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VonPeterhof’s log - 旅立ち’14, Yürükler’15+

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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 81 of 158
12 July 2014 at 11:56pm | IP Logged 
While this week at work wasn't as hard as I had expected, I still didn't dedicate much effort to either planning my language studies or actually doing them. The burnout and wanderlust from the test preparations seem to have surfaced fully. It's a good thing that I suspended all my Japanese Anki cards though, since now I have so few cards to review each day I complete them all during my commutes. I have long forgotten what it felt like to watch anime without doing Anki reviews at the same time. I think I'll keep it that way until the results announcement; then I'll decide what to do with the cards from then on.

As for the wanderlust, while I would really like to indulge myself and do more in languages other than Japanese, I feel like it would be counter-productive to start studying a new language while I still have unfulfilled goals for Japanese. As a compromise, I've decided that I would indulge myself by refreshing my knowledge of languages I once studied or dabbled in. I actually started doing this the week before by downloading shared decks of Armenian letters and numerals. This week I followed this up by starting to re-listen to the short Eastern Armenian Pimsleur course and buying an Ilya Frank method beginners' reader with Armenian fairy tales. I've also started making Anki decks for Romanian and Yiddish (okay, I never actually studied Yiddish before, but I did learn the Hebrew alphabet and the way it's used for Yiddish, and my knowledge of German does make basic Yiddish sentences transparent to an extent). Other than that, once I feel less burned out I plan to resume regular studies of languages I put on hiatus for JLPT preparations: Kazakh, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Latin and/or Korean (I still haven't decided if I'll take them all up again, or just one or two). I have no plans to continue studying modern Greek for now, but I do intend to proceed with Ancient Greek via Assimil.

As for Japanese, I'm most definitely not going to let go of it completely for the next six or so weeks, but I am going to relax the programme a bit. In addition to the Anki suspensions, reading-wise I'm going to focus fully on manga. Perhaps now I will finally be able to catch up to the current releases of chapters of ワタモテ and resume reading one of the series I put on hold earlier (the one I'm most tempted to resume is 進撃の巨人). For listening I will still have my anime and audio dramas. For speaking practice, I'm going to check out the Moscow State University meetups when the next one comes up. As for writing, even though I'm very much behind I'll do my best to complete the first impressions series (here's the latest entry), after which I'll probably take another break from Lang-8. While writing these entries is probably the most tiring thing I'm doing right now outside of work, it's also one of the most rewarding. I do actually feel like I'm learning something from most corrections, and I've also gained a couple of regular readers interested in my opinion.

Now we just have to wait and see if balancing all these activities will lead to even greater burnout...
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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 82 of 158
20 July 2014 at 9:58pm | IP Logged 
The latest lang-8 entry. I was planning to wrap up the series by writing about the last four shows over the weekend, but I ran into some unexpected problems with my computer. Everything appears to be fine now, but I'll have to put off finishing the entry until some time this coming week. However, I did manage to catch up to the fortnightly online releases of Watamote, so now I can switch to reading 進撃の巨人. Not much else to report for Japanese I'm afraid.

As for my adventures in wanderlust, I've switched from Romanian to Albanian. I've decided to stop working on Ancient Greek for now, since I noticed it was getting kinda hard working through the Assimil lessons with my level of French. When I realized that I recalled that I never actually finished any French programmes, having dropped Assimil at lesson 72 of the first course and Pimsleur at unit 11 of French II. I have been reviewing and adding Anki sentences though, so picking back up where I left off in Assimil wasn't that hard. I guess I'll get back to Ancient Greek once I'm done with French. I've also resumed playing/reading the visual novel Katawa Shoujo in French. Also, during a trip to a bookstore I bought a curious little book on Kazakh, a reprint of part 1 of P.M. Melioransky's 1894 "brief grammar of the Kazak-Kirghiz language" (back then Russians referred to both Kazakhs and Kyrgyz as "Kirghiz"; if a distinction needed to be made the former became "Kazak-Kirghiz" and the latter "Kara-Kirghiz"). I've already found a lot in there that I've never seen covered in school textbooks or other learning material for Kazakh - some information on dialectal variations, the ways the Arabic script was used for writing Kazakh before it became a fully-fledged literary language, the Kazakh-Tatar and Kazakh-Chagatai diglossia among the educated Kazakhs, etc. As a bonus, the original pre-Revolutionary Russian orthography is preserved, which makes it extra enjoyable to read.

On a somewhat related note, I've also decided to diversify my reading by actually adding literature from my native language. Since I'm on a sort-of break from Japanese, might as well make a sort-of comeback to Russian. Okay, the real reason I'm doing this is that I'm finally jumping on the "rediscovering Dostoyevsky" bandwagon. For some reason, Dostoyevsky's books appear to be having a bit of a revival in popularity right now, and many people I know have started re-reading his books they haven't touched since high school. It's even more tempting for me, since Dostoyevsky is the only Russian classical author on the school programme none of whose books I ever actually finished. But then, I decided to start from "Demons", which is missing from the school programme (probably due to it having been kinda-sorta banned during the Soviet times). And, just to be a little different, I've hunted down an e-book version of the book in the original orthography. Только Бѣсы Ѳ.М. Достоевскаго, только хардкоръ ;)

Edited by vonPeterhof on 20 July 2014 at 10:01pm

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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 83 of 158
02 August 2014 at 11:06pm | IP Logged 
With the last two entries submitted, I'm finally done with this season's first impressions! Submitted the last one just before the end of July. I guess this would have taken even longer if I weren't on vacation when the season just started. Now I guess I know when to schedule my next vacation ;) I'll take a break from writing in Japanese at least until the end of August. I was thinking of devoting this coming week's lang-8 time to correcting other people's writings, and in the weeks after that I might try to write something in my other languages.

This season I'm watching 18 anime series (three of them are shorts, and 16 of them are ongoing). I guess the only one of them with something interesting language-wise is ばらかもん, a slice-of-life comedy about a calligraphy artist transplanted from Tokyo to a small rural community on the Gotō Islands. The local dialect is one that doesn't appear much in media, and the series features it prominently. I've had some exposure to the closely related Nagasaki dialect, but it still took some time to get used to.

Speaking of dialects, I've actually learned a few things about them over the past couple of anime seasons. Turns out that my earlier observation that elderly characters tend to speak Hiroshima dialect wasn't entirely accurate. I've had a brief conversation with a Japanese speaker in the comment section of my MyAnimeList profile, where it was pointed out to me that the stereotypical old people speech pattern is similar, but not identical to the modern Hiroshima dialect. It's actually based on a stereotypical portrayal of Edo-era Kyoto/Kansai dialect, also known as 上方語. Apparently when the de facto capital moved to Edo some of the elite relocated there from the Kyoto area, resulting in a situation where it wasn't uncommon for a family in Edo to have parents speaking the Kyoto dialect and for the children to speak Edo dialect. Edo-based fiction turned that into a trope which is still used in the portrayals of old people and royalty. The reason why this stereotypical speech resembles Hiroshima dialect more than Kansai dialect is that the latter has changed since the Edo era (with じゃ shifting to や, etc.); my guess with regard to the pitch accent is that Edo-era performers eventually stopped bothering to imitate it (what little evidence we have of Heian era pitch accent seems to imply that it's the Tokyo dialect's relatively simple downstep-based pitch that's more innovative, rather than the more variegated Kansai pitch).

As for my wanderlust adventures, after having re-listened to the Eastern Armenian Pimsleur mini-course I've proceeded to Vietnamese, also adding sentences into Anki. The last time I looked into Vietnamese I remember getting the impression that it seemed to use borrowed Chinese vocabulary less frequently than Japanese or Korean (most noticeably, the Chinese numerals feature a lot less prominently). Now that I actually try to write everything down and look up the etymologies of the words I'm adding it seems like I was wrong. Apparently all the second person pronouns introduced in the course (differentiated by age and gender) come from Chinese - bà (婆), ông (翁), cô (姑), anh (英). Even some of the basic grammatical particles are Chinese borrowings: "not" is không (空) and "but" is nhưng (仍). Naturally, learning about all this really isn't helping me resist the temptation of starting to learn Mandarin and/or Cantonese. If I were seriously pursuing the goal of mastering the whole CJKV set, going in the order of J-K-V-C seems like really a bass-ackwards way of doing it, but since my Korean studies are still suspended and I don't really have any grand plans for Vietnamese, might as well dive into Chinese.

...no, I've gotta resist the temptation of new languages until at least the end of the year. I've already got enough wanderlust just dragging me between languages I've already tried learning, just adding more to the mess will nullify all my goals for Japanese. I'll just keep on refreshing those other languages and limit my serious efforts to Japanese... sigh, and French. The thing about French is that I always forget how much I love it when I'm not doing anything in it, but whenever I start it's really hard to stop myself. There are many languages whose sound I like, but French is one of the very few languages in which I genuinely enjoy the mere act of saying stuff out loud, no matter what the content (the only other ones I can think of are Danish, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, but my enunciation in those three is a lot worse than in French). Plus, since right now it looks like French is my second most successful self-study project, it's about time I had something to show for it in terms of active skills. I think I have an idea for my next lang-8 entry...

Edited by vonPeterhof on 02 August 2014 at 11:08pm

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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 84 of 158
10 August 2014 at 9:11pm | IP Logged 
After gushing about French in my last post I ended up doing very little of it this week, just some Katawa Shoujo and a news article. I've been very busy at work, so I would come home too tired to do the Assimil lessons. I've also added a few sentences in Indonesian, Lithuanian and Serbo-Croatian (mostly Croatian). Now the only languages that I've dabbled in but haven't made an Anki deck for are Swahili, Swiss German and Esperanto. I don't seem to have a Pimsleur reading booklet for Swahili, so I'll need to re-listen to the course to do that (or just take some sentences from an online phrasebook). With Swiss German it's harder, since it's not really a written language. As for Esperanto, I don't really see myself wanting to reactivate my abilities in it. So I guess I won't be adding any decks for the latter two.

I'm still taking it easy with Japanese, watching anime, reading manga and news articles, learning an occasional song. The MSU Japanese Centre still hasn't announced a meetup for August, so for now the only thing I'm looking forward to is the JLPT results announcements, which has been scheduled for August 28.
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Serpent
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
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 Message 85 of 158
10 August 2014 at 10:31pm | IP Logged 
I have the Little Prince and one detective story in two different dialects of Swiss German, so you can borrow them from me ;)
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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 86 of 158
11 August 2014 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the offer, that sounds awesome! I don't think I can fit any more reading into my schedule right now though, so maybe at some later point. But it's great to hear that such books exist. I wonder if there are any books in Schwäbisch...
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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 87 of 158
16 August 2014 at 10:56pm | IP Logged 
I managed to do more French this week - Assimil, Katawa Shoujo, news and my first Lang-8 entry in the language (no, I'm not linking to it here). I've also finished the Vietnamese Pimsleur mini-course and started re-doing the Swahili one. I also got some unexpected exercise in German, having been asked to translate a German company's balance sheet into Russian by my father (we work at the same company, but in pretty much completely unrelated departments, so I can't really call this a work assignment). Since accounting was always my worst subject at college even in my first language, and we don't seem to have covered accounting terms in my Business German course, I end up having to look up nearly every term in both languages (or sometimes in English, if I can't find a direct German-Russian translation).

As for Japanese, I've been doing some thinking with regard to how to proceed with it until the end of the year. I've decided that what I need to work on the most is business language. In addition to working on my active skills via lang-8 and conversation practice sessions, I will start working with the two business Japanese books I bought earlier (on writing e-mails and talking on the phone), as well as conduct regular shadowing sessions with conversations from the book I finished. Even if it turns out that I've failed the last N1 and I end up needing to prepare for another one, I won't put off business Japanese until later like last time, since it's about time I developed some practical skills. The chances of me losing my job by the end of the year, if not sooner, remain pretty high, so trying to add another marketable skill to my résumé makes sense right now.

If it turns out I've passed and no longer have to study from the test preparation books, then I'll dedicate the time to another area of study - Classical Japanese. I already have a deck for it, with sentences mainly from Syromyatnikov's grammar and this thread, but in September I would like to try to dedicate some time every week to serious activities in the language, like reading 源氏物語 with a side-by-side translation into modern Japanese and commentary (I recall having visited a website that had exactly that, but I don't seem to have bookmarked it). Sure, this probably won't do much to help me reach C1 and beyond in modern Japanese, but it's something that I'm genuinely interested in.
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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3010 days ago

715 posts - 1527 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 88 of 158
24 August 2014 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
This week I've done pretty much all my regular language learning activities, but at a minimum (for example, only correcting others on lang-8, less than 20 minutes of gameplay in Katawa Shoujo, etc.). Mostly it's because I've been trying to catch up on the Monogatari anime series before they start streaming the new instalment. Seeing as how I've got two episodes left, and the first new episode is already up on daisuki.net, I've failed at this, but better late than never. I kinda want to get the original light novels now, mainly because of the clever wordplay the author uses (and also because an important prequel novel still hasn't been adapted into anime form). The anime does a surprisingly good job of both staying faithful to an original work that is almost 90% talking with nothing happening and actually making it visually interesting, but there is only this much text you can adapt into on-screen dialogue. Fair warning though: this is decidedly not a show I would recommend to those uninitiated in the world of modern anime (with the possible cautious exception of the first instalment, Bakemonogatari). The series treads such a fine line between anime at its most artistic and insightful and anime at its most vulgar and trashy, "Oh, Japan..." doesn't even begin to cover it.

I've been doing some more thinking about my studies from September until the end of the year, specifically on how much time I'm going to devote to languages other than Japanese. Next week I should be done with the short Swahili Pimsleur and the beginner French Assimil. I've decided that once I'm done with them I will re-suspend my active studies of those languages, and resume my study of Korean through Talk To Me In Korean. If I'm going to try to focus on Japanese while also giving vent to my wanderlust, at least now I'll do so with a language that's similar to it, so that I don't have to shift paradigms too much between study sessions. I've also thought of resuming Kazakh due to its similar grammar, but decided against it. While Kazakh usually doesn't seep into my Japanese, the opposite does happen and I haven't thought of a good strategy to tackle it. Maybe at some point closer to the end of the year I'll do some Turkish as preparation for Chung's challenge.


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