Quarantine Hobbies - Learning Languages

I know Taiwan isn’t in lockdown, but have any of you taken up any hobbies during the quarantine? I’d like to hear about them.

I’ve started learning Biblical Hebrew. This white Anglo guy who just defended his dissertation at Exeter in Hebrew Bible (has has an MA from Oxford) started offering them for free. He’s head of Bible translations at my Church. I’m guessing he wants to keep his Hebrew fresh.

Spanish was my strongest subject in high school, and in college I tested out of 101 and 102 and took 201.

I tried picking up a book and learning Biblical Greek and then Biblical Hebrew, but gave up on both because it just wasn’t coming to me. I thought my language learning days were over.

When this guy started offering them for free via zoom, I decided why not?

I learned a lot about my learning style. I’m picking it up quite well. For things like math and coding, I learn fine without a teacher, no problem. Language has been a different story.

My main reason for learning is to understand the scholarship on the Bible a lot better. In my faith tradition we don’t use Hebrew for liturgy or anything. It seems like learning just a little has already illuminated things substantially.

When I’m done, I plan on picking up some Arabic on Duolingo. From what I know, the sentence structures of the two languages are similar. Also, when they reconstructed Hebrew, they used Arabic and Aramaic for templates on a lot of things. Might even study some of the dead languages, like Aramaic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian.


Welted shoes. Not actually shoe making although I would like to learn down the line. But I really find shoe making really interesting. The craftsmanship in them is great. Especially hand welted ones.

1 Like

Does that have anything to do with being in Italy making it more accessible?

Not really, things just opened up now. I would like to visit some stores and workshops eventually but other countries also make really fantastic shoes.

Also; it would be cheaper to buy them outside of Italy/EU. 22% VAT is a bitch. I don’t care if it pays for things like NHI, Taiwan does all that without these kinds of taxes.

My wife loves it. Whenever we go to Italy, she buys suitcases worth of stuff and gets EUR000s of tax refunds. I choose to not look at the amounts too closely. Better for my health.