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TAC 2012 Team Sputnik: M. Medialis RU JP

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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M. Medialis
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Joined 6226 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 Message 1 of 56
28 December 2011 at 7:46pm | IP Logged 
Team TAC 2012 - Team Sputnik
Personal log of M. Medialis

A new year is about to begin, and this time I'm an excited member of Team Sputnik.

Before I launch my log; it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to listen to our great grand master's annual new year's speech. Lol.
Read last year's story here.

Enjoy! ;D   

Sai-Lon Tsu's New Year's Speech


Disciples! I still remember the first time I saw a parallel text.

It was a fascinating sight. On the right side of the page, an interesting story was written in a language I had never seen before, and on the left side, the same story had been translated into a language I already knew. Centred on the page was a black line, separating the two languages into two distinct columns.

This reminds me of a river, just a few miles from the town where I grew up...

Sai-Lon Tsu and the Apple Tree Garden

I often went to the riverside to look at the gorgeous apple tree garden that was on the other side of the river.

One day as I was watching how the sunlight sparkled in the leaves of the apple trees, a young man approached me. He forcefully explained to me that a strong mind and trained body can push through any obstacle. To prove his explosive strength, he athletically dived into the river, and I watched him in awe as he fervently fought his way through the roaring water for hours and hours before he finally reached his goal on the other side...

After a while, a second man appeared. He carried a load of heavy building materials and started to build a bridge. Sometimes, he would pause in his construction work to enthusiastically describe all the details of transverse loading, cage nuts in spring steel and other things I could not understand. When the bridge was ready, he could safely walk across the river, whereupon he disassembled the bridge to recollect his expensive building materials.

A rather timid young boy came up to me and asked if I could help him pass over to the other side of the river. "I'm sorry", I said, "I don't know, but you can ask my friends how they did it". I turned around, but they were of course long gone.

The young boy left, and as I was standing alone, I imagined how colourful my life would be if I also could reach that beautiful garden...

...When suddenly a butterfly flew in front of my face...

I burst into a spontaneous laughter and started to chase it!

It was a beautiful butterfly, with wings shifting in colour like a Lilly-Rose. I ran, like a little child, following it wherever it flew - I ran for a whole day, through forests and over hills - Those were the happiest moments of my life! I finally caught the butterfly and held it in my hands before I released it and let it fly up in the sky.

That was when I saw where I was - standing in the middle of the gorgeous apple tree garden.

I must have been following a secret path, far away from the intimidating waters.

I had been led by a butterfly to the paradise of my dreams.


Team Sputnik - M. Medialis
1 person has voted this message useful

M. Medialis
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Joined 6226 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 Message 2 of 56
28 December 2011 at 7:49pm | IP Logged 
Team Tac 2012 - Team Sputnik
Personal log of M. Medialis


A new year is soon here, together with some sweet New Year's Megalomania! :)

So who am I? I call myself M. Medialis. I've finally reached the last semester of my computer engineering studies, and I'll begin my Master's Thesis project in January with a planned graduatation in June. This means that I'm finally free from the pressure of having to study 3+ courses in parallel and cramming for exams every other month. Hopefully I'll get more time to do the things I really love: playing the piano and studying languages. :)

My TAC logs from 2010 and 2011 can be found here:

M. Medialis' 2010 TAC Log - Team K
M. Medialis' 2011 TAC Log - Team KEN

This year, I am a proud member of the Russian all-star team: Team Sputnik.

End of introduction. Let's launch the log:

Language learning plans for 2012

In general when it comes to language learning (except English), my long-term goal is to reach complete native fluency without any foreign accent.

I'm an avid fan of the LR method, Scriptorium à la Prof. Arguelles, Song Scriptorium, and reading parallel texts.


The main obstacle for me when it comes to Russian is that Japanese tends to come in and steal all the attention. My plan is to find some great novels to LR and make sure to keep watching Russian drama/melodrama/movies to keep my Russian steam going.

But my main goal is this: 2012 should be the year when I officially step out of silent zone! My philosophy has been to wait as much as possible with speaking, so that I have a strong foundation and an intuition for the language before I start. I think I've come far enough now, so I'm trying to find a great private tutor somewhere in Stockholm who can help me getting the grammar right and transform me from being a 'Silent and timid мальчик' to a 'Charismatic and strong bear-wrestling гражданин'. :)


For Japanese, I need more LR, more reading, more Scriptorium and more vocab. In short - more of everything! I hope this will be the year when I can reach basic reading and listening fluency in Japanese - it just has to be possible!

Unknown Language

I'm also very tempted to start a brand new language. I have several languages on my hit-list (Mandarin, Portuguese, German, French, Korean etc.). It would be nice to have mastered the Taiwanese Mandarin script (bopomofo) together with a basic command of the Mandarin pronunciation and those dreaded tones before I enter 2013.

Closing words

All the preparations are done - It's time to reach for the stars!

Go Team Sputnik!


Team Sputnik - M. Medialis

Edited by M. Medialis on 28 December 2011 at 7:52pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Joined 5203 days ago

4143 posts - 8864 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 3 of 56
28 December 2011 at 8:07pm | IP Logged 
You look like you have a high level in reading/writing Russian B1 - B2?, and then the speaking is just the icing on the cake. I am sure you will speak as much Russian as you care to by the end of the year!

Otherwise, if you are looking for a new language, German is very popular this year :-)
1 person has voted this message useful

Topsy Turvey
United Kingdom
Joined 4623 days ago

18 posts - 18 votes
Speaks: English*

 Message 4 of 56
29 December 2011 at 6:09pm | IP Logged 
Good luck M. Medialis. I'm already looking forward to following your log!
1 person has voted this message useful

Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
United States
teango.wordpress.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5425 days ago

2210 posts - 3734 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Russian
Studies: Hawaiian, French, Toki Pona

 Message 5 of 56
29 December 2011 at 9:21pm | IP Logged 
It's my favourite time of year again: that magical moment when the venerable Sai-Lon Tsu emerges from his snow-capped mountain retreat, and descends the ancient stone path, tread and polished by the soles of his great long-bearded ancestors, to once again greet new and old language disciples alike and offer up invigorating words of wisdom for the promising year ahead. Last year, I looked on as barren valleys filled up with flowing words and sounds to become growing lakes teaming with new life and potential; and this year, the happy sage beckons us to meditate on the joyful flight of a simple butterfly, and discover our own hidden path to success and happiness within...thank you, wise sifu!

It also looks like your 2012 is going to be a battleground for Cossacks and samurai once again, but when you consider all the wonderful novels and films out there in both these languages, and the glittering spoils of one day being mistaken for a native speaker (if even over the telephone), surely it's worth strapping on some self-belief and charging once more unto the breach atop native LR materials and quirky pop videos. We will not surrender, yet we will both win! With this in mind, I think next year is a perfect time for you to search out a Russian tutor or some native speakers and make that active transition to "гражданин" (and here's a little something to get you motivated)"...

And of course I'm keeping my katanas crossed for you reaching basic fluency in reading and listening in Japanese, as you've put in amazing effort over the last couple of years (including getting through the RTK in one piece), and it only seems fair that you should be able to comfortably watch Japanese classics in the original by the end of next year..."Monkey magic, Monkey magic ooh"! Gambatte with all your goals including submitting your Master's thesis in January mate! :)

Edited by Teango on 29 December 2011 at 9:26pm

1 person has voted this message useful

M. Medialis
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Joined 6226 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 Message 6 of 56
31 December 2011 at 4:35pm | IP Logged 
@Solfrid: My listening and reading skills are probably somewhere at B1/B2 depending on whether I'm in the zone or not. When it comes to writing, I haven't practiced enough. But I think I can produce fairly correct Russian texts at the daunting speed of 220 cyrillic characters/hour. lol ;)

@Topsy Turvey: Thanks! Good luck with your projects too, and have a Happy New Year full of inspiration! :)

@Teango: A truly lovely description. I can tell that you also have been touched by the eternal wisdom of our Great Teacher, for beautiful words are flowing through the hands of Teango!    :D   :)

And I can't thank you enough for the link! Полюшко-поле is one of my all-time favourite songs, and this version is mind-blowingly good -it has the feeling. - Long live the brave Samurai-Cossack!

Edited by M. Medialis on 31 December 2011 at 4:35pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Bilingual Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4666 days ago

614 posts - 782 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Egyptian)*
Studies: Russian, Japanese, Hungarian

 Message 7 of 56
02 January 2012 at 11:13am | IP Logged 
I can't help but think that you and Teango should take up writing as an additional job :) especially, when you
engage in either a poetic or prose-filled banter :)

Your methodologies make sense to me an sound fun, and more importantly, really reflect the passion you
have for you languages. Kudos to you! Good luck on your language studies!
1 person has voted this message useful

M. Medialis
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Joined 6226 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 Message 8 of 56
25 January 2012 at 7:48pm | IP Logged 
Team Tac 2012 - Team Sputnik - Log #1

Hello World!

I've been silent for a while now, but now I'm ready to enter TTAC mode again!

So what have I done?

I spent some time preparing parallel texts. I've also been LRing a book by the Strugatsky brothers in Russian and done another LR round of Alice in Wonderland in Japanese. Right now, I've entered an all-Japanese study period.

My new life

I started to work with my Master's Thesis 13 days ago. Since I'm doing it for a company, I'm required to work 9-5, and I totally love it! Before, all my nice plans and good habits were destroyed every second month because of the recurring exam periods (nerve-wracking cramfests anyone?).

With my new schedule, and some new found energy, I'm now proud to announce a new little sub-quest:

Exploring The Noble Art of Habit Engineering

The nextcoming weeks, I intend to do everything I can to craft some strong language learning habits. (wish me luck ^^)

Habit 1: Commuting madness:

In order to get to work, I have to walk 10 minutes to the bus, and then travel for about 50 minutes (and then repeat the same thing to get back home).

So now we just need to add some magic powder and voilà: I get to do 20 minutes of shadowing+100 minutes of LR every day!

Habit 2: Gaijin Relaxation:

Sometimes when I get home, I am so tired that I couldn't possibly force myself to do anything productive. That's when I activate Habit 2, get myself some snacks and watch Japanese tv series. Or maybe I just turn on some Japanese radio and spend time writing out random words that I find on Japanese blogs.

I'll see how this works out in practice. I'd like to change the way I relax, so that I spend the time learning languages instead of just reading the news or some random articles I find. What if I could be able to turn all my procrastrination habits into an all-powerful "procrastrination by learning languages" habit? :)

Habit 3: Daily Scriptorium:

Any decent doctor would agree that 20 minutes of Scriptorium/Song Scriptorium before going to sleep is the key to living a fulfilling and healthy life (lol). So my commitment now is to make sure that I always have some interesting materials ready at 9pm. Then, the table is ready so that I can dive straight into my Scriptorium Paradise without any efforts.

I intend to have a "no-excuses"-mindset in the first weeks so I can surf on these habits when my current inspiration fades away.

My 2012 has started! :D


Team Sputnik - M. Medialis

Edited by M. Medialis on 25 January 2012 at 7:49pm

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