Useful Vocabulary

In the second year Lithuanian language course at the University of Washington, we learned all kinds of useful vocabulary words.  The course covered vocabulary related to traveling, clothing, illness, leisure activities, jobs, and more.  I memorized the words, did well on the quizzes and exams — and promptly forgot them all.  And now, of course, I suddenly need to know them.  This emphasizes something that I have found to be true — I don’t really learn a language unless I have to use it.  Here are a few of the sets of vocabulary words that I’ve actually learned over the last few months.

Illnesses: I can now discuss respiratory flu symptoms, types of cough (dry vs. wet, persistent, bronchial spasms), and treatments (homeopathic vs. pharmaceutical) with a pharmacist in order to get the right medication and make sure I know proper dosage amounts and timing.

Hairstyle: Last year I went to a hairstylist who spoke English, but now I am going to a very good hairstylist who doesn’t speak English.  I quickly learned how to explain layers, permanent (“chemical curl”), length and condition of my hair (“yes, the water here makes it drier”).

Household Chores: My landlady in Kaunas only knows a little bit of English so all our conversations are in Lithuania.  As a result, I can now discuss vacuuming, taking out the trash, and doing laundry in Lithuania.


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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