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TAC 2012 - Team Ne Nur - Hrvatske Krave

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
76 messages over 10 pages: 1 2 3 4 57 ... 6 ... 9 10 Next >>
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Joined 4409 days ago

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

 Message 41 of 76
24 May 2012 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
Thank you to everyone!

@Sprachprofi: Esperanto was not originally part of the plan, but I suppose if I have an extra hour or two to spare I could give Esperanto some attention. :) At the moment I have my hands full with "just" Croatian, Japanese, Finnish, Persian, and Italian, but maybe once I've adjusted to my new study pace I'll have some more time.

@Teango: Indeed, I have created a schedule to organize my time and I'm already having trouble keeping up! Too much of doing nothing in the past couple months has made me forget how to be efficient...
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Senior Member
Joined 3960 days ago

1085 posts - 1879 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French
Studies: Catalan, Dutch, Esperanto, Croatian, Serbian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish

 Message 42 of 76
24 May 2012 at 8:09pm | IP Logged 
Congratulations on your graduation, Philip! Every time I read more about your plans for Croatia I get almost as excited as if I were going there myself. I hope you'll still have time to check in at the forum here while you're enjoying the beautiful Jadransko more ;)
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Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Joined 4409 days ago

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

 Message 43 of 76
13 July 2012 at 4:18am | IP Logged 
Weeks 20-27: May 13 – July 7

Total Study Time This Period: 68.83 hours
Total Study Time in 2012: 304.18 hours

Two months later and I’m back! It has certainly been a long time since I last updated, but there really was not very much going on to motivate me to write an update.

Now, however, I have accumulated several pieces of language-related news:

As I mentioned previously, I graduated at the end of May and have been enjoying the absence of all academic obligations since then. A couple days before the graduation ceremony itself, however, was the awards ceremony, where I was honored for achievement at Japan Cup and on the National German Exam. I was also this year’s (as well as last year’s) recipient of my school’s “Outstanding Linguist Award,” which was apparently the first time they had ever given an award to the same person two years in a row.

Later, in early June, I finally received all of the paperwork back from Croatia that was necessary in order to apply for a student visa. We had been working on assembling all of the materials, which were quite extensive, since April, but still needed these final documents before I could submit my official application. My mother and I then had to fly out to Los Angeles for a meeting at the Croatian consulate and to submit my visa application. I did speak a bit of probably-mangled Croatian to the woman working there, and she seemed pleased with my efforts. It turns out that it usually takes at least three months to process a request for a visa, so I won’t actually get the visa until I’m already in Croatia, probably sometime in September. However, I was told that with an American passport I can stay in the country for 90 days without needing a visa, so I can still depart on schedule. Following our trip to the consulate, I finally got my tickets to Croatia booked, so I will be leaving exactly six weeks from today, on August 23rd. So very excited!

Finally, AP scores came out earlier this week! At the beginning of the year I wrote that my goal was to score at least a 3 on the Japanese exam (out of 5). After a quick glance at my score sheet I was ecstatic because I got…[drumroll]…a 4! Given that my teacher said that he had never had a non-native student score higher than a 3 on the AP exam, I consider this a great success! I don’t believe I ever wrote this down anywhere “officially”, but after I took the exam I promised myself that if I got either a 4 or a 5 I would upgrade my Japanese to basic fluency, which I have since done. So according to this forum, I now “speak” Japanese!

Now for the actual language study report:

I’ve been having trouble establishing a regular study routine this summer and so I really haven’t accomplished a whole lot. As usual, I have a few excuses (ridiculous visa applications, a new laptop which I’ve had to spend time setting up, a couple road trips, reading in English, etc.) but they don’t hide the fact that I’ve essentially been lazy. :) This laziness is also the reason I’m going to do away with my usual formatting in this update, mostly because I don’t want to bother with all of the calculations. Here we go.

Let’s begin with the Romance languages. I’ve done some listening to Italian podcasts in the past month or so, but nothing more than that. A friend of mine also lived in Madrid for a semester last year and currently has a friend from Spain visiting. One of the road trips I mentioned before was with them, so as you can imagine we spoke a lot of Spanish.

In terms of Germanic languages, I have done very little. I did a bit of reading in Dutch and a lesson from La Pratique du Néerlandais, but that was it. I’ve also begun restudying Swedish. It's much more enjoyable now that I've taken a long break from the language and it feels like I'm looking at it with fresh eyes. I can't believe how much of it I've forgotten, but it's also a good thing. When I was first starting to learn it the first time, I wasn't very advanced in German yet (I had been studying on and off for under a year) and didn't have any Dutch at all, but now between those two and what I do remember of Swedish itself, it's coming back very easily, and I can now build more effectively on cognates in German and Dutch. :)

I’ve done a fair amount of Croatian, but not as much as I would have liked. I finished the last four lessons of Teach Yourself, Spoken World Croatian lessons 7-13, Beginner’s Croatian lesson 6-7, some reading and writing of emails to my host family in Croatia, and some miscellaneous vocabulary study. I feel like my Croatian is coming along well, by which I mean that I can read and write without too much difficulty (and with occasional access to a dictionary). Since I’ve had very few opportunities to actually speak Croatian with people so far, I can’t quite gauge my conversational abilities, but I hope that I won’t have too much trouble when I arrive in Croatia.

Earlier in the summer I had decided to start reviving my Persian, and was quite enjoying it (I reviewed Assimil up through lesson 27). But for reasons I can’t quite remember (probably lack of time/energy/motivation) I ended up dropping it again in favor of concentrating on the languages I already have going. I may well reinstate it seriously in the near future, but for now Persian is just an exotic treat which I occasionally indulge myself in.

Lastly, the Finno-Ugric languages. Earlier in the summer I had been working on my Finnish somewhat regularly but haven’t recently. However, while I was still on top of it I managed to review several lessons of TY Finnish and also completed two new ones. And the reason for dedicating this paragraph to the Finno-Ugric languages rather than to just Finnish is because I gave in one day in June and did about half an hour of study out of TY Hungarian. It was fun, but I soon came to my senses and realized that I’m can’t take on another challenging language right now. However, if there’s any chance of me visiting Hungary while I’m living in Croatia, I will definitely be learning some Hungarian. :)

That’s all for now, and my apologies to anyone who may have been expecting an update sooner than this. By the time I write here again, I’ll already be in Croatia if I update as quickly as I wrote this entry in comparison with the last one – a very exciting thought. :)
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Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
United States
teango.wordpress.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3823 days ago

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

 Message 44 of 76
13 July 2012 at 1:32pm | IP Logged 
Fantastic news - you've climbed to fluency in Japanese (although I suspect you probably reached this level a good while back)! Now you can proudly join the ranks of other members here who have scaled Fuji-san and ventured beyond the kanji clouds. :)

Congratulations also on finally booking those tickets to Croatia, I know just how mind-numbingly frustrating the whole admin/visa process can be, but hopefully it'll all be worth it in the end.

And don't worry about taking a break, you probably really needed it. Until yesterday, I hadn't posted a language log on this forum in over 2 months either (and for pretty much similar reasons lol).

I'm really excited for you on this new adventure, ellasevia, and I hope your spoken Croatian goes from strength to strength over the coming year. :D

Edited by Teango on 13 July 2012 at 1:33pm

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Senior Member
Joined 3126 days ago

890 posts - 1190 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, Bulgarian, Croatian
Studies: Slovenian, Macedonian, Persian, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Swedish, German, Italian, Armenian, Kurdish

 Message 45 of 76
13 July 2012 at 4:52pm | IP Logged 
How long will you stay in Croatia?
I envy you a bit - I didn't have a luck and instead of my dreamed-of Croatian they've enrolled me to Bulgarian philology. I don't regret it now since Bulgarian is a fantastic language, nevertheless, some Yugo-nostalgia comes now and then... And now you'll have a chance to learn Croatian veeery, veeery well - well, good luck and enjoy it - Zagreb is a wonderful place and, as far as my friend says, the coast is even more :)

P.S. And congratulations, of course :)
ellasevia wrote:
We would probably have done even better if they hadn’t asked so many questions about Japanese pop culture, which neither my partner nor I care about in the slightest. As a rule, I make a point of avoiding pop culture as much as possible regardless of its national origin. :)

Oh, you don't know what you're losing! Pop culture is very useful in learning languages. Besides, it's simply fun :)

Edited by prz_ on 14 July 2012 at 9:42pm

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Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Joined 2974 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 Message 46 of 76
13 July 2012 at 4:54pm | IP Logged 
Glad to have your log back, it was the first log I noticed upon joining. :)
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Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3616 days ago

1243 posts - 1458 votes 
Speaks: English*, Czech, Spanish
Studies: Italian, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Toki Pona, Russian

 Message 47 of 76
13 July 2012 at 5:41pm | IP Logged 
Glad to see you back. I was wondering about you yesterday and actually checked this log to make sure I hadn't missed any updates in the last few weeks.

I'm also excited to be going to Croatia this year (albeit only for a week) and I fly home from Croatia the day before you arrive.

I'm very interested in your Croatian adventure, I hope you'll keep us informed about it ;)
1 person has voted this message useful

Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Joined 4409 days ago

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

 Message 48 of 76
15 July 2012 at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
@Teango: Indeed, but now the challenge will be not to forget it all. At least in the past I've had my Japanese class at school so that I would have some contact with the language almost every day, but I doubt I'll have many opportunities to use Japanese in Croatia. And I'm also excited for your new log as well!

@prz_ I'll be in Croatia for just under a year, about 11 months. I'm very much looking forward to it -- 39 days left!

hribecek: How funny! Kamo ćeš u Hrvatskoj putovati? Da li si učio pomalo hrvatski za putovanje?

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