Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

An Assimil Experiment

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
51 messages over 7 pages: 1 24 5 6 7  Next >>
BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 17 of 51
05 December 2010 at 6:30am | IP Logged 
Ninth Update: 4 December 2010

Lesson 55 completed, Lesson 6 revised

A busy week outside of language studies, so a few times, I did a passive lesson one day and an active the next. I don't recommend this as a matter of course. Nor would I discourage it, however. I think the main thing is to keep the pacing so you're learning with ease and don't burn out.

This evening I reviewed the first week of lessons and tried to actively create them by having my partner read the French while I translated. I got about 90% of the sentences correct. I've likewise found myself coming up with Alsatian comments about what's going on around me, things I'm working on, etc. I don't force this, first because this is supposed to be with ease, and second because I want to be sure that I'm assimilating Alsatian more than I'm creating my own personal version. But I don't fight it either, on the assumption that if it's a phrase or a thought my brain is volunteering, spontaneously, either I've picked up a bit of the language correctly or I've got it wrong already.

I am increasingly of the opinion that you learn a language by spending time with it. In this sense, over the long term the method that works best is the one you don't put down or give up on. In the past, I've tried things with content from Assimil, and other sources as well of course, to speed up my learning. Usually, I've found something that worked well for as long as my enthusiasm lasted. And then it died. The wonder of doing Assimil with a serious focus on the idea of learning with ease is that while my enthusiasm waxes and wanes, I'm putting in at least 20 minutes or so about 6 days in 7. To the hardcore language learners on this forum that's a pretty poor performance, I know. But if you're talking about someone learning a language he doesn't really need out of idle curiosity, that ain't half bad.

My thought so far: If you want to learn a language in 30 days and will devote your every waking moment to the effort, this probably isn't for you. But if you'd like to stumble through your studies as best you're able with some prospect of one day sitting up and discovering that you've picked up some skills in a language in spite of yourself, this is pretty great.
6 persons have voted this message useful



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 18 of 51
11 December 2010 at 11:30pm | IP Logged 
Tenth update: 11 December 2010

Lesson 59 completed, Lesson 10 revised

I am starting to lean toward making the one day passive/next day active sequence my official course, rather than something that happens when I've had a long day. My goal, after all, is not just to learn Alsatian, but to learn it with ease. And I've found it can be tempting to tell myself that I've done an active lesson well enough if I've already put a chunk of time into making sure I caught everything going on in a passive lesson.

A big driver in my decision to alternate active and passive days is the feel of the Alsatian course. When I did the Initiation course for Breton, it seemed to me that the the lessons remained relatively simple even as the course progressed. With the Alsatian course, I'm finding that the profusion of adverbs of motion and different case forms are keeping me pretty busy in the ongoing passive phase, and I don't want to skimp on my work in either phase. A second factor is the very real bump in workload from the passive-only phase to the passive-active phase:

Chapter - Number of points in the dialog
Passive Only
1 - 5
8 - 6
15 - 8
22 - 9
29 - 10
36 - 11
43 - 11
Active (+ Passive) ... Total points
50 - 13 (1 - 5) ... 18
58 - 11 (8 - 6) ... 17
64 - 12 (15 - 8) ... 20
71 - 11 (22 - 9) ... 20
78 - 13 (29 - 10) ... 33
Active Only
36 - 11
43 - 11
50 - 13
58 - 11
64 - 12
71 - 11
78 - 13

This shows how many lines you have to cover the first day of each week, assuming you do one lesson a day, and one passive plus one active lesson during the passive-active phase. It might make more sense if you worked your way up to 13 or 14 lines the final week of the passive-only phase, then dropped back to 10 or 11 lines during the time the passive and active waves overlap. I'll have a look later and see how the Breton Initiation course compared.

1 person has voted this message useful



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 19 of 51
19 December 2010 at 10:54pm | IP Logged 
Eleventh update: 19 December 2010

63 lessons completed, 14 lessons revised

I don't know that there are any major revelations this week. Maybe that's the revelation. Understanding the language in the new lessons comes without too much trouble, and the language of the earlier lessons has a familiarity that makes reproducing it after a quick skim relatively easy. Even at my slower pace, alternating passive and active lessons, I'm only a few weeks from completing the passive phase, though I've still got a couple months to finish the active phase. The one thing I've noticed is that in the passive phase, I'm spending less and less time on the translation and notes. Enough Alsatian has sunk in that I can follow the gist of the dialogs fairly easily. However, I suspect I'll be spending more time on the notes in the Active Phase, since, for example, recognizing a past participle is easier than recalling which ones have the g-prefix and which ones don't.
1 person has voted this message useful



JasonUK
Triglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
learnalanguagein1yea
Joined 2663 days ago

29 posts - 9 votes
Speaks: English*, Mandarin, French
Studies: Thai, Spanish

 
 Message 20 of 51
19 December 2010 at 11:32pm | IP Logged 
Hi BartoG

As I said on an earlier post I have french family who speak Alsatian and some who only speak Alsatian. Out of
interest, in percentage wise how much of it is French and German. And how much of it is unique? My grand mother
told me when i saw her last there is also some Italian and even some English words in the mix.
Do you intend on visiting Alsace after you have got to a reasonable level?



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 21 of 51
20 December 2010 at 5:44am | IP Logged 
JasonUK, I intend to visit Alsace someday but don't have immediate plans, just an interest in the regional languages of France that have somehow survived.

It's hard to do the French-German-unique thing. It's an Alemannic German dialect, and very distinct from the standard German I learned at university. But I can't say how much it differs from, for example, the German of Basel Switzerland. I would say that 5-10% of the words I've learned so far are French-based, with the rest being Germanic but, as I said before, not standard German. Take these modals:

Alsatian - German - English
ech kan - ich kann - I can
mér kènne - wir können - we can
ech müess - ich müss - I must
mér mien - wir müssen - we must

If you speak German and you pronounce Alsatian aloud, you can hear the similarity and guess at the meaning a lot of the time, but if you were to hand in a German test written in Alsatian, there'd be a lot of red ink when you got it back.

With French, the influence is there, starting with the first word of L'Alsacien sans peine: Buschur (Bonjour). Often the influence is more subtle, like a tendency to insert "doch" where the French say "donc" but where there might be a better word in standard German.

I can't think of any Italian words in Alsatian right now, but there's an Italian construction...

In German, "sie" means both "she" and "they." It's the same with the word "se" in Alsatian. In German, you use "Sie" with a plural verb for the formal. In Italian, you use "Lei" (she) with a singular verb for the formal. In Alsatian, you use "se" with a plural verb for the formal for men - just like German. But you use "se" with a singular verb for the formal for women - just like Italian.

If you want to learn Alsatian, German is the language to already know. But Alsatian is not just a local dialect of German; it is the expression of a people living at the nexus of multiple cultures and their language reflects this.
3 persons have voted this message useful



ilperugino
Pentaglot
Groupie
Portugal
Joined 2581 days ago

56 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, Italian, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 22 of 51
23 December 2010 at 1:55am | IP Logged 
BatroG your experiment is a good idea and very nicelly reported, it has been a source of pleasure to watch yoú aiming for learning in fact with ease, what we tend to forget.

Of course time spent (of contact with the language) is time invested, but what you talk about burning out, or not to replace a missed lession for a doubled one, is also true.

Hopping to see your sucess

IlPerugino   

Edited by ilperugino on 23 December 2010 at 1:56am



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 23 of 51
25 December 2010 at 7:05pm | IP Logged 
Twelfth Update: 25 December 2010
66 lessons completed, 17 lessons revised

Thanks to IlPerugino for the kind words. The lessons continue more or less according to plan - the passive lessons, while challenging in places, are understandable, and the language for the revised lessons is immediately clear. With some lessons, I can open to the French, give the Alsatian and check myself at the first go. The lessons filled with little words (especially all those adverbs of motion equivalent to "over," "under," "behind" and the like take more work, particularly in terms of remembering to move them to the end when they're part of separable verbs. A sample sentence:

Z'Owe géht d'Sunne hénter de Vogése wéder unter.
Z'Owe - at evening; géht - goes; d'Sunne - the sun; hénter de Vogése - behind the Voges; wéder - again ; unter - under

The verb is actually "untergeh" - to go under, but the "unter" separates and goes to the end in the present tense. With a sentence like this, I can usually come up with the words, but remembering that "unter" comes at the very end and keeping straight the word order ("behind the Voges again under"?) can be tricky.

* * *

This week, some of the passive lessons have been about Christmas. Funny coincidence that this is the week I came to them.

Your greeting (with thanks to Omniglot.com) is:
E güeti Wïnâchte un e gleckichs Nej Johr.
(A good Christmas and a happy new year.)

Assimil spells it Wiehnàchte, however, presumably a question of dialect. Note that the German is Weihnachte (first vowel different). And the Christmas tree, Tannenbaum in German, is Tannebaim in Alsatian. The lights on the tree have a French name - "Büschi" from "bougies" - candles.

Edited by BartoG on 25 December 2010 at 7:08pm

1 person has voted this message useful



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

292 posts - 524 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 24 of 51
03 January 2011 at 4:24am | IP Logged 
Thirteenth Update: 2 January 2011
70 Lessons completed, 20 lessons revised

The nice thing about Assimil is that it doesn't teach you a language so much as giving you an experience of it. The exception to this is the review lessons, which can be rather detailed about what's going on with the language. It's a nice balance: You stumble through the language somewhat on your own, and when you are ready to make sense of what you have been through, there is the review lesson for you.

I just finished the 70th lesson, which deals with articles and attributive adjectives, and with with the active and passive voices. It's a lot to cover - the book even warns of this in the intro to the chapter - yet with twelve or thirteen weeks at this, what the chapter offered most of all was revelations. I was of course prepared for the bit about articles and attributive adjectives by the excellent Michel Thomas style exercises found here for German -

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=23779&PN=1

- for though Alsatian is somewhat different, they gave me a framework or a way of thinking about the matter to which I could make my own adjustments as needed. I may have more to say about this later when I've had a chance to make a broader comparison with Alsatian and Deutsch.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 51 messages over 7 pages: << Prev 1 24 5 6 7  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.2813 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2017 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.