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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1497 of 1511
27 June 2015 at 4:22pm | IP Logged 
The Language Marathon Part Two

Some of you may remember I did a language marathon some time back where I scheduled
classes for five different languages on one and the same day. I also remember that I
was completely exhausted at the end of that because it took up all of my energy
(especially because I was at a low level in some of them and my levels weren't
comparable to what they are now, except perhaps for French).

I did the same, but with one language less (however I can add Mandarin because I speak
it in real life), and the results were much better. I only tired during the very last
Greek conversation.

This time I did: German, Russian, Czech and Greek (interspersed with Chinese during
the day).

German had a built-in difficulty - part of the class was actually in Swiss German. I
speak regular German like a boss but I don't understand much Swiss German (well I got
there eventually with some context).

Here's what I found:

- My results were better because with the exception of Czech, my levels in all these
languages are not that low (in Russian I am around C2!) and thus switching is easier.
I am also extremely used to speaking Mandarin every day so that's not a problem
either.

- Results drop off a bit when we're speaking weaker languages, but that may just be
because they are weaker. My Czech sounds noticeably better than last time I spoke it
and I spoke it for longer. My Greek wasn't the best, but it was the last one and at a
late hour.

- As long as you speak languages in the high B range or above, you should be able to
switch easily. I had German and Russian right after the other and after 2 minutes of
changing mindsets I was going on in Russian and defending my stance on logic and
atheism.

- There was a big break between Russian and Czech of about three hours. This helped a
lot. There also was a 10 minute break or so between Czech and Greek.

- The biggest factor playing a role is exhaustion. The more you have to concentrate on
what you are saying, the more you are exhausted. Putting the good languages up front
helps because they don't require much oiling. Speaking Russian is nearly 100%
automatic and in German I also speak quite fast (though here I make some small
mistakes, even though my spoken German is pretty good). Once you physically tire your
performance suffers. Speaking foreign languages is tiring, but you can minimize this
by dosing your efforts.

Maybe the results would have been different if I had added a fifth language where I
would have had to concentrate (say, Finnish, or maybe Portuguese or Korean or
something like that).

- The more automatic your speech the better it goes. Automaticity is key in switching
- you shouldn't have to search a long time for phrases in your TL. This is why
speaking a lot is so important - it trains the muscle memory you use in order to
actively recall and produce the correct sentence structures. This is not something you
can get through pure input - activation requires this memory and recall process to be
trained. I have been speaking a fair amount of Greek lately, so with Greek automatism
isn't a problem. German is a language so close to my own that it doesn't really matter
what I say there.

It would be interesting to repeat this experiment with 4 or 5 languages where I am not
over B1. But that will have to wait for another day.
5 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1498 of 1511
29 June 2015 at 7:52am | IP Logged 
Манифест про красоту жизни

О моем мировоззрении
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1499 of 1511
01 July 2015 at 3:43am | IP Logged 
All right, so my time in Chengde is drawing to an end (meaning I'm close to finishing
my Mandarin project) We're halfway the year, so it's time to analyse where we've gone
and what we need to be doing in more detail than I usually do. So, with no further
ado, here's my analysis of how I feel I have improved:

Dutch/English

Not. I guess.



Russian

My Russian this year has been marked by an increase in the level of the material I'm
using. 19th century literature isn't easy for anyone and handling Russian in the
original certainly isn't. I've also been doing preparation material for a C2 exam to
be sat at an as of yet undetermined date (depending on my schedule). Current levels
indicate that I am likely to pass such a test which means my Russian is finally at an
acceptable level. Ok, it was that a long time ago, but it means that I have opened the
possibility to study Russian with me on iTalki for beginners! So if you don't know
what to do about your Russian, and you're a beginner, come study with me!

Level: ~C2
Goal: maintain and start teaching to develop further

French

Now this is a language that has suffered a bit in the active department (I can still
read almost everything). Once I've finished getting that Russian diploma I will return
to my French. It's a stable, C1-ish level. This is a fairly long-term goal.

Level: C1
Goal: progress to C2

Swedish

Has stayed the same. I don't need to improve it and it's not really dropping off.

Level: C1
Goal: maintenance

German

I'm travelling to Germany in August and although I won't be continuously speaking
German it's good to learn more about it. I specifically want to work on Swiss German,
to give it a bit of a challenge.

Level: C1 oral/reading, B2 written
Goal: diversify my accent comprehension

Romanian

I don't have any plans to improve it, but I still speak it well, albeit at a slightly
lower level than German. It's fine the way it is.

Level: B2
Goal: some maintenance at some point

Italian

Now I am planning to move to Italy after Greece so Italian will be very important to
me. I've been improving it over the past months and got to fluency in about 2-3
months. If Italy materializes after Greece, this is the language that I will have to
do another spurt on.

Level: low B2
Goal: become very competent so that I can live comfortably in Italy

Norwegian

I understand Norwegian and can Norwegify my Swedish a little, and I can read Norwegian
Bokmal, but I need to improve my Nynorsk and dialect comprehension.

Level: B2
Goal: diversify my dialect comprehension and start working with Nynorsk material

Afrikaans

No goals, but I do understand it in writing and a fair bit of spoken Afrikaans to.

Level: almost everything written, B-level oral comprehension, no productive skills
Goal: none

Danish

See Afrikaans, except my oral comprehension is lower, way lower.

Mandarin

Now it gets interesting. Mandarin is going to be the victim of me moving, and I will
need to find a way to maintain it. I have promised myself a return to Sinophone
regions later in my life (not in the coming few years, as I want to discover other
parts of this planet), but China is big and I won't get to explore the south or the
desert this time. This trip is focused on urban, (north)eastern China. I still
struggle with the characters. Spoken Mandarin is all right (B-levels). I would be
around B1 (HSK 3 level), probably a bit higher on speaking and lower on
reading/writing. No concrete goals for now, except for maintenance.

Level: B1 (conversational)
Goal: maintenance. Later: improve written skills

Modern Greek

Modern Greek is one of my next projects, and I've been focusing on it lately. My Greek
has improved leaps and bounds in the last month and I'm definitely at a conversational
level of Greek, as well as a good B1 level in writing. I need to improve more
concerning high-level vocabulary and listening skills, and I hope my sojourn in Crete
won't get blasted by the stuff going on over there right now. I speak respectable
basic Greek though.

Level: B1
Goal: improve listening skills while travelling, widen my vocabulary and scope

Modern Hebrew

Has suffered too much under current circumstances. Once I get settled in one place, I
think I might return to Hebrew to do a refresher and bring it back to a B1
conversational level.

Level: A2
Goal: improve towards a conversational level

Spanish

I understand a lot and can produce sentences, but I sound a bit off and it's not very
complex what I do, it's all based on my other romance languages. I have no urgent
plans for improvement of my Spanish, but I can hold a good conversation.

Level: A2-B1
Goal: maintenance

Portuguese

See Spanish, but with more emphasis on listening skills which are harder for me in
Portuguese

Esperanto

I'm doing a short Esperanto improvement project in August. My level is A1-A2 and I
want to reach B1 in order to participate in the Esperanto event taking place in
Hungary in august.

Level: A1-A2
Goal: improve towards B1 in August

Korean

I have forgotten nearly all of my Korean, but I'm spending a week there at the end of
July. My goal is to get back to A1-A2 tourist Korean. I hope to spend some time living
in South Korea later in my life, so I will return to Korean later.

Level: A1
Goal: improve towards A2 tourist Korean for travel purposes.

Czech

Czech is my fun project for dabbling at the moment and I'm getting good at it so I may
want to continue learning more Czech. My current level is A1 definitely, but I would
like to keep dabbling and improving my listening and speaking skills (reading is
fairly easy with my level of Russian).

Level: A1
goal: continue to dabble

Finnish

I quit dabbling in Finnish but may return to it if a trip to Finland to see my brother
materialises in the fall.

Level: A1
goal: continue to dabble!

Breton/Icelandic/Latin

these are off the table for now, although I can still read the first two in a very
elementary way and Latin a bit more in-depth.

In some years, I plan to do a Classicist Revival Project where I return to my Latin
and learn some Ancient Greek, but for that I would first like to speak acceptable B2
Modern Greek.
3 persons have voted this message useful



1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2398 days ago

1013 posts - 1587 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Italian
Studies: German, Danish, Russian, Catalan

 
 Message 1500 of 1511
01 July 2015 at 4:37am | IP Logged 
Ik heb een livestreampje (misschien klinkt dat
een beetje raar) uit Griekenland. Alles is in het Grieks, dus begrijp ik bijna niets.
Jawel, er is mij niets meer te verwatchen aangezien ik die taal (nog?) niet studeer.
Naast de ATMs zijn er heel wat rijen om tot aan zijn zichtrekeningen 60€ te opnemen.

Ik weet niet wat in Crete gebeurt, maar ik heb twee vrienden uit Athene, en ze zijn niet
zo bang van de fimanciële crisis. Of misschien zijn ze al bang voor niets...

Edited by 1e4e6 on 01 July 2015 at 4:38am

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1501 of 1511
01 July 2015 at 9:36am | IP Logged 
Zichtrekeningen? Wat zijn zichtrekeningen? Bedoel je bankrekeningen?

Livestreampje klinkt wel grappig en normaal.

Ik ga er pas eind augustus heen. Ik wacht nog even met mijn vliegtuig boeken tot na het
referendum, om te kijken of men toch nog tot een akkoord weet te komen.
1 person has voted this message useful



1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2398 days ago

1013 posts - 1587 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Italian
Studies: German, Danish, Russian, Catalan

 
 Message 1502 of 1511
01 July 2015 at 10:14am | IP Logged 
Ups, klopt, ja ik bedoelde bankrekeningen. De financiële crisis staat nog op alle
nieuws, die uit Spanje, Portugal, Duitsland, Noorwegen, Zweden, Frankrijk, Italië,
enz., dus omdat ik het nieuws van RTVE, RTP, NOS, FRANCE24, DW, NRK, SVT, DK kijk, en
de andere kan ik op de hoogte van de crisis ben.

Daar ben ik nooit naartoe gereisd, maar de Grieksen schijnen veel talen te kennen,
tenminste lijkt het erop, want op het nieuws van La Sexta heb ik pas gisteren
twee Grieken gezien. Ze hebben een interview over de crisis met Antena3 gegeven. De
eerste sprak een zeer uitstekend Spaans, ten minste C1 zou ik zeggen, en de tweede
misschien ongeveer B2. Dus misschien is Griekenland een goed land om je talen te
beoefenen.

Ik heb het Griekse alfabet "geleerd", in wiskundelessen en wetenschaplessen sinds het
basisschool tot aan de universiteit. Ik ken de letters en kan de meeste woorden
uitspreken, maar misschien zou ik wat raar klinken, en bovendien zou ik geen woord
kennen, tenzij ze "φιλοσοφία" of zoiets zijn. Of "κρίση"...

Edited by 1e4e6 on 01 July 2015 at 10:45am

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1503 of 1511
01 July 2015 at 10:41am | IP Logged 
Er zijn een hoop van dat soort woorden hoor. Met de Griekse talenkennis valt het opzich
wel mee, maar veel Grieken zijn in het buitenland terecht gekomen en er was ooit een
traditie om goed Frans te leren.

De uitspraak van het Oudgriekse alfabet komt niet overeen met de moderne. Bèta wordt in
het moderne Grieks als vita uitgesproken, bijvoorbeeld. Bèta geeft in Modern Grieks dan
ook de v-klank weer.

Ik vind het alleen zonde van zo'n mooi land dat ze altijd bezig zijn met rotzooi trappen
daar. Het is alsof Griekenland weigert zich normaal te gedragen, al jarenlang. Wat is dat
een groot turbulent gedoe daar.

Edited by tarvos on 01 July 2015 at 10:42am

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1504 of 1511
04 July 2015 at 12:46am | IP Logged 
Today, I leave for a month or so of travelling. If I post more scarcely, you'll know why
that is now.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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