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Silbermond’s TAC’14 - 鹊 (què)

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
Silbermond
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Joined 2753 days ago

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

 
 Message 1 of 8
02 January 2014 at 1:09am | IP Logged 
Helloooooooo 2014!

I'm Charlotte, and this is my log for the year. I'm part of the super-fun looking Chinese Team (Magpie? Is that what we're going with?) and I'm very much looking forward to this year, even if I know it's going to be too busy for my liking.

So, I'm learning four languages this year, with the main focus (until July, at least!) being on German and Mandarin. I'm still at university - but I graduate in June! (Oh my god it's terrifying.) I'm also going to do a little Spanish and Russian on the side, just to mix things up a little ;).


German
Background: I've been learning German for nigh on a decade now and basically only ever through school/university, which would explain why most of the time, I still feel like I'm around a B1/B2 level. From September 2012 - February 2013 I was in Germany and though I've definitely improved a lot, I'm still not quite where I want to be with this language. I'm looking to actively work on my grammar this year and absorb allllll the books. All of them.

Current Level: Passive: B2/C1; Active: B1/B2

Aim: C1 in all areas. Hopefully take an exam at the Goethe Institut late this year/early 2015.

Mandarin
Background: I dabbled a little in Mandarin in secondary school because we had a partner school in Shanghai, but didn't take it all that seriously until I started at university in 2010. Again, I spent five months there last year (Feb-July 2013) and saw a massive improvement. (Strangely, I feel much more confident speaking in Mandarin than in German, despite the fact that I've been learning German much longer.) I'm still trying to acquire vocabulary and grammar, but I'm really hoping to improve my reading skills this year; it's still very frustrating to me that I can't, sometimes, even read a whole sentence because the words or grammar confuse me.

Current Level: Probably B1

Aim: C1. I'm hoping I can take the HSK 5 at the end of the year and pass; my friend took the HSK 4 while we were away and passed that but she was in Beijing for the whole academic year, so I've got some catching up to do.

Spanish
Ahhhhhhhh Spanish. I come back to Spanish every so often; I did a GCSE in it in school when I was 16 then ignored it for two years, then I did a year of it at uni... and now it's back. Currently I'm trying to reactivate the skills I used to have, then I'll see what I really want to do about it later in the year.

Current Level: Passive: A2/low B1; Active: A1

Aim: B1 in all areas, B2 if I'm being optimistic and have a lot of time on my hands from June.

Russian
I joined the Russian team last year and had every intention of making some headway into this language, but it just wasn't happening. Part of it was, I think, that I'd never really started and stuck to learning a language on my own before - and that can be difficult, especially at the beginning. The other part was that, when on my year abroad, I had a lot of free time - which I wasted. Starting my final year this September has made me want to do everything, just because I'm so busy. Seems counter intuitive, but I think it's that way for a lot of people, right?

Current Level: A0. I literally know greeting phrases and how to say my name. That's it.

Aim: A2. That's where I'd like to be, but I don't know if that's too optimistic. Time will tell, I'm sure!

Wanderlust
Nothing as of yet, but I have a lot of plans for what I want to do after I graduate, so I'll have to see how they turn out. Also, if boredom kicks in, I may pick something up again just for the fun of it.

...This is actually going out on the 2nd January here, but oh well. Happy New Year to everyone, anyway! :)

Edited by Silbermond on 17 January 2014 at 4:23pm

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Silbermond
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Joined 2753 days ago

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

 
 Message 2 of 8
02 January 2014 at 1:10am | IP Logged 
[reserved for resources and things]
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Silbermond
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Joined 2753 days ago

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

 
 Message 3 of 8
08 January 2014 at 1:08am | IP Logged 
Update #1

Time spent learning so far this year: 19h43m (let's be honest, I'm not going to keep this up for long...)

This first week has been a busy, busy one. I'm back at uni, which just means essays and classes and trying to summon up the will from somewhere to work on my dissertation (so far, it's just not happened). It also means classes and some actual motivation to study! Yay!

German
Diese Woche habe ich viel studiert, aber ich denke es ist nur, weil ich zu meinen Klassen gehen muss. Vor Weihnachten habe ich eine Präsentation gemacht und für diese Klasse muss ich jetzt ein Aufsatz schreiben. Langweilig. Ich habe auch ein bisschen gelesen, weil diese Monat diese Tadoku Herausforderung passiert, und ich will auch mehr lesen. Ich lese im Moment Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch und auch Studie in Scharlachrot, aber eine den Frauen, die mit mir wohnen, hat mir Tödliche Spiele geliehen, und so will ich auch das lesen! (Ich denke, dass ich hab' zu viele deutsche Bücher; ich hab' das gleiche Problem auch mit englischen Bücher.) Ich muss nächste Woche mehr Grammatik studieren, weil ich so viel vergessen habe.

Okay, so this week I've studied a lot, but I think it's mostly because I've had to go back to my classes. Before Christmas, I had to do a presentation - for the class I did the presentation in, I now have to write an essay. Boooooooring. (But that's what I get for choosing it, I suppose.) I've also read a bit, because the Tadoku Challenge is on this month and also, I just want to read more. At the moment, I'm reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as A Study in Scarlet, but one of the girls I live with has lent me The Hunger Games, so I want to read that too! (I think I've got too many German books - but then I have the same problem with English ones!). Next week, I have got to study more grammar; I've forgotten so much!

Mandarin
我的中文课是在星期四的,所以我还没有这个 课,可是这个星期我们班有考试,我学习很多 时间。我觉得,我以前学习很少,所以我许多 课文再学习。下个星期我要读书,我要读《行 户走肉》因为这本漫画太有意思了。

My Mandarin class isn't until Thursday, so I've still not had one this year, but we have a test this week so I've had to study loads anyway. (Also yay. Fun.) I'm pretty sure I didn't pay nearly enough attention last term so I've had to catch up on more or less everything we've covered. Next week I want to read The Walking Dead; this comic is really interesting (though not all the vocabulary, I imagine, will be useful in daily life...). I've also started getting into the habit of using Anki every day; intellectually, I always knew using it daily would be better than not, but I really saw the benefit over this holiday - when I didn't use it a few days around Christmas, the words were so much harder to remember.

Spanish
Uso duolingo todos los días.

I've been using duolingo every day, though I need to try and fit in some time to work through a course. I'm tempted to use Assimil, but I haven't really made a decision on how I'm going to move forward. It all really depends on my time management in the next few weeks and what kind of a routine I settle into; but for now, so long as I'm doing a little every day, I don't mind.

Russian
Ha, I can't even try and write anything in Russian - though I am seeing some improvements. I'm using the Living Language textbook (I'm only on lesson two), along with Anki to try and learn the vocabulary - and it's working! I can spell real words! Admittedly, I have to use the hunt-and-peck method with my keyboard (I got Russian keyboard stickers -- really confusing for everyone else when they come to use my laptop, apparently), but still! Words! Russian ones! :D

So yes, for next week: more reading. Hopefully some more studying. In terms of uni work, some of mid next week is looking a bit free, so I hope I can sneak some Spanish and Russian in then ;).


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shk00design
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Canada
Joined 2841 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 
 Message 4 of 8
08 January 2014 at 9:45am | IP Logged 
Personally prefer videos over books & other printer materials.

Mandarin:

我写中文用繁体比较多, 不过简体字也看得懂. 我很多年前上过中文课. 我现在学习的中文字和成语(四字词)是"自修". 用成语来
说是"无师自通". 我有一个美国朋友也喜欢学习语言, 现在学习中文和德文. 我们经常用中文通信. 我觉得他的中文写得不错, 不
过有点像他是用英语写的, 然后用软件 (Google Translate) 翻译出来.

我不喜欢用课本学习一种语言但喜欢看电影和 电视节目. 其他时间我上社交网站和讨论博客跟别人通话 . 我近来看过两个语言专
家 Moses McCormick 和 Luca Lampariello 的录影片, 觉得他们的学习方法很有帮助. 昨天我在 YouTube 看 Steve
Kauffman (加拿大人) 跟 Luca (意大利罗马人) 一起讲中文的录影. 他们两个可算说话十分流利. 录影的联系:
通晓多国语言会话: #8 汉语 & Luca and Steve close in
English


My video list:
Started a year ago with 搞笑行动 (Singapore comedy featuring the actor 梁细妹 man playing the role of a mother).

My recent movies list:
敏感事情 (China)
海洋天堂 Ocean Heaven (China)
公寓春光 (Taiwan)
爸妈不在家 Ilo Ilo (Singapore - Cannes Film Festival award winner)
真相 Truth be Told (Singapore)
笑着回家 Home Coming (Singapore)

TV series:
中国达人秀 (China's version of America's Got Talent)
摇滚异族 Rock Republic (Singapore)
96°C 咖啡 96°C café (Singapore)
企鹅爸爸 Daddy at Home (Singapore)

通晓多国语言会话: #8 汉语 & Luca and Steve close in English

Finally a surprise hit from Melbourne《墨尔本》, Australia in Mandarin for Chinese ex-pats:
澳麦Ga Au Ma Ga featuring the local star Ben McMahan who after surviving a car crash became fluent in Mandarin
and eventually the host of the show.


French:
Learned basic words & phrases in high school but hasn't been kept up.

Recently watched the movie "La Cage aux Folles". Will get back to it shortly.
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Silbermond
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Joined 2753 days ago

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

 
 Message 5 of 8
17 January 2014 at 4:24pm | IP Logged 
shk00design wrote:

My video list:
Started a year ago with 搞笑行动 (Singapore comedy featuring the actor 梁细妹 man playing the role of a mother).

My recent movies list:
敏感事情 (China)
海洋天堂 Ocean Heaven (China)
公寓春光 (Taiwan)
爸妈不在家 Ilo Ilo (Singapore - Cannes Film Festival award winner)
真相 Truth be Told (Singapore)
笑着回家 Home Coming (Singapore)

TV series:
中国达人秀 (China's version of America's Got Talent)
摇滚异族 Rock Republic (Singapore)
96°C 咖啡 96°C café (Singapore)
企鹅爸爸 Daddy at Home (Singapore)

通晓多国语言会话: #8 汉语 & Luca and Steve close in English



So I'm totally going to use the video list you've left here; but I get the feeling this was meant to be posted to your log? Either way, you've given me some good resources haha, especially 中国达人秀! :D
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Silbermond
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64 posts - 79 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 8
17 January 2014 at 4:36pm | IP Logged 
Update #2

Time spent learning so far this year: 36h53m (a lot of that has been my classes ;D)

This week's been... all right. I had a dissertation chapter due in on Monday, so I spent a lot of last week doing that - which is in English, so it means I have to try and catch up with my languages elsewhere.

German
I did quite a lot of reading this week and have actually managed to pass my Tadoku target (250 pages) within two weeks of making it! I've bumped the target up to about 475 pages (in my head) because I know the last week of January is going to be super busy with exams and whatnot. I've got an essay to write (in German) for the end of this month too, so I should put in a lot more hours next week.

Mandarin
Mandarin's a tricky one. When I have no classes at all, it's all I want to do - but my problem this semester is that I only have Mandarin classes on a Thursday (with German on Monday and Tuesday); so I end up doing no work until Wednesday rolls around and I realise I have classes again soon. We did a mock exam last Thursday (9th Jan) and got them back this week - I got 66% which isn't bad, but I have got to do some more work. The final exam for this semester is the 30th Jan though, so there's still some time. I also plan on doing some more reading in Mandarin for Tadoku because I've done basically none so far.

Spanish
I lost my streak on duolingo, which has just made me a bit rubbish at using it. I did manage to slog my way through Los juegos del hambre, but it's taking a while and I don't really understand it. At this stage, I'm thinking that I might make Spanish my primary language for the 6WC next month, just because I think I need six focussed weeks to improve it.

Russian
I have done absolutely no Russian this week and that's why I didn't bother joining a Russian team this year. Russian is always the language I drop when things get a bit busy, though I have a week off uni at the beginning of February so I might be able to do a bit more then.

So, not a bad week, I just need to try and spread my languages out a little more. Uni means though that I do need to put more pressure on German and Mandarin than Spanish and Russian, so it seems unlikely that this will change much until May/June time :/
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Silbermond
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64 posts - 79 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 7 of 8
31 January 2014 at 10:00pm | IP Logged 
Update #3

Time spent learning so far this year: 66h53m

Just a general update since I've been absent for a couple of weeks. With the end of January comes the end of my first semester of my final year at university, so some of the pressure is lifted for the week-long break ahead of me - though not a lot of it. I'm hoping to use this week to regroup and set up some better plans for the months where I'm going to be most stressed (most likely March, April, May). I'm also going to use it to attempt to get through most of my dissertation - because that's in English - so that I can spent more time on my languages next semester.

I've signed up to the 6WC with Spanish, so I'm going to try and fit in a little everyday, probably using Assimil or something similar. Assimil everyday should get me almost to the active wave by the time the 6WC is over so that seems most likely.

As for everything else, it's a simple matter of keeping going. I'm going to work out the days where I can dedicate some time to Russian, and with my changing timetable my German and Mandarin lectures will spread out more so I'll have an incentive to study both languages more consistently.

So, yes. On with February! :D
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Crush
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1622 posts - 2297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, Esperanto, Basque

 
 Message 8 of 8
31 January 2014 at 10:14pm | IP Logged 
I just skimmed through your log but i'd like to read through more thoroughly later, i just wanted to say i look forward to seeing your progress this year. I'm a bit jealous of your German, i've wanted to improve mine for years but it's just sitting back rusting.

A couple comments on Mandarin:
-i think it's much more common to say 上课, unless you're perhaps talking about the general fact that you have a Chinese class
-again, i think people generally use 长 when talking about time: 很长时间.

Also, if you have any Spanish questions feel free to ask. I love Spanish y me encanta ayudar a lxs demás cuando puedo.

¡Ánimo! y ¡adelante!


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