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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

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Chung
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Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 289 of 407
07 March 2012 at 6:09pm | IP Logged 
It's interesting that you didn't really like Supisuomea as a beginner. I too got a bit disappointed by their using foreigners speaking Finnish but as I re-watch the videos now with a much stronger base in Finnish having already heard plenty of native Finnish from friends and courses such as "Finnish for Foreigners" and "TY Finnish", I find Supisuomea much more useful.

Did you watch "Kuulostaa hyvältä" too?
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Arekkusu
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 Message 290 of 407
07 March 2012 at 6:26pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:
It's interesting that you didn't really like Supisuomea as a beginner. I too got a bit disappointed by their using foreigners speaking Finnish but as I re-watch the videos now with a much stronger base in Finnish having already heard plenty of native Finnish from friends and courses such as "Finnish for Foreigners" and "TY Finnish", I find Supisuomea much more useful.

Did you watch "Kuulostaa hyvältä" too?

Well, with a stronger base, yes, I can imagine that it's a nice source. I did enjoy it, but it only remained beginner for about 30 minutes. Well, my beginner beginner :)

Kuulostaa hyvältä might have been better; I only watched a few minutes of it. I felt I'd get more from continuing with the lessons I was working on and the videos would have eaten up all my time.
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Arekkusu
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 Message 291 of 407
12 March 2012 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
Sunday morning, I spoke to the evaluator of our Accelerated Finnish Challenge to do an oral examination. It was okay, but really not very good considering I would have done much better right after the study period ended. The evaluator was sick so we had no choice but to delay the test.

He made me read a text at sight. He didn't have anything specific to correct other than the fact that I obviously couldn't properly accentuate compound words I couldn't parse. Then he asked a few questions about myself. It was o-kay, but nothing to write home about...

He did say, as I mentioned in the Challenge thread, that our level was that of a 2nd year student (when pressed, he added "or end of the first year"). He teaches Finnish in university. He couldn't relate this to the European Framework, though. To think that we could study for a month and integrate a 2nd-year university class is something to be proud of, and a strong argument for those who argue in favour of self-teaching.

Edited by Arekkusu on 12 March 2012 at 4:05pm

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Arekkusu
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 Message 292 of 407
22 March 2012 at 4:07pm | IP Logged 
Haven't updated the log in over a week. Most of what I had to say was said in various posts instead.

Finnish

We are still awaiting the results for the oral part of the challenge. Maybe sometime next week.

Japanese

Still meeting with my main partner weekly. Been working on a translated TED talk about education. Read it outloud to her to work on some accent issues. So much work left. It's obvious that frequency is key here and I'm not doing it often enough for it to stick; well, it often sticks, but there is so much stuff that needs to stick... Watched the movie My Darling is a Foreigner (ダーリンは外国人) -- so much better than the stereotype-laden manga version. In the movie, it's actually the Japanese that are portrayed as odd, not the foreigner. Had a 2-hour conversation with another partner last night; encouraging.

Edited by Arekkusu on 22 March 2012 at 4:07pm

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Arekkusu
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bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 293 of 407
22 March 2012 at 7:45pm | IP Logged 
Results of the Finnish oral test have come in!!!

To sum it up, we made it from 0 to A2 in Finnish in 30-some hours, within a 30-day period. Not bad!
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Arekkusu
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bit.ly/qc_10_lec
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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 294 of 407
03 April 2012 at 5:21pm | IP Logged 
ARGHGHAGHH!

Sorry, I needed to express my frustration (albeit in a primitive way).

After doing a multilingual chat with Sprachprofi this weekend, I felt the urge to get back into Mandarin. I got "A New Practical Chinese Reader". Last night and this morning, I went through the first 120 pages. Most of it was just vocabulary revision. There is virtually no grammar to deal with at this point.

And then it hit me. This is so easy and straightforward! Pinyin is so clear! Sure, you have to remember the tones but all the information is there, so clearly presented. And when you learn a word or a character, it never changes!

On the other hand, Japanese is so frustrating! Besides the fact that kanji have multiple readings, the number one most frustrating thing is that whenever you come across a new word, or if a manual introduces a new word, there is never any mention of pitch, which means that every time you learn a word, you only partially learn it! It's soooo frustrating.
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Arekkusu
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 Message 295 of 407
05 April 2012 at 5:55am | IP Logged 
I had an interesting experience with my Japanese friend tonight.

Pursuant to my frustration on the difficulty of finding material to learn pitch accent, as expressed in the
previous post, my friend and I phoned (well, she phoned and I listened ;) Bonjinsha, a Tokyo bookstore
specialized in books for learners and teachers of Japanese. We were hoping to find some kind of reader that
would actually indicate pitch. To give you a quick reminder, I was complaining that when I read a new word, I
can never find out its actual pronunciation because pitch accent is never indicated. Anyway, turns out that
there is absolutely nothing like that. That they know of, anyway. The lady actually suggested looking up every
word in the accent dictionary. No komento.

So my friend said she'd do it for me: she'll mark the accent for me in a book I want to read. So I pulled out a
novel and she started reading it and marking the accent.

And that's where the interesting part comes in: she struggled to do it. Actually, I had to tell her where the
accent was most of the time. She would say it over and over and had a very difficult time figuring out where
the downfall occurred. Needless to say, the first page took an eternity.

Then I realized that the only way marking the downfall (we were using a horizontal line with a downward hook
at the end to mark it, but it could just as easily be a bolded character) would ever become economical is if we
did a search-and-replace over an extremely lengthy text, or alternately, created some macro that would do
this automatically for the most common words in any new text (I'm not a programmer, but if you are, I'm pretty
the idea of using a macro for that purpose sounded so 13th century).

I've talked about pitch accent on this and other forums, and a lot of people have said to me as has been said
to every other learner interested in pitch: just listen to native speakers and copy. Well, guess what, native
speakers themselves have a hard time figuring out where it is, so the idea that non-native learner would just
pick it up from listening to natural speech is completely unrealistic.

To a certain degree, learners of English have to deal with a similar issue because stress isn't indicated either.
I never looked, but I wouldn't be surprised if manuals or readers existed that clearly marked stress. In any
case, besides the fact that stress is always marked in any dictionary you use, English stress has a
consequence on the pronunciation of vowels, which leads to a kind of mutual assistance: vowels point to the
stress and the stress dictates how the vowels sound. If you remember either, you remember the other. In
Japanese, pitch itself is the only distinguishing feature, so it's extremely volatile.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 296 of 407
09 April 2012 at 4:05am | IP Logged 
This weekend, I went to Toronto to participate in a TV show called 16x9 produced by
GlobalTV
(website), which is preparing a
segment on Canadian hyperpolyglots, following the
publication of Michael Erard's book, Babel No More.

We were five people participating in the discussion: Steve Kaufmann, Keith Swayne
(Youtube Channel:
CanadianLinguist
), Axel Van Goud, James
Cheng and myself. And boy was it ever fun! It's not everyday you get to speak with such
talented language learners and we touched upon a
variety of fascinating subjects! We spoke for a total of close to 3 hours on a variety
of questions concerning polyglots and language
learning.

The show will be aired nationally on Global TV on May 5th as a condensed 15-minute
version, and shorter 2-minute clips will be broadcast
on the national news.

Edited by Arekkusu on 09 April 2012 at 5:22am



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