December 28th, 2010

geisha

Hunting down a story

I'm hoping that I might find out about a story I recall reading when I was either in middle or high school in Washington state. I graduated back in '97 so my memory on it is very rusty. It was likely an abridged story in an English book.

The story was I believe true, hence the curiosity. It was about a girl from a Pacific Island who's island was discovered by whites. I don't know if it was the 1800s. For reasons I can't recall all her people were gathered up into the white ships, she had been possibly sick or had run off during the day and so when she went to the beach, everyone was gone. She had to try to survive alone on the island, difficult since she was young I believe. Eventually she was found, possibly because she fashioned a raft and tried to find another island. In the end of the story she ended up I think in California, and no one was able to ever figure out who her people were. Her native language didn't match anything anyone there had encountered.

If this story is true, I wonder how much of the language was written down and investigated. If the story is fiction, I'd like to know so I can not dwell on the curiosity.

Thank you.
Rhythm Heaven: Glee Club Kid Annoyed

How to practice French?

Hello everyone! I'm a 17 year old Mexican. I've been taught English since I was in kindergarden and overall I do fine in the language. About a year ago, I started learning French (Parisian French, to be precise) at school, though I only get two and a half hours of class per week, so my knowledge of the language is pretty basic (I know simple sentences, how to conjugate verbs ending with -er, passé composé, numbers, colors, places, etc.). I live in Tijuana, a border city. With English, I have the advantage of living next to the US (and over here we get a lot of radio stations and TV channels from San Diego), which does wonders in terms of practice.

I have only one semester left of preparatoria (which I guess is Mexican equivalent of high school, perhaps?) before I graduate and go to the University. I'm pretty sure that the Uni I'm going to offers French classes, so I don't really have a problem with that.

Now, unlike with English, I don't know how to practice French after classes. I don't have family or friends who know French. Most of my practice comes from listening to music, which is actually good since I have an easier time understanding French in written form than in spoken form.

Also, pronunciation is HELL for me. As much as I try to avoid it, my mind reverts to Spanish and I end up pronunciating things in the wrong way.

Any help is very apreciated :D