Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

An Assimil Experiment

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
51 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 35 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 25 of 51
08 January 2011 at 10:27pm | IP Logged 
Fourteenth Update: 8 January 2011
73 lessons completed, 23 lessons revised

I've written in the past about similarities between German and Alsatian. Comes the question: How do you keep them straight? In the last few weeks, I've had a peak at a couple German textbooks, and have read a bit of German aloud. It seems to have done some good: The other day, in a German conversation, I tried to drop in an Alsatian phrase and was at pains to do so. It didn't fit. So it seems that German and Alsatian have separated in my mind. All I needed to do was to remind myself of German a little bit to feel how different it is.

While the L'Alsacien sans peine contains a lot of the humor that is characteristic of Assimil, it has a flavor all its own. There are lots of references to the regional culture and it presents, as well, an attitude of small-town life in the Alsace, that makes not just the Alsatian language distinct from German but the context for using it distinct from the context for using German. I've talked elsewhere about developing a slightly different personality for each language you speak, and L'Alsacien sans peine facilitates this. So I'm quite pleased with the program. My knowledge of Alsatian after 14 weeks remains limited, and my active production has a long way to go. However, even learning with ease and erring on the side of doing less, not more, than the Assimil Method prescribes, I've come to get a feel for the language and what it's there to talk about.



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

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

 
 Message 26 of 51
16 January 2011 at 12:21am | IP Logged 
Fifteenth Update: 15 January 2011
76 lessons completed, 27 lessons revised

Two thoughts this week, both inspired by other threads here on the forum:

First off, Depression and Language Learning
The thread is here...
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=24716&PN=1

My own two cents: My own mood has been at a low ebb, something brought about by conflict at work, winter's lack of sunshine and an innate tendency to pick up le cafard when it trots alongside. And it can be seen that while I've stayed fairly steadily around 6 lessons a week, I haven't exactly been charging forward.

I think that language learning, like any other activity you enjoy, can help when you're in a funk. But when the ability to enjoy is strained - the extreme is anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure (hedonism evokes the opposite situation) - you can find that the hobbies are just as irritating as the prime irritants in your life, at least until you get into them a little ways. In my last entry, I mentioned the Alsatian flavor of L'Alsacien sans peine, and I think it's an ideal books in these circs, as it provides not just language but a bit of an escape to a slower, calmer place, the idyllic Alsace whose language the author was striving to preserve.

The primary thing I want to toss out here is that if the enthusiasm for study wanes, it is not one more thing to beat yourself up over; it's one more sign that you need to take care of yourself and to maybe seek some help. We get very invested in our language efforts here, but it was a little disconcerting to see the OP for the referenced thread so invested in something that was tangential to the life he leads. If your language learning is the all-consuming passion, best make sure you've got a job or a romantic prospect that relates to it!

The second thread I want to point to suggests that Germanophones cannot speak Swiss-German. Since Alsatian is close to the German spoken in Basel, I wanted to mention that yes, the different dialects of German can seem to be much more languages of their own than Hochdeutsch with a funny accent. I've talked about some differences in earlier posts. Here's that thread:
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=21494&PN=1

Edited by BartoG on 16 January 2011 at 12:25am

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 27 of 51
24 January 2011 at 8:02pm | IP Logged 
Sixteenth Update: 24 January 2010
79 lessons completed, 31 lessons revised

A bit sidetracked by stomach flu, but I finished the first wave this weekend. I've also visited the Wikipedia in Alsatian, where I read about Les Voges (D'Vogese). I was able to follow the basic description of its location, its proximity to the Black Forest and the like. And I learned that there was a regional Celtic deity, Vogesus, associated with the mountain range.

I've still got a fair share of the second wave to go, which is good, because my active knowledge of Alsatian has a long way to go. But I'm pleased at how far my passive knowledge has come.
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 28 of 51
30 January 2011 at 8:59pm | IP Logged 
Seventeenth Update: 30 January 2010
35 lessons revised

Still a bit tired from the flu, but getting to a lesson most days.

Now that I'm in just the Active Phase, I'm beginning to see just how well put together this course is, but where it might fall a little short, at least for someone with my attention span. I'm surprised at not just how familiar the dialogs seem, but how familiar some of the themes are, and the structures that pop up.

On the other hand, when I hit a lesson whose themes weren't regularly addressed, the Active Phase effort to reconstruct it is a real challenge. There's quite a bit of talk about geography, about the Rhine and the Black Forest and the Voges, and whenever I hit a lesson where they come up, other elements just seem to fall into place.

On the other hand, in a lesson about the Strassbourg Cathedral, I found that I had not retained the words for "girder" and "sandstone." I probably don't need to, and don't fault the method for failing to teach me them. However, it bears noting that if you're learning "with ease" and not with an obsessive attention to detail, the Active Phase may mean piecing together certain texts by means of going between the original, the translation and the notes. You won't always be able to recreate the target from the translation on your own.



zekecoma
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2751 days ago

561 posts - 97 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 29 of 51
01 February 2011 at 5:59am | IP Logged 
Wow mate good job :). I'm currently on lesson 18 right now. I didn't study at all today.
But like in your previous post once you have to go back to the front of the book after
50. How did you actually do that, like write the translations on a paper then check or
what? I worry about it myself when I come to this because I have too many issues with
like doch and other words that are pretty much hard to remember when to use them
correctly.

But good work on your German. You should try writing your entries in German and that
should help quite a bit. Though I probably won't be able to follow it all too well yet.



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 2854 days ago

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

 
 Message 30 of 51
07 February 2011 at 6:55am | IP Logged 
Eighteenth Update: 6 February 2011
41 lessons revised

The Active Phase continues apace, with the same struggles with little words. And Alsatian has a host of these, including words like "halt" and "zwar". "Halt" indicates that things are such as they are, and gets translated "Que voulez-vous?" You might translate it "But what else could you expect?" in English. "Zwar" strengthens an assertion. It gets translated "A vrai dire" or "certes."

To answer zekecoma's question, for the Active Phase, my focus is actively producing the language. This consists of skimming the whole Alsatian passage, then turning to the French and translating line by line. I look at the French, translate aloud, then look at the Alsatian to confirm I got it right, or, rather, to see which little words I missed. I then say the Alsatian phrase aloud correctly if there was an error. When I'm done with the line by line, I do it again for the whole passage. It is not precisely according to Assimil and it's not a perfect method, but it serves to make sure I'm capturing the main of the language and can put together ideas in it without getting hung up in a project more on par with memorizing the book than picking up the language.



magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3000 days ago

272 posts - 94 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 31 of 51
07 February 2011 at 10:39am | IP Logged 
How do you feel you are progressing outside of Assimil? By this, I mean have you had the
opportunity to speak to anyone in Alsation or do you watch TV in the language. I am
interested as I am at about the same point of my Italian studies and outside of Assimil,
All I'm pretty much doing is watching Italian TV. I wonder if you have begun to 'think'
in the language etc.

Good luck with your continued studies.



JasonUK
Triglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
learnalanguagein1yea
Joined 2663 days ago

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

 
 Message 32 of 51
07 February 2011 at 5:50pm | IP Logged 
magictom123 wrote:
I wonder if you have begun to 'think'
in the language etc..


Wow. you would have to be completely fluent before that happens at a guess. My french is starting to get good and
I've had a couple of dreams in french which was weird. But i imagine i would never start to think in french unless
this is something that normally happens.



This discussion contains 51 messages over 7 pages: << Prev 1 2 35 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 0.3125 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.