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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Iversen
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 Message 2961 of 3959
03 July 2012 at 10:11am | IP Logged 
I had a noise machine - an old radio of the kind that didn't quell that wonderful and useful hiss between stations. But suddenly it stopped communicating with the loudspeakers, and even though I pushed all the buttons and even opened the box and tapped at everything inside, it never returned to normal service. So I was left like a beleagered city whose main gate suddenly was flung open to evil forces from without.

I have found a partial solution through the internet - and when I find a way to couple my external loudspeakers to my computer I may even get back to a situation where I can watch TV programs with limited noise: let the noise machine hiss, and then use headphones as a barriere to both the background noise and the insane howling of my sick neighbour. If you don't have a constant background noise then it doesn't matter much just to use headphones because your ears will automatically become more sensitive during pauses and quiet intervals in the program - the kind of programs I normally would prefer. And then you also hear the undesirables.

However even a benevolent defence noise makes life more difficult for a language learner because it makes it more difficult to do the kind of exercise where you listen attentively to short passages of speech to catch every inflection and each and every sound and write the result down - which I had planned to use systematically as a cure for pronunciation errors (cfr. my writings in this log from around April). But rather background noise than the voice of my evil neighbour yelling in a megaphone.

To get white, pink and brown noise you can use a free homepage called simplynoise.com . White noise is rather shrill, brown noise is dark and pleasant, while pink noise is somewhere in between. NB: there is another kind of brown noise: according to an urban legend a certain low frequency should provoke your bowels to go into instant action. But Adam Savage from Mythbusters tried it out and didn't get brown pants.

Besides I have found a new genre of Youtube videos: very long videos with more or less constant nature or machine sounds, which can be used alone or with added brown noise type 1. If you search for "waterfall sounds" or "rain sounds" then you will see how popular this genre has become. A few examples:


rain:

The sound of rain w/o music, 10 hours - comment: "thanks a lot now i found out this made me piss the bed"

75 minutes of thunder and rain - relaxing noise for your ears

Som da Chuva - Para Dormir e Relaxar (2 horas) (Comment: "32 pessoas mijaram na cama!")

Clima Chuvoso ... Som da Chuva - Para Dormir e Relaxar (2 horas).flv

Heavy Rain Sounds" 60min's Inside a Car "Natural Sound"

Rain 50 HOURS - my comment: the longest video ever, and thanks for not having that kind of climate in my country


waterfall, wawes:


3 hours long
- Ocean Waves Crashing onto the Beach! (in HD)

Those Relaxing Sounds of Waves - Full HD Film, 1080p, 1h long movie

"Waterfall Sounds" Cow Creek 2Hrs "Sleep Sounds"

"Waterfall" 90mins "Sleep Video" Bull Creek

Relaxing Waterfall - 8 Hours - For Meditation Calm Peace Serenity. Thailand, Pembok Falls, Pai


but maybe you should avoid these two:

24 Vaccuum Cleaners Vaccuuming for 12 Hours ~ Relaxation Madness Tinnitus Insomnia Outsomnia

12 Hours of One Man Vacuuming ~ Vacuum Cleaner Relaxation White Noise Sound Sleep

Edited by Iversen on 03 July 2012 at 11:16am

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 Message 2962 of 3959
04 July 2012 at 4:08pm | IP Logged 
I use have been using this Dohm for a couple of months, and I find that it's made a big difference. It's not designed to block at all noise though it does block some. It's more that it makes your subconscious focus on it so that other noises don't catch your attention. The company also claims that the noise is random unlike the digitially produced noise that your brain eventually becomes accustomed to, making it less effective.

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Iversen
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 Message 2963 of 3959
05 July 2012 at 11:26am | IP Logged 
A Dohm thing would be certainly practical in those situations where my computer isn't switched on.

I have just been listening to the video "Can we learn 100 words a day?" by Steve Kauffman - although only as a background to tapping happily away on my keyboard. But it solved one problem, namely the extremely high vocabulary counts users of his system have mentioned - like his own 28.000 Czech words after a few months of study. The point seems to be that his system Lingq counts all forms and derivations as separate words, where I count one word as long as I can fit the forms I see into a morphological table. A professor /Nazian/ from New Zealand found the ration for English to be 1 to 1.6, while it would be higher for heavily inflected languages.

The remainder of the video was mainly concerned with the wellknown distinction between active and passive vocabulary, but apart from the observation that you always know more passive than active words there was no big surprises here. Except maybe that he assesses that his active English vocabulary is a third of his passive vocabulary. My assessment in Danish is that I could see myself use a higher proportion of the words I know in Danish ... and no, this isn't a result of English having more words than Danish. We are speaking about the proportion of the words you personally know, not a proportion of all the words in any given language.

Another point: he states that he just somehow 'got to know' most of his Czech words, he didn't get them through flash cards, whereas I state that I learn most of my words through wordlists. But this isn't as big a contradiction as it may seem. I claim that intermediate and more advanced learners can put words directly from a dictionary into their wordlists, while beginners generally should stick to words from their study texts, maybe supplemented with 'should learn' lists. One major reason for this is that even 'bare' words from a dictionary often will have some ring of familiarity to them because you have seen them several times before, but just forgotten about them. Apparently Kauffman counts words from the first encounter, even though they are forgotten afterwards and only stick when you meet them again later. I see such words as lost until ressuscitated.

I may not always agree with Steve Kauffman, but I like his videos because they are well made and make me think. My answer to his question: "Can we learn 100 words a day?" is yes. But not every day, not in any language at every conceivable stage of learning and not without doing some hard systematic memorizing using a suitable tracking system. Which for me would be wordlists.

Apart from that: I spent half of the evening yesterday writing down themes from works of minor German organ composers (which is one kind of music that can successful compete with most extraneous sounds). The following two hours were dedicated to a revision of the text about Galway which I have been working with - and this second time I basically could read it without consulting my wordlists or a dictionary, so I must have learnt something during round one. But I'm still far from being able to speak it. And for goodnight extensive reading in my bed I ran through my one and only issue of the Dutch magazine Kijk once again. I didn't need a dictionary for that.

Edited by Iversen on 05 July 2012 at 12:05pm

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tarvos
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 Message 2964 of 3959
09 July 2012 at 12:39pm | IP Logged 
Iversen, I have a question about your wordlist method. I know that you have used it
extensively to learn vocabulary, and I have decided that I am going to try it out and
use it when I commence my self-study of Hebrew in August. However, I have a few
questions regarding how you would write down (because this is in cursive) alphabets
that are written in a different order, or using a different script, etc. (Hebrew is
written from right to left, and it can be written with niqqud (dots that indicate
vowels)) or how you would implement it for e.g. Japanese, which uses not only a
syllabary or two but also the infamous kanji, in which you need to learn characters
more than you learn words.

How would you adapt this method to function for a language like Hebrew, or Arabic, or
Chinese, which does not only require you to learn new words, but also function as a
crutch for learning a different script (one way to practice a new script is to write it
out often, and wordlists would help immensely by just giving the practice of writing
down the words in cursive).

Furthermore, for your own wordlists, I assume you use either Danish or English as a
base language. How do you feel about using a different base language (one that you know
well, but not entirely native-like). I ask because part of my Hebrew source will come
from French, and that is a language I do speak but not entirely fluently.
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Iversen
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 Message 2965 of 3959
09 July 2012 at 3:16pm | IP Logged 
Totally or partly ideogrammatic writing systems are problematic in every possible way, not only for wordlists. If I wanted to learn Chinese I would use Pinyin as a bridge between the original Chinese signs and their translation into Danish or English or whatever, And in my wordlists I would therefore also use at least one extra column for Pinyin, maybe two:   

Chinese ideogram | Pinyin | translation |(maybe Pinyin) | Chinese ideogram

You could say that even English orthography is so insane that an extra column for IPA could be relevant, but when you see an English word you will normally be able to narrow the choice down to maybe 2 or 3 possible pronunciations, and then one single sign for clarification will be enough and you don't need an extra column. Just use a good dictionary with some hints about pronunciation - it is easier to memorize things you trust.

Likewise Hebrew and Arabic shouldn't be a problem. I'm aware that wowels often are mssng frm ordinary texts in these languages, but again you should consult your dictionary to clear up ambiguous letter combinations, and there I suppose the vowels are shown. The direction is not important, nor that you use different alphabets in different columns, and you can also mix languages to your hearts' delight in the translation column. For instance many words can be rendered in one word in one language, but need two or three in your native language, or the only usable word in your own language has several meanings. OK, then choose a language where there isn't a problem.    


Edited by Iversen on 09 July 2012 at 3:24pm

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tarvos
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 Message 2966 of 3959
09 July 2012 at 4:49pm | IP Logged 
Would you also add a transliteration for Hebrew or Arabic, or would you dispense with it
(I assume you don't use them for Russian or Greek?)
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Iversen
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 Message 2967 of 3959
10 July 2012 at 1:09am | IP Logged 
I don't know those two languages, but as far as I know you can add vowel signs if you want to (just like I indicate the stress in Russian words when I do Russian wordlists), and then you don't need a complete transliteration.

Apart from that, I have had a peaceful day and evening so I have got a fair amount of studying done.

POR: A minha leitura-no-autobús hoje foi National Geographic Portugal, com um artigo sobre 'Um mondu sem gelo'. Tenho escribido muito sobre o fim de Perm e o fim do Cretáceo, e o fim do Paleocénico ha 56 milhões de anos certamente não foi tão dramático, mas muito instrutivo para nós. Após o desaparecimento dos dinosauros, seguió um período de pequenos mamíferos e aves, cobras e crocodilos e um clima relativamente quente: o paleocénico. Mas, de repente o teor de dióxido de carbono no atmodsfera aumentou de forma drástica e, portanto, a temperatura mundial subiu. Isto foi o começo do eoceno, onde os mamíferos começaram a evoluirse em gigantes, e famílias modernas, como os primatas e os cavalos, também começaram a evoluir. O Paleocenico sempre foi um periodo negligenciado, mas aqui nós temos um raro olhar a isto mundo perdido.

RU: Кроме того, я читал текст о палеонтологии на русском языке, и достаточно смешно живое существо в период палеоцена: титанобоа, которая была змея с 13 метров в длину. Тогда я скопировал еще один столбец, в статье о кельтов в русской версии GEO, и я повторил некоторые словари.

IR: Ansin a léamh agus a chóipeáil dom téacs ar Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbhertaigh ó Vicipéid, "an chiclipéid shaor".

Guess what "Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbhertaigh" would be in Sassenach: "Roderick O'Flaherty"! He was was an impoverish nobleman who lived 1629 – 1718 or 1716 and was an important Irish historian and collector of Irish manuscripts.

The Portuguese text mentioned above was one of the few times the Paleocene gets some attention. It was the period which followed right after the demise of the dinosaurs, and the animals were generally not very big and dangerous and flashy so the program planners are not happy about them. One interesting thing - which I didn't know beforehand - was that it ended with a sudden surge of CO2 in the atmosphere, which of course lead to a sharp wise in world temperatures (the title of the article in the Portuguese National Geographic was actually 'a world without ice'). The CO2 was gradually absorbed by the oceans, but the climate in the subsequent period (the eocene) was high, and the climate was humid. In the eocene the primates and the horses evolved, and some mammals became really big, but even the eocene is somewhat overlooked - for each 100 articles and TV programmes about T Rex there is one about all the species of the paleocene and the eocene put together.

I accidentally also found an article about a giant snake from the paleocene (13 meters long or more) .. in Russian. And then I studied one more section of the long article about the Celts in my Russian Geo. And finally I found time for a bit of Irish, as mentioned above.






Edited by Iversen on 11 July 2012 at 12:15pm

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 Message 2968 of 3959
11 July 2012 at 7:34am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
The Portuguese text mentioned above was one of the few times the Paleocene gets some attention. It was the period which followed right after the demise of the dinosaurs, and the animals were generally not very big and dangerous and flashy. One interesting thing - which I didn't know beforehand - was that it ended with a sudden surge of CO2 in the atmosphere, which of course lead to a sharp wise in world temperatures (the title of the article in the Portuguese National Geographic was actually 'a world without ice'). The CO2 was gradually absorbed by the oceans, but the climate in the subsequent period (the eocene) was high, and the climate was humid. In the eocene the primates and the horses evolved, and some mammals became really big, but even the eocene is somewhat overlooked - for each 100 articles and TV programmes about T Rex there is one about all the species of the paleocene and the eocene put together.


I have one DVD from the BBC with English, Dutch and Flemish audio called "Walking with beasts" dealing with such eras but unfortunately it's not stated on the cover whether these animals lived in the Eocene or Paleocene. I would like to know it more precisely.

Fasulye


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