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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 937 of 1511
04 November 2013 at 3:43pm | IP Logged 
It really depends on when I have time. This weekend I did 10 lessons in three days or so,
sometimes it's one lesson a day. Usually it's about 7. But I maintain super-fast tempos
in any language. I hate going slow - if I have to revise or look something up later then
I will. I tend to be ahead of the curve in everything I do - I had a class today and we
discussed very basic things like to be and greetings and their formation. This is fine
because it reinforces something I know from before. Whatever I see will come up again
somewhere and if it doesn't I clearly don't need it.

To add to my previous experiences: Hebrew and Romanian were both excellent. I was
particularly impressed at how fluently I could speak Romanian given how little practice I
have in it. It's okay to be proud of yourself once in a while, right (even my Hebrew
wasn't too bad - I got about 80% of his speech.)
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 938 of 1511
04 November 2013 at 5:48pm | IP Logged 
Conclusions of the Marathon

- Switching from a strong to a weak language is enormously annoying and takes
shittonnes of energy, especially if you are doing it first thing in the morning. I
started with French at 9 am and had to switch impromptu to Korean at 10 am. Bad idea -
should have paused and got some food. Not that I didn't produce anything - I always
produce something and often even something correct - such is life, you get far more
right than you initially think you would - but the question is in the precision of your
answers. (The other problem is that my Korean isn't really at a level anyone could
consider conversational, although I can already do quite a bit more than people give me
credit for.)

- Bookend with strong languages. Don't let them slide down in scale. I started with
French (my strongest foreign language) and ended with Russian (my most practiced
foreign language of the past two years). A very good idea, because if you mess up in a
language you already speak well, the difference isn't that huge. You'll feel annoyed
because the teacher points out a mistake you obviously should not be making, but it's
better to do that in Russian where you can paraphrase than in Hebrew where you have to
go "ma ze" because you don't know what is going on.

- If the language is easier than the one before (by that I mean if you have a higher
live), conversely, it becomes easier. Russian after Romanian isn't a problem and
Romanian after Hebrew wasn't either. I could have reduced the timeslots for these
pauses because I can switch to Russian much better (something I speak often) than to
Korean (no experience).

- Doing a lesson at 9 am sucks ass because you've just woken up. It is hard. I
therefore always do my lessons early in the morning because it means you have to train
your automaticity. Why? Because knowing a language and its constituent parts means you
can do it when you wake up, when you're asleep, when you hate yourself to death, when
you're tired, when your girlfriend has just broken up with you, and so on. That's why I
do not always choose hours that are convenient physically, to train my resistance
against interferences and situations that don't always work out as you plan. This is
okay. You have to deal with this in real life. I will never forget the time I woke up
in a bed in Brussels, alone, I didn't speak sufficient French, and the proprietor did
his annual check of the lighting and gas... and started babbling French because I
wasn't allowed to sleep over. This is the test whether you can do it or not. Immersion
situations often require that you're in this type of situation where you don't have all
your tools at hand, like the Internet, you are sick, your energy levels are low. Yes,
it will affect your performance, but you can manage it.

- It's good to challenge yourself. I learned a lot just by throwing phrases out quickly
and having the teacher say "no, that is not how it works". At my level in some
languages, it also means you can recognise idioms fairly quickly - I had several of
these in Russian. Don't be afraid to speak up - someone will correct you fast anyways.
Teachers are there to do this, and mostly in general, you can rely on humans to tell
you.

- Take breaks. It's good to remain focused, this improves your performance while
speaking. I am glad I took a lot of them in between, although the initial scheduling
could have been cleverer.

Individual performances:

- I was very unhappy with my French performance, there were many crappy errors I didn't
need to make "ressembler comme" (ressembler à), pronouncing ré where it's re, etc. It
was totally unnecessary and it has to do with your focus. I don't count mistakes
because of "idiomatic usage" in this - if you don't know an idiom, you don't, and then
you have to speak to get to know the correct format.

- I was also unhappy with my Korean performance. I realised I don't know any Korean
personal pronouns at all (except for the form of I), and realised there is a bigger
history behind the grammar of some things than TTMIK presents sometimes. This is okay -
what is taught is useful and I could certainly use it. In hindsight I probably am too
harsh on myself with Korean, considering my level is like A1, and the good news is my
pronunciation is quite good. I just need to learn that I have to tap rs, not roll them
(when I roll r's in any language, they sound incredibly forceful, overdone).

- My Hebrew was very pleasing and I understood far more than I expected I would. Yes,
it was familiar material I discussed, but I could handle the conversation quite well.
This means that I should focus on producing written Hebrew more, typing it more,
chatting more, because the feedback I got indicates I have some work to do if I want to
live and work in Israel, but that travel would be totally possible at my level and
wouldn't really lead to problems.

- My Romanian was excellent, fluent and rich and I was very pleased with my results
here. Focus, speed and accurate results.

- Russian could have been better, but it was the last one (and I also picked a teacher
whom I know very well and knows what I am like). But it is so much easier to understand
Russian nowadays that I don't need to put so much effort into focusing and listening.
It is more effortless than it used to be. I still dislike some of the mistakes I make
in Russian, but one advantage I have here is that I can use the informal register
effectively (the formal one is terrible). Because I don't read so many books in
Russian, this leads to a skewed distribution where I can use офигеть, типа того but I
have to learn упускать.

I am not sure whether I will do this again (or whether I will have the time to) but it
was very interesting to try out. I have, of course, done the on-a-dime switching in
informal situations before, but not this often and this intensely. The most important
thing is to remain sharp and concentrated. Most often it is not the grammar that eludes
you, or the fact you don't know something (if you don't know - ask!) but it's that
you're not focusing, you are autopiloting. Autopiloting is okay if you can do so, but
in foreign languages, you often can't. I can autopilot a lot of Russian, but many words
still evade me, many complex words, and those I have to learn.
4 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 939 of 1511
05 November 2013 at 7:37pm | IP Logged 
There will be a diploma and things. I will live. Defence is the 18th of November.

As they say in Russian...

наконец-то...

If I post a little infrequently you will now know that I have some last minute tidying up
to do. Or well. Will do. Starting from tomorrow :)
1 person has voted this message useful



Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 4658 days ago

734 posts - 1036 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 940 of 1511
06 November 2013 at 8:11pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
I was also unhappy with my Korean performance. I realised I don't know any Korean personal pronouns at all (except for the form of I), and realised there is a bigger history behind the grammar of some things than TTMIK presents sometimes. This is okay - what is taught is useful and I could certainly use it.


You don't really need second and third person pronouns in polite style Korean. TTMIK has a whole lesson devoted to the humble 'you' (lesson 4x05) but they end the lesson saying basically that you should never use it (because it's rude). You just call people by their name or their title. For example, your iTalki teacher would be 선생님. And if you don't know the name or the title, you can use 그 사람 as he/she.

Quote:
Because I don't read so many books in Russian, this leads to a skewed distribution where I can use офигеть, типа того but I have to learn упускать.


LOL. I'm trying to imagine a nice, well-educated Dutch guy such as you saying 'офигеть' and it's so funny. I'm cracking up. I can see why Russians think you don't speak like a foreigner.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 941 of 1511
06 November 2013 at 8:36pm | IP Logged 
Ah, my iTalki teacher taught me those so I could form possessives with them adding 의.

I need to put the new words into my Korean google docs vocab file.

I see. Well I prefer to be one of the guys/girls :P

Edited by tarvos on 06 November 2013 at 8:38pm

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 942 of 1511
09 November 2013 at 10:18am | IP Logged 
Not much progress, except for a lot of TTMIK (I have managed up until 3x19). And I've
read some French lately.

I also will be out speaking Russian tonight in person.
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Sepp
Diglot
Newbie
Portugal
Joined 2158 days ago

8 posts - 12 votes
Speaks: English, Portuguese

 
 Message 943 of 1511
09 November 2013 at 11:32am | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:

I also will be out speaking Russian tonight in person.

Interesting, how do you normally speak?
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2813 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 944 of 1511
09 November 2013 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
Using Skype. I also do a LOT of text messaging and emails and such in Russian.
Unfortunately the person I was supposed to meet came down with a fever so that scuppered
my plans for tonight.


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