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

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 25 of 158
19 January 2014 at 10:07pm | IP Logged 
Well, the weekend is technically over in my time zone and I still haven't started the new lang-8 entry. This is due to my succumbing to residual exhaustion from the working week and taking outrageously long naps, and also getting distracted by some "real life" business. I'm still calling this a productive weekend though, because unlike last time I did manage to finish all the other planned activities in Japanese (N1 grammar, Business Japanese, columns, novel, manga, and of course Anki), and also in Korean. Haven't been able to squeeze in a Latin lesson or a short read of the French translation of Katawa Shoujo for two weeks in a row, but I did manage to do some reading in Kazakh written in the Arabic script (it's used by the ~1.5 million Kazakhs living in China, as well as smaller populations in Iran and Afghanistan). Unfortunately, since my main source for reading in Arabic-scripted Kazakh (a journalist with a Twitter account) had been silent for a couple of months before suddenly producing tons of links to articles, I had almost completely forgotten how to read it and had to "decipher" texts all over again. Will try to at least get the writing started some time during the week.



vonPeterhof
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 26 of 158
22 January 2014 at 6:05pm | IP Logged 
Wanderlust update: ended up picking up modern Greek. 改めて申し訳ございません m(_ _)m. My parents decided that we will join a few relatives of ours on a large family holiday on Crete in late June/early July. It's been about 1.5 years since I've last been outside Russia, and taking a trip to Greece with six relatives will be much cheaper than going to Korea alone, visa or no visa, so I see no reason to opt out. Therefore I will be putting Korean into retention mode for now and picking up Greek instead. I'll also probably scale back my Latin in favour of Ancient Greek, since I was planning on taking it on eventually, and it could provide some reinforcement to its descendant (and hopefully, not too much interference). I've already started on the modern Greek Pimsleur course, and this weekend I'll be hitting the bookstores for some resource-hunting - I just happen to know two excellent bookstores that are both in the vicinity of pretty good Japanese restaurants :)

As a side note, if you're ever in Moscow, while it's probably not the best idea to ask me for a guided tour of the city, I'm always ready to tell you where you can find the most authentic Japanese cooking. Seriously, the number of places serving Japanese food in Moscow is staggering. There's even a halal Japanese restaurant not far from my workplace! I've yet to try it out though.

And, with that awkward segue out of the way, an update on my Japanese studies. No, I haven't started working on the entry, but I have looked through a few pages of the 鬼灯の冷徹 manga. While seeing the dialogue written down did improve my comprehension somewhat, I still have to spend way too much time looking up unfamiliar words and unknown concepts from Japanese mythology. With my goal of shifting focus from manga to non-fiction in mind, adding such a hard-to-read manga to my list is probably not worth it at this point. I might revisit it or the anime adaptation later.



vonPeterhof
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Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 27 of 158
25 January 2014 at 6:08pm | IP Logged 
Posted the first part of the "first impressions" entry. Yes, it's gonna be another multiparter, but hopefully I won't stretch it out to five days this time. Interestingly enough, this time around I got corrections from four people within thirty minutes after posting (although it seems like the last person retracted their corrections), in different places and with some variation in opinions. I'll study them all carefully before writing the next part.

As for today's bookstore visit, I ended up buying four books, three of them Ilya Frank method books for Greek (BTW, the linked website has some free Japanese reading materials). One is a collection of fairy tales and legends, another is a collection of jokes, and the third one is Aesop's fables in Ancient Greek. Sadly, it doesn't specify which stage/dialect of Ancient Greek it's in, but from what I know of surviving compilations of Aesop's fables, I suspect it's more likely to be in Koine than in Classical Attic. The fourth book is an academic grammar of Hakka Chinese. Bought it on impulse, since books about non-Mandarin modern Chinese are a pretty rare sight in Russian bookstores. I recall having seen a similar grammar for Shanghainese in Saint Petersburg and that's it - not even a single booklet about Cantonese! Anyway, I guess if I work one legend/fairy tale/joke in modern Greek and one fable in Ancient per week into my schedule, in addition to one Pimsleur lesson per day during my commute, I won't be taking too much time away from my Japanese.



vonPeterhof
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 28 of 158
26 January 2014 at 5:11pm | IP Logged 
Second part up. This time I added a couple negative reviews, though the criticisms are still rather mild. I suppose the hardest task will be to write about the shows that produced neither a positive nor a particularly strong negative reaction. As for the mistakes, it's kind of annoying that I still sometimes misuse は and が after all this time. This feels like learning how to use articles all over again! I also seem to be trying to avoid making long strings of words connected with の, and end up dropping it in places where it apparently sounds perfectly fine.



vonPeterhof
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 29 of 158
29 January 2014 at 7:39pm | IP Logged 
Part 3. I felt like I need to post at least something during the week, but at the same time I was feeling kinda lazy after a day at work, so I just reviewed two of the shows I had discussed previously in this log. The first commenter complimented my entry by saying that it reads like something written by a Japanese person, while the second one confirmed my suspicion that using the "barriers to entry" metaphor in Japanese probably wasn't the best idea. She asked if I used such a phrase in this context "on purpose" and if I was trying to be funny. While I did use it "on purpose", knowing that this isn't the primary meaning of the phrase, I just thought that it was a nice figurative description of the phenomenon I was talking about (I think I might have actually stolen that phrase from an English-language review of the first episode of that show). I guess I'm not yet at that stage in Japanese where I'm free to use the language in unconventional ways without people questioning the purposefulness of such usage. Of course, if I were at that stage I probably wouldn't be writing on Lang-8 anyway :)

In other news, it looks like an interesting opportunity has come up in the city I'm in right now. The Japan Foundation is sponsoring a free series of lectures on the methodology of teaching beginner-level Japanese. The lectures will be in an interactive format and include discussions, observation of real classes and exercises in conducting mock classes. Participants who have attended 60% or more of the lectures (the whole series is for 13 weeks with two lectures per week) will get an official certificate. While I'm not entirely sure how much I want to apply myself in the area of teaching beginner Japanese, I feel like it would be a great opportunity to hone my active skills. Besides, the lectures will be from 7 to 9 PM twice a week, so I should be able to attend them without taking too much focus away from my job or my regular study of Japanese. The lectures will be entirely in Japanese, so the minimum requirement is JLPT N2, which I have conveniently attained. All I have to do is pick up my certificate, which has finally arrived in Moscow. While I'm kinda nervous about this, I also can't wait to apply. Hopefully it's not too late - the deadline is March 7, but there are only 20 spots and if they get filled up early they won't take any more applications.

And also, tomorrow I'll find out how poorly I did on my N1. I guess this weekend I'll be revising my strategies and planning my study process for the next six months.



vonPeterhof
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Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 30 of 158
30 January 2014 at 5:23pm | IP Logged 
My results:

Language Knowledge: 24 (Vocab: C; Grammar: B)
Reading: 34
Listening: 37
Total: 95/180 - Fail

The section pass threshold is at 19, while the total pass threshold is 100. While I did expect to fail, I didn't expect it to be this close. Only five points! I honestly expected to fail the language knowledge section, but being this close to passing the whole thing is pretty disappointing. Oh well, at least this means that passing it next time with better preparation is pretty realistic. 今年の夏こそ、 日本に一度も行かずに合格してみせるぞ! [I just felt like using こそ, -ず and -てみせる in a sentence for some reason :)]

Anyway, like I said previously, this weekend I'll be planning the specifics of my preparations, but I'm already starting to implement a new strategy by reducing all my other target languages (save for both forms of Greek) into hardcore retention-only mode - pretty much nothing but Anki and possible random encounters. I've unfollowed all the twitter accounts and deleted all the news apps that I used purely in order to keep in touch with German, Kazakh, Norwegian, French and Latin. I'm also gonna stop playing Katawa Shoujo until the Japanese translation is complete - probably gonna try out ひぐらしのく頃に [yes, the red な is an official part of the title] in the meantime.

Edited by vonPeterhof on 30 January 2014 at 5:24pm

1 person has voted this message useful



yuhakko
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Speaks: French*, EnglishB2, EnglishC2, Spanish, Japanese
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 Message 31 of 158
30 January 2014 at 7:19pm | IP Logged 
So close! Sorry to hear those sad news, but I also failed once the JLPT (N2) by only 4
points. Although really frustrating, I'd advise you maybe to try out the next level next
time. When I did try again the N2, I did without preparation at all and crushed it so
much it felt like a waste of money to pass it



dampingwire
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 Message 32 of 158
31 January 2014 at 1:37pm | IP Logged 
vonPeterhof wrote:
My results:

Language Knowledge: 24 (Vocab: C; Grammar: B)
Reading: 34
Listening: 37
Total: 95/180 - Fail


Sorry to hear you failed, but given that it was N1, that's pretty impressive!

yuhakko wrote:
Although really frustrating, I'd advise you maybe to try out the next
level next time.


But it's N1. It'll be a decade before they rearrange the levels again :-)




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