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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 281 of 407
17 February 2012 at 5:20pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
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

Thanks for adding flavour to my log ;)
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 282 of 407
18 February 2012 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
After seeing Sprachprofi's Finnish
Video
, I was motivated to do a similar
recording after 22.5 hours. However, mine is only audio and I am reading.

Download audio
file


Minä olen Aleksanter.
Olen kanadalainen. Olen kotoisin Québec:istä, mutta asun nyt Winnipegissä.
Asun tässä talossa vaimonin kanssa ja meillä on kaksi lasta ja pieni kissa.
Vaimoni on työssä ravintolassa ja minä olen kääntäjä;
käännän englantista ranskaan. Puhun myös espanjaa, saksaa ja japania.
Kotona me puhumme joka päivä ranskaa ja englantia.
Minä opiskelen suomea, koska se on kaunis kieli.

EDIT: I now realize it should be Aleksanteri...

Edited by Arekkusu on 18 February 2012 at 10:19pm

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 283 of 407
19 February 2012 at 3:48am | IP Logged 
There's no problem with just pronouncing your name the way you normally do:)

One correction - it's englannista.

How exactly did you do the Assimil lessons? Did you do shadowing? If not I'm jealous :P
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 284 of 407
19 February 2012 at 4:18am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
There's no problem with just pronouncing your name the way you normally do:)

One correction - it's englannista.

How exactly did you do the Assimil lessons? Did you do shadowing? If not I'm jealous :P

Yeah, someone else told me it should have been englannista... I forgot about the consonant change.

No shadowing. I just say what I think sounds right...

Edited by Arekkusu on 19 February 2012 at 4:35am

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 285 of 407
21 February 2012 at 8:44pm | IP Logged 
I've always advocated that speaking from day one -- in a controlled environment, such as with a language partner or using self-talk -- was a desirable objective and an effective learning goal.

Many people wonder how to make this feasible as early as possible.

The Accelerated Finnish Challenge I am now taking part in has given me interesting insight into what's actually happening (to me, at least) in the early days of studying a new language, and how various factors may affect the possible onset of self-talk.

I think there are two main conditions for self-talk, which could be roughly summed up as feel and knowledge.

First of all, the student needs to have a feel for the language or they will not be able to string sounds and words together. This is why they need to start reading outloud, right from the onset, any text they encounter in the language, provided they have done their homework and have a decent comprehension of the language's sounds. This gives the learner a proper feel for the flow of the language. You simply can't start speaking a language if you don't know what it feels like to speak it. (You can hear me introduce myself in Finnish in post 282 above after 22.5 hours of study)

Second, the student will need an active "database" of useful words that he masters enough to use freely. The size of the vocabulary doesn't matter, and it can be quite small, but the words will need to be high frequency words that he can manipulate comfortably. Oral production is the ultimate active exercise and it can't be achieved without active knowledge of the words in one's mental lexicon.

For the Finnish challenge, I decided to use Assimil. In the long run, this might prove to be a good idea, but for the purpose of acquiring self-talk abilities early on, it was a very poor decision.

After 40-some lessons, a large portion of the vocabulary presented is useless (port, island, sea, smoking car, handset, parsley, dill, to name a few words I wouldn't use daily, or weekly) and most of the grammar has been introduced in a vague manner, so that the learner has little control over the material. Yes, Assimil compensates by saying that it wants you to go through a passive phase, followed by an active phrase, but I wonder if this isn't just a convenient way to cover up for its own shortcomings.

In my opinion, you'd be far better off teaching less material but providing students with a better grasp of higher frequency words. Start students off with sufficient knowledge to start creating useful, everyday language and this strong base will allow early self-talk and serve as a springboard for quick and efficient learning.

If the method you are using doesn't provide you with that, switch now.

Edited by Arekkusu on 21 February 2012 at 8:54pm

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Sprachprofi
Nonaglot
Senior Member
Germany
learnlangs.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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2608 posts - 4866 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Esperanto, Greek, Mandarin, Latin, Dutch, Italian
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 
 Message 286 of 407
21 February 2012 at 11:29pm | IP Logged 
I agree, I would never use Assimil if the goal was to acquire active abilities quickly.
It goes against their philosophy. If you're going to be tested on Communicative
Approach
kind of abilities (like asking for the way), it will be a long time till you learn this
with Assimil. On the other hand, Assimil is better for being able to understand random
texts or random native-speaker conversations, which don't follow the clear-cut
Communicative Approach templates.

In the interest of this challenge I'm supplementing my diet of Assimil by thinking
about how I could use the words for myself, when normally (e. g. for Swahili) I would
just patiently wait until I have a feel for the language and I almost "hear" the
correct phrasing in my head before saying something. Giving you this kind of voice in
your head is a great advantage of long-term use of Assimil; after finishing Teach
Yourself for example, using the language still felt mechanical to me. I will still
stick to Assimil to see what gives.

Edited by Sprachprofi on 21 February 2012 at 11:32pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 287 of 407
01 March 2012 at 6:21pm | IP Logged 
The gentleman who volunteered to test us in Finnish asked for our appreciation of the language and the methods we used. Here is what I wrote:

Finnish is a language that always intrigued me, so I'm happy I could get to know it a little bit better.

Pronunciation was fairly simple and straightforward for me. Front rounded vowels (y and ö) were not a problem since French is my mother tongue, and vowel length and double consonants were fairly simple too, mostly because of my knowledge of Japanese. Actually, after recording myself, I found that Japanese intonation sometimes crept in. Regular stress patterns also make pronunciation simple.

Remembering vocabulary was, as expected, quite difficult. Consonant changes were a challenge, making words even harder to recognize and produce accurately. Even more difficult were shorter pronouns since they have so many forms that are hardly recognizable. The material I used was not very good at opposing all these forms to eachother, so I still struggle with them most of them. I would have liked to see clear tables right from the onset, which I did find online though. I would recommend adding every new form you teach to a list of the previous ones, while adding clear examples of the context in which they appear. As the forms keep piling on, it's important to understand exactly what the old ones did and what the new ones are for or what new things they allow us to express. The student should at least always know what subset of forms he needs to choose from.

The concept of cases was not foreign to me at all (German, some Russian and Czech), but there is often little logic to which verb uses which case (which was expected), and there are so many cases to choose from. This too was not presented very well by the methods I used, except perhaps the 6 locative cases. Again, I would have liked to see a clear overview of the previous cases and the new case everytime a new one is introduced, with examples and a clear indication of what can now be expressed. When verbs are introduced, the case they require should be clearly indicated, possibly with a typical sentence including all of the verb's required cases. I would have liked to see verbs grouped according to the case they require. They could also be introduced that way (more than one verb at a time using the same case).

The syntax of the language is pretty straightforward and there aren't many small words to remember (as in French, for instance), so this does make the language simpler. So does the lack of articles, genders or complex verb conjugations.

While I was only slightly exposed to the differences between spoken and written Finnish, I suppose this would eventually become an additional difficulty.

Obviously, there is only so much Finnish one can learn in 35 hours. My experience would have been much more positive and fruitful if I had been able to find people to use the language with, either locally or online, as this is how I learn best. I searched both locally, including unsuccessfully writing to and phoning the local Scandinavian Cultural Centre, and online, and in the end, I could only find one person in Australia willing to help me (while I could pay or offer help with English or French in return) and the time difference meant that sessions were difficult to plan. We met 3 times for 1 hour each time. It was clear that the meetings were becoming more and more useful as my knowledge increased.

I used Assimil finnois (the French version; did 58 out of 100 lessons) and I have to say that I didn't really like it. It's rather dry, boring over time (so easy to give up), and it introduced too many useless words to my liking. Words are hard to remember and they take a lot of your time and energy, so drop the useless words! When I got tired of Assimil, I used Teach Yourself (about 1/3 of the book), which I found to be slower and a bit better, especially since it presented more tables and more examples. I also watched the series called Supisuomea. I enjoyed it, but the series quickly became too hard to follow. It's as if it went from zero to intermediate in 30 minutes. Moreoever, I highly disliked the fact that it was presented by foreigners whose pronunciation I, myself, could have corrected...

I found the idea of studying for a limited amount of time (one month, 35 hours) to be quite different than regular learning. It forces you to think about getting the most immediate return for your time, whereas language learning should be about the long term.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 288 of 407
07 March 2012 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
The transition from the Finnish Accelerated Challenge to normal life took a few days. I needed a bit of a breather, I think. The results of the written tests we did still haven't come in and it looks like we won't be having an oral test (which would have likely been my strongest point), but I'm relieved to be able to concentrate on Japanese again.

I met with my Japanese language partner yesterday after not doing anything in the language for almost 2 weeks (except watching TV)! I'm happy to be able to tackle it again; I felt a bit weak, but that's okay, I know the motivation is coming back and I will be improving quickly. I found myself thinking in Japanese again after pushing it aside for a month.


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