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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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 Message 273 of 407
06 February 2012 at 5:07pm | IP Logged 
Accelerated Finnish Challenge

After 7 hours of study, I finished lesson 23. The translation exercises for lessons 22 and 23 were significantly harder than the previous ones, so I'll have to go back to those. At this point, all the cases (and their multiple possible endings) are piling on, so to speak. However, reaching 100 around the 30 or 35-hour mark now appears possible. But could I really reach B2 as the book advertises after 3 more chunks of what I just did? Doesn't seem very likely, but who knows.

It's a really funny feeling to come across something for the time and wonder if you're ever going to understand it or be familiar with it enough to start using it spontaneously, only to realize a few lessons later that no matter what it was, it inevitably always starts feeling familiar at some point.

When I started the challenge, I was careful only to work for longer chunks of time, but lately, it's become harder to do so as I get tired and have to admit that I'm not concentrating optimally. So I've started working for shorter bouts of 15-20 minutes throughout the day. The previous 6-week challenge taught me that that's what I typically do anyways. Perhaps shorter chunks means more optimal concentration and more effective "rehashing" of info in-between sessions.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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 Message 274 of 407
08 February 2012 at 4:24pm | IP Logged 
I’m now 1/3 into Assimil Finnois after a little under 9 hours (of dedicated Assimil study). That’s 33 lessons out of 100.

The format of my study sessions are becoming somewhat regular – they are usually 20 to 30 minutes long and start with a review of the previous 2 or 3 lessons (I read the dialogues and do the translation exercises without looking at the suggested words) and go on to a new lesson. The reviews tend to take about 5 minutes per lesson and new lessons take around 10-15 minutes.

I’ve been finding the last translation exercises to be a bit sneaky. They sometimes expect you to know words that only appeared in the title of the lesson or in examples given in the explanation section, or else as part of a compound word, and there are other words I simply can’t locate anywhere.

The only real difficulties of Finnish at this point are, besides the fact that there are no cognates, the multiple cases (and Assimil only mentions in passing what case a verb or preposition takes and doesn’t really make this easy to remember, or else you remember what the ending looks like but not the name of the case) and the multiple vowel/consonant changes. I’m confident the latter will quickly sink in and become predictable, though.

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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 Message 275 of 407
13 February 2012 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
New update after about 15 hours of Assimil. I finished lesson 38.

I'm not overly impressed, to be honest. The biggest problem is that it continuously leaves me with questions.
How can I move to the next lesson when I feel that the previous one was impossible to master? I'm all for
moving ahead without remembering everything perfectly, but I should at least understand everything.

Many words are introduced as having the same meaning, but without any clear way to distinguish them, all
the cases are introduced in confusing ways that leave us unsure about which is which or which to use, and
most annoying for me so far, small adverbs like still, yet, none, etc., are introduced outside of context, making
them all but impossible to learn. For instance, ei kai is translated as quand même pas. I get that ei is pas, but
what the heck is kai? There is no explanation. Very frustrating.

Because of this frustration, I'm left wondering if I will continue with the book. It's a frustrating book to work on,
on its own. Interest is waning and I feel like continuing will just get me deeper into frustration. In an attempt to
switch the tempo a bit, I went back to lesson 1 and tried to translate the French dialogues back into Finnish. I
made it to lesson 21 today.
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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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 Message 276 of 407
13 February 2012 at 12:45am | IP Logged 
Good progress so far. You're also making me glad I didn't decide to go the Assimil route for Finnish.

What do you think you'll do next?

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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 Message 277 of 407
13 February 2012 at 12:50am | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
Good progress so far. You're also making me glad I didn't decide to go the Assimil route for
Finnish.

What do you think you'll do next?

I think I'll try the back to Finnish oral translation exercise up to the last lesson I studied, then I'll reconsider. I
might move to a more active, production-based strategy, but I'm not sure. Normally, I'd have the luxury to just
take it easy, but I've only got 45 hours with the language, and I want it to be worthwhile.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Sprachprofi
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 Message 278 of 407
13 February 2012 at 1:17am | IP Logged 
When a lesson feels impossible, I usually skip ahead to the next summary lesson in order to get a more
detailed description of what's going on. Sometimes I additionally refer to a grammar, to get a different
angle.

Flavour words are usually hard to understandand need to be assimilated. To speed up the process, I visit
Tatoeba and look at many sentences involving a word.

How easy have you found the target language translation so far? In the normal course of things, you should
only do this exercise once you hit lesson 50, and then only lesson by lesson. Sometimes those advanced
lessons actually contain a missing link that helps with the translation, e. g. information on an irregularity.
Still, if you were able to translate the dialogs already, that means you must have absorbed the information
well, even the cases that looked so daunting at first. I'd expect steadily more problems now though, as
you're handling grammar topics that haven't had time to be digested yet.

If you want a break from Assimil without losing Finnish time, try that video course I mentioned, or go back
to Teach Yourself for a day. Sometimes it helps to review stuff in a new context.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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 Message 279 of 407
15 February 2012 at 10:09pm | IP Logged 
Finnish (about 19 h into the Challenge)

After reaching lesson 41 of Assimil, I needed a change. So I gave Teach Yourself a try. I made it to page 74. Obviously, what's been presented so far is familiar as most of it has been covered in Assimil, but the information does feel like it's presented in a much more logical way rather than it just being thrown at you, for you to figure out. The lessons are less dense, and I like how there are several dialogues presenting variations in speech patterns. It consolidates the info while offering exposure and variety.

Japanese

Out of curiosity, I decided to track how much time I spend using Japanese with language partners in 2012. In the first month and a half, it's been 17 hours, which is about 2.5h/week. Even if I do nothing else during the week, I always manage to get a few hours of active use per week, which is not too bad.

Lately, I've doing some work on politeness levels, and acquiring more a sophisticated vocabulary by reading TED talks translations. I'll do more after the Finnish challenge is over.
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Serpent
Octoglot
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 Message 280 of 407
15 February 2012 at 11:37pm | IP Logged 
kai just means perhaps. idk how much of a "flavour word" (nice term!) it is.
btw no idea whether it's explained/mentioned, but ei kai can also mean hopefully (not) in some contexts.

*looks again*

yeah, ei kai probably counts as a flavour word :D


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