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TAC 2012 - Team Ne Nur - Hrvatske Krave

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ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4224 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 1 of 76
03 January 2012 at 8:22am | IP Logged 
TAC 2012 - Team Ne Nur - Hrvatske Krave

Hello and welcome to my new TAC log for 2012! (Here is my TAC 2011 log.) This log will be used to document my progress and keep track of resources, goals, comments, and other random tidbits which I choose to include. I shall make a habit of posting once or twice a month to sum up any activities and observations up through that point, but don’t be surprised if I post more or less frequently than this sometimes.

I chose to call my log “Hrvatske Krave,” which means ‘Croatian Cows’ in Croatian. Why this seemingly random title? It comes from a nonsensical comment that my grandmother made to me on Christmas Day about how I need to learn to like ouzo because they don’t have any cows in Croatia. This comment was so random and baffling that it has become an inside joke in my family, and since the character limit for the titles prevented me from giving my log any of the other titles I thought of, I thought this appropriate.

I’m part of Team Ne Nur this year, which requires an at least elementary command of Esperanto and at least five hours of Swahili study over the course of the year. Although not an official team requirement, all of us are studying languages from three continents! My teammates this year are Arekkusu, ReneeMona, Sprachprofi, and Volte. Bonŝancon and bahati njema to all of you!

I have a fairly complicated set of goals and organizational system this year. I will try to explain it as briefly as possible, but I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I have all of my languages, their focus periods, and goals summarized in the table below. As you can see from the table, I have divided my languages into six tiers. The tiers indicate the level of priority for each language, and as you move down the table, the focus periods and goals get smaller.


HRVATSKI
Goals: 200 hours; B2 level; Read at least two books
Focus Period: All year long (January – December)
I am moving to Croatia in August for a year-long exchange program, so I need to learn some Croatian in advance! I have only studied for about a little over a month so far and at perhaps a high A1 level at best. I’m confident that between focusing on Croatian all year long and being immersed in the language for the last several months of the year, I will be able to move Croatian up to my “Speaks” section. I would also like to set the goal of reading two books in Croatian by the end of the year.


Goals: 75 hours; B2 level; Do well at Japan Cup; At least 3 on AP Japanese exam; Solid knowledge of all 常用漢字
Focus Period: January – March
I’ve been studying Japanese on my own for about two and a half years and am in my second year of taking Japanese at school (but I’m in level 4/AP this year). I love the Japanese language and would like for 2012 to be the year when I bring it up to a decent level of fluency. I took part in a statewide Japan Cup last April and got first place for my level, and I would like to compete again this year in the highest level and hopefully do well. I am also planning on taking the AP Japanese Language and Culture exam in May of this year. I have gotten 5’s (the highest possible score) on the rest of my foreign language AP exams, so I would like to continue the streak. However, I have heard that the Japanese exam is considerably harder and that it is very rare for non-native speakers to get anything above a 3. As such, I will make it my goal to get at least a 3 on the AP Japanese exam. Finally, I would like to finally gain a solid grounding in reading and producing all of the 常用漢字 (jōyō kanji; about 2000 everyday use kanji).

فارسى
Goals: 75 hours; B1+ level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: April – June
I’ve been studying Persian on and off for about a year and a half. I’m very interested in Persian/Iranian culture and history as well as that of the Middle East in general, so I figured I could start off with one of the region’s easier languages since the mere thought of Arabic gives me a headache. I’ve forgotten a lot of the Persian that I used to know but I used to master it at about a low B1 level, so this year I’d like to bring my Persian up to a high B1 level. I would also like to read one book in Persian this year.

KISWAHILI
Goals: 75 hours; B2 level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: July – September
Like Persian, I have been studying Swahili on and off for almost two years (has it really been that long!?). I first started learning it in preparation for a trip to Tanzania in 2010, and have since fallen in love with the language and the country. I’ve managed to regain a low B1 level after taking a break from Swahili, but by the end of the year I’d like to finally bring my Swahili up to a solid B2. It would also be great if I could read one book in Swahili, if I can find one.

РУССКИЙ
Goals: 75 hours; B1+ level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: October – December
I adore the Slavic language family and Russian was my first love. As with Persian and Swahili, I’ve been studying Russian on and off for about a year and a half. I’m currently at about a high A2 or low B1 level in Russian, and would like to bring that up to a high B1 by the end of the year. I would aim for higher but I want to keep the main focus on Croatian, and since the Slavic languages are so close to each other, I don’t want Russian to interfere in my Croatian too much. As with the other languages in this category, I’d like to try to read one book in Russian this year.

SUOMI
Goals: 50 hours; B1 level
Focus Period: February – March
I think Finnish is one of the most aesthetically pleasing languages in both spoken and written form, and have wanted to learn it for quite some time. I started studying Finnish last June, but didn’t continue past August. I’m going to pick it up again for the Accelerated Finnish Challenge in February. Unlike the rest of the participants, I’m not starting from a clean slate and already have about 20 hours of study behind me. As such I’ll be aiming to complete those 45 hours of Finnish rather than to reach them from scratch – it will be interesting to see how I compare with the other participants since I already have some knowledge of basic Finnish grammar and a vocabulary base of a few hundred words. Aside from that challenge, I’d like to do 50 total hours of Finnish this year and ideally reach a B1 level, if possible.

NEDERLANDS
Goals: 40 hours; B2+ level; Read at least two books
Focus Period: April – May
I fell in love with the Dutch language last year, and because of its straightforwardness and closeness to German I was able to learn it to a decent level relatively quickly. I’d like to continue working on Dutch this year, hopefully reaching a high B2 level by the end of the year, as well as reading two books in Dutch.

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ
Goals: 40 hours; C1 level; Read at least two books
Focus Period: June – July
Greek is my family’s heritage language and I have been studying it for about almost six years, although I have been exposed to it since early childhood. I often speak it with my grandparents, and with other relatives whenever I travel to Greece. I don’t expect to be able to go to Greece again this summer, but I’d like to continue studying Greek and intend to reach a solid C1 level by the end of 2012. I also hope to have finished two books in Greek by the end of the year.

DEUTSCH
Goals: 40 hours; C1+ level; Read at least two books
Focus Period: August – September
I’ve been studying German on my own for the past three years, and in school for the past year and a half. In that time I’ve managed to reach a respectable C1 level in the language, which I’d like to push to up to a high C1 by the end of 2012. In addition to that I would like to have finished reading two books in German by the end of the year.

SVENSKA
Goals: 40 hours; B2+ level; Read at least two books
Focus Period: October – November
I started studying Swedish a little over two years ago, and by last spring I had managed to reach a solid B2 level in the language. Unfortunately I’ve lost a lot of my Swedish through neglect since then, so this year I’d like to regain what I lost and push my skills back up to a high B2. As with the other languages in this category, reading two books in Swedish before year’s end will be part of my goals.

ESPERANTO
Goals: 15 hours; B2 level
Focus Period: January
Tio estas por nia teamo! Although I already speak enough Esperanto to fulfill Team Ne Nur’s requirement, I think it would be best to spend a little extra time on Esperanto at the beginning of this year so that I can better participate in any discussions in Esperanto and so forth. Since it is so simple and since I once spoke Esperanto at B2 level, I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to hope that ~15 hours of active study should be enough to get me back to that level.

FRAAIS
Goals: 15 hours; C1+ level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: December
French isn’t a huge priority for me this year, but I’d still like to spend some time on it to hopefully maintain a respectable C1 level (or higher). I intend to read at least one book in French at some point during the year.

ESPAÑOL
Goals: 10 hours; C2 level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: [none]
Spanish will remain to assert a minor presence in my life in 2012. I hope to maintain my level and read at least one book in Spanish before the end of the year.

PORTUGUÊS
Goals: 10 hours; C1+ level; Read at least one book
Focus Period: [none]
As with Spanish, I will only be spending a little time on Portuguese this year. Although some of that might be spent on helping a friend of mine learn some basic Portuguese in preparation for a trip to Brazil, I suspect that most of my time will come from reading at least one book in Portuguese this year.

ITALIANO
Goals: 10 hours; B1+ level
Focus Period: [none]
I’m really not sure what I want to accomplish with Italian this year. I think I mostly just don’t want the little I’ve retained to disappear completely. I may decide to read a book in Italian, but may stick with just reviewing vocabulary and grammar. I really don’t know at this point.
EDIT: I decided at the end of January to register for the AP Italian Language and Culture exam in May. My goal is to get at least a score of 4 (out of 5) on it.

I think all of the above is more than enough to keep me occupied this year – if my calculations are correct, that is 770 total hours of study and 16 books. I hope that I will be able to manage it! Thank you for reading and good luck in 2012!

Edited by ellasevia on 29 January 2012 at 9:54am

6 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3416 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 2 of 76
03 January 2012 at 9:47pm | IP Logged 
This looks like a great plan! I will dearly miss you and ReneeMona as team mates, but I will follow your logs, and enjoy both your sucess and your funny stories!
1 person has voted this message useful



Teango
Triglot
Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
United States
teango.wordpress.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3638 days ago

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

 
 Message 3 of 76
09 January 2012 at 5:18am | IP Logged 
Intricate planning and a lavish smörgåsbord of languages - a fantastic start! Best of luck in the Japan Cup later this year too, and hope you manage to read a book in most of your languages along the way. I'll be following your progress with great interest. :)

Edited by Teango on 09 January 2012 at 5:23am

1 person has voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 3477 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 4 of 76
09 January 2012 at 5:30am | IP Logged 
I'll be following your progress, too, Philip. You're always an inspiration, and I'm really interested in how your Croatian comes along, as I'm studying it as well. I think this year will hold wonderful things for you!
1 person has voted this message useful



ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4224 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 5 of 76
16 January 2012 at 6:13pm | IP Logged 
Weeks 1-2: January 1 – January 14

Total Study Time This Period: 14.45 hours
Total Study Time in 2012: 14.45 hours

Only two weeks into the New Year and I’ve already decided to do away with my crazy system of focus periods. I just can’t adhere to those – according to my schedule, after Croatian I should currently be spending the most time on Japanese. However, I’ve had a sudden urge to work on my Russian, so that is actually outpacing my Japanese at the moment. I still plan on keeping all of the specific goals (hours, books, etc.) that I set for each language, but it’s too hard to limit myself to focusing on languages only during a specific timeframe. The exception to this, of course, will be Finnish while I’m participating in the Accelerated Challenge in February.

As for what I’ve actually done. Well, not much, to be perfectly honest. I have been caught up in a fog of deadlines for various applications (colleges, my exchange program…) for the better part of the last month, as well as being bogged down by family and social commitments. I’m nearing the end of all of that, though, and the light at the end of tunnel is becoming visible.

In my log last year I kept an absurdly detailed account of nearly everything I did in all of my foreign languages, but I really don’t have time to write about all of that anymore and I seriously doubt that anyone here has the interest or attention span to read through all of it. Instead, I’ll just be listing the total time I’ve spent on each language (including more minor things such as Anki!) up to the current point, and then making note of anything that merits a comment or explanation. Also, since I’ll be doing less writing, I hope to use some of that saved time to write more in my languages here. Corrections are always more than welcome! :)



Español
This Period: 1.13 hours
2012 Total: 1.13 hours

El primer libro que leo este año se llama La Sombra del Viento, por el escritor español Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Lo leí hace unos cuatro años en inglés y me encantó (pero no me acuerdo muy bien de lo que se trata), así que sabía que sería una buena selección. El año pasado traté de leerlo en Italiano, pero desafortunadamente mi Italiano se había deteriorado tanto que ni siquiera entendía lo que estaba leyendo. Esta vez estoy leyendo la versión original y va muchísimo mejor. La semana pasada leí los primeros capítulos, pero se me olvidó esta semana. Espero que podré terminarlo cuanto antes para que pueda empezar a leer mi próxima novela.

Ελληνικά
This Period: 1.73 hours
2012 Total: 1.73 hours

Τις περασμένες δύο εβδομάδες πέρασα σχεδόν δύο ώρες στα ελληνικά. Όταν βαριέμαι στα μαθήματά μου στο σχολείο, μου αρέσει να γράφω μικρά ημερολογιάκια (συνήθως στα ελληνικά) στο πίσω των σημεώσεών μου. Έτσι διασκεδάζομαι και χρησιμοποιώ τις γλώσσες μου ταυτόχρονα. Το μόνο πρόβλημα είναι ότι συχνά ξεχνάω να βάλω το χρόνο που περνάω μ’ αυτό στο spreadsheet μου! Η άλλη δραστηριότητα που κάνω τελικά είναι να μεταφράσω και εκδώσω τα νέα μαθήματα του GreekPod101 που δημιουργούμε μαζί με τη Sprachprofi. Τα περισσότερο από αυτό που κάνω είναι σχετικό με τα αγγλικά, μα πρέπει επίσης να μεταφράσω κείμενα από τα ελληνικά και μερικές φορές να γράψω τις δικές μου φράσεις στα ελληνικά.

Hrvatski
This Period: 3.75 hours
2012 Total: 3.75 hours

I’m not even going to attempt to write anything of substance in Croatian yet.

I haven’t done as much as I would have liked with Croatian. Disregarding Anki reviews (which I’ve also been terribly lax on), I’ve only studied Croatian for two days in the past two weeks. I started off by shadowing the first couple of lessons from my newly purchased Beginner’s Croatian book over and over (while riding my bike to a haircut – yay for making use of all available time!). I then proceeded to complete the first lesson and the majority of the second lesson from the same book. I believe I only have a bit more vocabulary to study and then I’ll allow myself to move onto the next lesson.

Русский
This Period: 1.95 hours
2012 Total: 1.95 hours

Nope, not going to write in Russian either. The only thing I’d succeed in doing is very effectively embarrassing myself.

It’s actually embarrassment which propelled me back into Russian these past two weeks. I had a very short, mangled exchange with a Russian lady last weekend which left me horrified at the pathetic state of my Russian at present. I had to do something to get me back into my Russian zone, so I turned to my copy of the Michel Thomas Russian Vocabulary course, which seems to be my go-to course for when I want to refresh my Russian. I think this is the third time I’m listening to it. So I’ve been going through that once again and it seems to be refreshing my Russian nicely. Now my Russian itself isn’t at all “nice” yet, but it’s getting…no, I lied, it’s not getting there. Maybe sometime in the distant future it will be getting there.

OTHER
@Solfrid Cristin: Thank you! I’ll miss being on the same team as you as well, but at least we are both still keeping logs so that we can check up on each other! I’m especially interested to see how your Greek develops over the course of the year. :)
@Teango: I suspect that some of that intricate planning was a bit too intricate since it has already come crashing down, but the thought was appreciated nonetheless. Thank you! As for the Japan Cup, the most pressing problem at the moment is that I’ll likely have some trouble convincing one of the lazy people from my class to be my partner for it, since my partner from last year graduated.
@Kerrie: Thank you, Kerrie! I’m delighted that we’re both working on Croatian this year – hopefully 2012 will bring us both some form of proficiency in this newfound (at least for us) language!

Edited by ellasevia on 11 March 2012 at 10:46pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3416 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 6 of 76
16 January 2012 at 7:15pm | IP Logged 
Do not underestimate our attention span! I love reading your log. It looks like you will then be following my system for language rotation,which is the "the-language-I-feel-for-right-now-rotation-system". I tried to understand what you had written in Greek, but got lost after the two first sentences. I have forgotten everything and is back to relearning the alphabet. Please tell me the first sentence says something about "two weeks" followed by the words "two hours" though, or I think I'll shoot myself:-)
1 person has voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 3477 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 7 of 76
16 January 2012 at 10:39pm | IP Logged 
Cristina - that's the rotation system I like the best, too. I try to come in contact with each of my primary languages every day, but when I'm busy, it's often just a song or listening to an old Assimil lesson or the link. But I have a lot fewer languages than both of you do!
1 person has voted this message useful



ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4224 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 8 of 76
29 January 2012 at 9:46am | IP Logged 
Weeks 3-4: January 15 – January 28

Total Study Time This Period: 23.09 hours
Total Study Time in 2012: 37.53 hours

There’s really not much to comment on for the past two weeks. I was sick for an entire week, so I didn’t accomplish as much as I could have, but even so I managed to almost double the total study time from the first two weeks of the year.

To avoid situations like Solfrid Cristin’s confusion about my Greek text last week, I will from now on translate any short texts in my target languages into English so that they can be accessible to everyone.



Русский
This Period: 4.70 hours
2012 Total: 6.65 hours

На этой неделе я кончил мой русский аудио-курс (Michel Thomas Russian Vocabulary). Было третий раз, что я послушал его, но курс ещё был очень интересный и полезный для мне. Мне нравится слушать аудио-курсы пока я в автобусе, или пока я работаю на что-то скучно, но к сожалению у меня нет других хороших русских аудио-курсов. Сейчас мне надо вернуться в нормальные книги. Проблема есть, что я дал две из моих лучших русских книг друзьям...

This week I finished my Russian audio course (Michel Thomas Russian Vocabulary). It was the third time that I had listened to it, but the course was still very interesting and helpful for me. I like to listen to audio course while I'm on the bus or while I'm working on something boring, but unfortunately I don’t have any other good Russian audio courses. Now I have to return to normal books. The problem is that I gave two of my best Russian books to friends…

Italiano
This Period: 0.17 hours
2012 Total: 0.17 hours

(I’m not brave enough to write something like this in Italian just yet…)

On Friday in my German class, my teacher was talking about the AP German exam (which I took last year) and gave us a packet with information on AP exams and the dates for all of them. On the calendar I saw listed the AP Italian Language and Culture exam, which immediately caught my attention. I had wanted to take that test a couple years ago while I was still actively studying Italian, but unfortunately the College Board got rid of it the very year I had intended to take it due to low numbers of students taking the exam. They've decided to reintroduce it this year, though. Anyway, I immediately got it into my head that I should take it in May, and once I get ideas like this into my head it’s nearly impossible to convince me otherwise. I don’t really need to take the exam, but I feel like I would benefit from the motivation for studying Italian that it would hopefully give me. I was glancing at the exam overview and it looks similar to the format of the AP Spanish exam which I took two years ago, and to the new format of the AP German exam, which we're practicing this year in my German class. I also looked at a couple of practice listening and reading sections, and even with my terribly rusty level of Italian they looked very doable. So I think I'm going to go ahead and sign up next month. This should be interesting…

OTHER
Earlier this week, I started learning Braille on a whim. I know that it's not a foreign language in its own right, but it's like one in that you have to learn a whole new way of perceiving information and such. After school on Tuesday, a couple friends and I were wandering around the school not knowing what to do with ourselves. I think we had been trying to find a particular room number, so I walked up to the plaque which displays each room's number, and was examining the little Braille dots beneath the numbers. Eventually we were able to figure out the digits 0-9 in Braille by just going around the school and examining the dots. We tried to learn the letters as well, but we couldn't quite figure them out, especially since the only words that we could find in Braille were the "men" and "women" signs outside the bathrooms -- and what we didn't know at the time is that W is irregular because it didn't exist in the French alphabet (Louis Braille was French), and "en" is one of a few abbreviations for common words and letter combinations, so those two words were especially confusing. However, I looked it up when I got home and can now "write" and read all the letters. I haven't gotten around to the abbreviations yet, but I intend to tackle that soon. Actually reading with my finger (as opposed to just looking at the dots, which sort of defeats the purpose of Braille) is quite challenging, mostly because all of the dots are so tiny and it's hard to distinguish how many there are and such. But yes. Braille is awesome.

@Solfrid Cristin: I was sure I had already responded to your question a while ago, but I guess I had only thought about doing it. In any case, yes, the first sentence from the Greek section translates to, “The past two weeks I spent almost two hours on Greek.” No need to shoot yourself!

Edited by ellasevia on 11 March 2012 at 10:47pm



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