gone far worse than this:

Insert epic fail )


So a few years ago they decided to change the language for science and math subjects at school from the national language to English. Fine. I've always been of the opinion that science and math SHOULD be taught in English, anyway, given that the overwhelming proportion of reference and reading material for these two disciplines are English publications. Of course, the transition was far from smooth because all of a sudden, teachers who were previously teaching the subjects in the original language had to learn a whole set of different terms and spelling. ... And I've only just found out that the Ministry is now planning to switch it back to the original language. Moses on a bike! So what's to become of all the trainees at the teachers' training colleges, who are being trained to teach the subjects in English? LOL.

Oh, and let's not even go into textbook translations. I still vividly remember my argument with my 6th form biology teacher about the word "coenocytic", which the textbook hideously translated in one place as "senositik" and "koenositik" in the other, and which my inept teacher took to mean two different phenomena, when they were in fact referring to one. (At least he had the grace to admit, after doing his homework, that I was right). Or the fact that, should I continue with this tutoring thing, I face the prospect of teaching biology in a third language. ROFL. Fun times.

July 2016

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