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Expug’s All at On(c)e Log - TAC14

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415 messages over 52 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 1 ... 51 52 Next >>
Senior Member
Joined 5035 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 1 of 415
21 December 2013 at 2:44pm | IP Logged 
Hi fellow TAC'ers!

This is my log for 2014's TAC. Last year I posted each language at its own log, but I
think that way was both harder to update and for the audience to follow. Therefore, for
2014 I intend to maintain this sole log where I'm going to write about my studies on
Russian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Georgian, French, Papiamento, German and Estonian.

So far I've joined 1 team for Russian, 1 for Mandarin, 1 for Norwegian (the
Scandinaviam Team) and 1 for Estonian (the Balto-Uralic team). I may join an advanced
French team if it comes to reality, as well as a Rare team for Georgian. German will
remain on its own, I'm not subscribing to individual TAC for German alone because it
doesn't make much sense. As for Papiamento, I'm working on a parallel project for it.

I'm also going to be a godfather for Brazilian Portuguese at Team Iberia. I didn't
accept any positions as a team leader because I usually don't have much time for the
forum, as I tend to post after I'm done with all my studies.

Later on I plan to update my levels, goals and study routine for each language.

I'm available for any questions regarding the languages I'm learning, resources,
difficulties etc. and I would also love to share experiences with teammates and other
TAC'ers. Anyone feel free to share suggestions on how to make my insane routine better.

Wish everyone a nice 2014 with lots of knowledge, friendship and wisdom!

Edited by Expugnator on 21 December 2013 at 2:45pm

3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5035 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 2 of 415
21 December 2013 at 3:04pm | IP Logged 
So, time for planning. TAC actually doesn't stop, even though I'm not studying my whole
schedule every day in this period between Christmas and New Year's Eve. I hope this
temporary lack of consistency won't last long, though, as there are some books I really
want to finish and not enter 2014 with old, frustating materials.

So, for the languages:

Russian - Team Russian
My real hope is that the interaction with other team members will boost my motivation
so that I can see consistent progress in Russian. I'm just going through textbooks in a
loose way, and I need much more vocabulary till I can start bilingual reading. I like
the Russian culture but not so much the language (I prefer Southern Slavic and Czech).
Therefore, I'm focusing on reaching basic reading fluency so I can start the Russian
literature alongside with translations as well as become able to use Russian textbooks
in the future for minor languages from the Caucasus and finno-ugric ones.
I'm rather busy and I'll keep at one textbook at once for a while. I've done all 3
Assimil editions plus Breve Manual de Língua Russa, by Nina Potapova (similar editions
in other Western European languages). Currently working at Living Language Beginner-
Intermediate and enjoying it a lot. I'm still not enforcing declension study, I plan to
do this at my next resource, TY Russian old edition. After that I'll need something
with audio again. No idea of when I'm going to start native materials, though.

Norwegian - Team Scandinavian
My real success in TAC 2013 (since Papiamento, French and Chinese weren't part of the
TAC). I learned to enjoy everything Norwegian, and I'm having a great time with novels
and TV series. My goal for 2014 is no less than basic fluency, which I'm going to
assess through being able to watch TV with subtitles. I still need to fill some
vocabulary gaps, namely the news, but I'm not going to use textbooks anymore. I plan to
write more often, so I can activate the language a bit, too.

Mandarim - Chinese Team
In 2013 I started delving into native materials for Chinese. It was still a "secret"
for the HTLAL community. Now it's official and part of the TAC. My goal for 2014 is
simple: to really fall in love with Chinese language and culture. I have a rather
dinamic routine for Chinese, which includes SRS, podcast classes, TV series classes and
cartoon with subtitles in Chinese. I have no idea about CEFR levels when appliable, but
I may be close to a consistent B1. I'll keep working on my routine and try to fill some
gaps, like the news. I expect to be able to talk in Chinese next year, both through
Skype and in person, by visiting Chinese-owned shops.

Georgian - Team Rare
2014 is going to be the last year I'm really going to inforce Georgian that much. I've
been studying it for 2 years and I still can't read a book with a dictionary. The
complicated verbal system doesn't help, by making looking up a verb really impossible,
but I'm kinda impatient and I expected more. As a matter of fact, I have 2 textbooks
and 1 reader on schedule and after them I'm going to stick to native materials only.
I'm watching a TV series but I don't think immersion is paying off at this level. I
want to reach basic fluency, though I may be closer to it in speaking, as I think I can
work sufficiently well as a tourist. I really want to have this basic fluency skill
before I consider visiting Georgia in 2015.

Estonian - Team *jäŋe / *ledús
Estonian is dependant on Georgian. I have to take Georgian off from my textbooks
schedule in order to add a new language. I'm starting from A0 but I have good sources.
My goal is A2.

Being done with Norwegian textbooks allowed me to resume German from where I stopped in
2006, a transition between A2 and B1. I've already reached an important goal of being
able to use textbooks. The first one was Lehrbuch der Georgische Sprachen and was
tough, the next one, Einführung in die Georgisch Sprachen saw my skills become better
halfway through it. Now I want to reach B2 in all aspects. My Norwegian is even better
now and I have a lot of interference from each, but I hope both will accomodate by the
end of the year and will be standing comfortably at my 'Speaks' list.

I need to find more resources I enjoy, especially books. I keep doing 20 pages and 10
minutes of a film a day. I need to write more as well. I may be at a B2 level but still
making a lot of mistakes. As for aural skills, I can follow the conversation between
native speakers and I can talk and seldom pause while searching for words.

I could have made it a language for Team Iberian, but I just don't have studying goals
to accomplish. I've been to Aruba and Curaçao, I can read with no problem and get
almost everything from videos. My ambitious goal is actually writing a textbook for
Portuguese speakers. I'm also maintaining the language through 2 pages from a novel and
4 minutes of news videos. The lack of native speakers prevent me from trying to write

NO DABBLING LANGUAGES IN MIND. I do have a 'queue' of languages, that is to say, next
time I reach a level at which I won't need textbooks for a language anymore, I may
start a new one. Upcoming ones are Indonesian, Turkish, BCMS, Italian, Spanish and
Esperanto, but no rush really. Maybe 2015 or 2016.

Edited by Expugnator on 27 December 2013 at 10:31pm

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 415
21 December 2013 at 4:54pm | IP Logged 
Great start! I look forward to following your log and to be your team mate again this year:-)

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 21 December 2013 at 5:03pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
FranceRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4501 days ago

414 posts - 582 votes 
Speaks: French*, EnglishB2, EnglishC2, Spanish, Japanese
Studies: Korean, Norwegian, Mandarin

 Message 4 of 415
26 December 2013 at 11:21pm | IP Logged 
Hi! Cannot wait to see what you bring us this year! You've been one of my inspirations
for some time here! Good luck for everything!
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5035 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 5 of 415
27 December 2013 at 10:33pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the encouragement! I've just updated my goals, but the TAC might start de
for me in January 3rd, when I might be able to study according to plans.
1 person has voted this message useful

United Kingdom
xuexisprachen.wordprRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4225 days ago

64 posts - 79 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 Message 6 of 415
02 January 2014 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
I'm in the Chinese team with you this year, but I look forward to seeing your progress in your other languages too - especially Russian and German ;).

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4728 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 7 of 415
02 January 2014 at 2:19pm | IP Logged 
How nice to see another soul like me here.
Expugnator wrote:
Therefore, I'm focusing on reaching basic reading fluency so I can start the Russian literature alongside with translations as well as become able to use Russian textbooks in the future for minor languages from the Caucasus and finno-ugric ones.

Good decision. Luckily, I like Russian, so I do it with pleasure.

And let's hope will be expugnātōrēs this year!

Edited by prz_ on 02 January 2014 at 2:27pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5035 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 8 of 415
02 January 2014 at 5:04pm | IP Logged 

I just came back from interrupted holidays at my parents' and at Chapada Diamantina.
I'm going to work this week and on Monday and I'm going back next week to stay with
family for 10 more days or so. All this to say, I though I wouldn't be able to start
TAC 2014 today, because I woke up at 2.30 am and took a flight then came to work, but
in fact I already finished my TAC schedule for today! So, it's time to share some
impressions and let my fellow team members and others know what a day at Expug's TAC
Life seems like.

Step 1: Anki
I managed to do the reps while sitting at the boarding room. I'm currently with only 4
decks (Georgian, Norwegian, German and Chinese). Of these, I'm only keeping German and
Chinese in the long run, because they are hell lengthy. I'm only adding a new deck for
Estonian, that is, no more Anki for languages I'm already studying. This will happen
when I start Estonian, which will only happen after I finish the remaining Georgian

Step 2: Chinese characters' book
No enforcement really, just browsing through the characters. Currently using Tuttle's
Flashcards, which will take quite long as we're speaking of 4000 characters. I read 20
pages a day, that is, 10 characters with sample words and sentence.

Step 3: English series
I do this only on the background, i.e. I listen to it while continuing non-aural
activities. I skipped it for today but right now it's ok to start it, as I have a
couple of hours left. This series has 45' long episodes, but as soon as it is over I
will replace it with a shorter one which I can watch paying full attention.

Step 4: Chinese lessons on podcast
Also listening on the background. Currently at lesson 44 of a Beginner's series. Still
learn useful stuff, though I'm eager about moving on to upper beginner. This is not my
main resource for Chinese, though.

Step 5: Georgian textbooks
Consists of two textbooks, both of which I'm currently eager about finishing: teach
Yourself Georgian for English Speakers (about 15 days to finish) and Einführung in die
Georgische Sprachen (only the reading at tome II left, about 10 days). Then I have a
reader scheduled and maybe a grammar book I'm not so sure about, and I may leave room
for Estonian while focusing on parallel reading for Georgian.

Step 6: Russian textbook
Currently Living Language, enjoying it a lot. Not really enforcing either vocabulary or
grammar, though, nor doing exercises. Next one is the old 40's TY Russian, which will
work as a grammar reference. I used this one for French and it worked well, so I hope
it will finally activate my Russian somehow as I do the translation and version
exercises. There used to be podcast studying for Russian, but beginner level was over
and there was only advanced, no need to force it now. I do need to start background
listening of native materials but schedule is still chaotic.

I just want to share a list of internet abbreviations I saw at a community for
Brazilians who learn Russian at FB:

Мск - Москва
Спб - Санкт-Петербург
спс - спасибо
нзч - не за что
емае (ё моё) - OMG!!!
плз - пожалуйста
ща(щас) - сейчас
чё? - что?
мя - меня
тя - тебя

Step 7: German textbook
Currently German Without Toil. I went halfway through it back in 2002, and now I
started over a an actual faux debutant. I'm doing 7 lessons a day as far as I can take
it, then I want to repeat the approach for the other two editions (90's and 2000's),
then the old TY German (a Brazilian Portuguese edition, such a rarity!), then Assimil
Perfectionnement and La pratique and then we'll see, I'll probably be in need of an
aural and/or background listening approach. I should also resume my Duolingo account
for German.

Step 8: Norwegian series
The best part of the day so far! I've already watched Dag, Lilyhammer, Halvbroren,
Koselig med peis and a couple more. Currently at Himmelblå, enjoying a lot, plenty of
typical situations that are very rich culturally and linguistically. When I run out of
series, I will probably go for movies. My goal for 2014 is to be able to watch either
of them without subtitles. Quite a steep hill to climb, but doable.

French reading
20 pages a day, sometimes it can be really tiresome. My goal for 2014 is to get hold of
stuff I really ENJOY reading, just like with Norwegian. I alternate extensive and
intensive reading. Right now I'm reading Le Chant des Sorcières and I really don't feel
like lookin' up all this medieval vocabulary, so I go for extensive reading.

Norwegian reading
10 pages a day. L/R when available. By the end of 2013 I could do without a
translation, as there were fewer and fewer words I had to look up. I need to get hold
of stuff I really enjoy, though it surprisingly seems easier than for French, maybe
because there is much more stuff overall in French which makes it harder to harvest
something really enjoyable.

Georgian reading
I can do no more than 2 pages a day with translation. Sometimes I can't even associate
a Georgian word and its English translation. I'm about to finish Lord of the Flies,
which I regret having started at this level, but, anyway, it's over in a week or two
and I already have a fairytale with side-by-side translation awaiting to be read.

Georgian series
Currently ჩემი ცოლის დაქალებ, season 2, and I can't think of another one once this one
is over. I still can't stand all of its 30-40' at full attention span, so I'm doing
background listening. I know it is a waste for such invaluable material, but I'm
starting to pick more and more stuff in the background. I'm far from even having an
idea of what is actually going on, thiugh,, maybe 20% understanding. I really want 2014
to put an end on my issue with Georgian. I spent so much time on this language and I
want to be able to do enjoyable things.

Chinese cartoon
Obviously it's 喜羊羊与灰太狼. I have some 50% comprehension of some episodes, sometimes
70%, sometimes 35%.

Chinese video lessons
All from CCTV. I finished Happy Chinese but that wasn't the best time to watch it in
order to take the best out of it. Now I took one step back and I'm doing Travel in
Chinese, and even though it is baically tourist stuff, I still learn quite a bit. It is
noticeable that the amount of input decreased as these lessons only have some
dialogues, while with Happy Chinese I did 15 minutes of audio, but I think it's ok for
the moment, I get less of a Chinese burnout.

Chinese textbook
I'm finally being able to deal with intermediate textbooks with burnout, but
instructions in English, translations and pinyin are still necessary, so that does'nt
leave me that many options. I finished the great Étape par Étape and I'm doing Everyday
Chinese Fables and Anedoctes. I like it so far, and I really need to get used to
reading instead of just repeating touristy dialogues.

Papiamento video
I watched a great series of documentaries on Aruba but now it's mostly short 2-3' news
clips from Curaçao. I'm doing background listening again, though I can understand
almost everything if I do focus.

Papiamento reading
Only 2 pages a day and I'm afraid I'll run out of texts, as I only got 4 books and one
is over. I'm doing intensive reading at least, and it pays off. It's basically
maintenance as my level is satisfactory for someone who doesn't even need to speak the
language if I ever go back there.

After all this input I have (or may not have) time for active input, which includes
writing sample dialogues out of my own in Georgian, French, Norwegian and Mandarin as
well as trying to put down some materials for teaching Papiamento. And this is when I
have time for writing about all this at the forum as well as check other logs! I admit
that leaving the active part for the last is not wise from a mental-activity point of
view, but doing it the other way round would probably make it harder for me to keep up
with the schedule.

I have a few strategies to avoid burnout, one of them is alternating languages as well
as methods as can be seem from above. By the end of the afternoon, I'm not exactly
mentally exhausted, which means the strategy may be working. I also try to avoid
reading outside of a textbook context while I'm still at an A2 level because that only
slows down the process and brings up loads of words while I can't keep half of them,
not even passively. I think this is coherent with emk's strategy, though other forum
members prefer the day 0 approach. It's up for each learner to find which approach
suits them best, as it is the case elsewhere in life.

2 persons have voted this message useful

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