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MrW is in again for ’14 旅立ち/Катюша/Spaß+

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
16 messages over 2 pages: 1
Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3153 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 9 of 16
07 September 2014 at 11:23pm | IP Logged 
Hey mrwarper, how's it going? Team Tabidachi misses its captain!

Being the captain of Team Katyusha myself, I'd also like to inquire about your current Russian activities. What have you been up to? Would be good to hear from you again soon!
1 person has voted this message useful



Woodsei
Bilingual Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Woodsei
Joined 3106 days ago

614 posts - 782 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Egyptian)*
Studies: Russian, Japanese, Hungarian

 
 Message 10 of 16
08 September 2014 at 2:44am | IP Logged 
Mr. Warper, how have you been? Miss your funny and enlightening comments on the forum. Be
sure to pop in soon :)
1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3643 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 11 of 16
08 September 2014 at 6:37am | IP Logged 
And that makes three of us who are missing you :-) How is your Russian doing?
1 person has voted this message useful



mrwarper
Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3535 days ago

1491 posts - 2500 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 12 of 16
31 December 2014 at 7:06pm | IP Logged 
OK, I guess I owe everyone posting here (perhaps some more people too, sorry if I 'forget' anyone) some kind of update... and a big thank you for not forgetting about me yourselves :)

In short: no study, yet some progress, and new plans. The (hopefully not overly) long version:

First, I did --yet again-- nearly NO languages this year (other than English, which is actually an integral part of my life, so I think it doesn't count), although for the first time I have felt NO guilt -- I guess nothing beats having good reasons -- for those interested:
- I devoted a lot of time to dealing with the loss of a bunch dear/close ones, and especially with the aftermaths. When Cristina visited I had just lost my other grandmother -- well, then my last great aunt followed in two weeks, and a friend couple's son committed suicide a month ago after his long-lasting depression got out of hand. Please don't feel bad about me, I am (and always were) mostly OK -- their deaths simply had ramifications, numerous and deep, and it takes time to deal with everything -- there's the (brief) grieving and the (long) going into 'reverie mode' you'd expect from me, but there's also bureaucracy and property/debt takeovers, there's a lot of life rearranging, and there's a whole lot of 'let's focus on something else for a while'. Ignoring everyone else to focus on my own hobby as I usually do wasn't an option for long periods of time.
- Speaking of which, I've been (and I am still) reorganizing my work/business lines to try and make more money, decrease the workload, or both, to have more/some time to try/do more stuff I like, f.e. starting the butterfly business for real, or an HTLAL for Spanish speakers. Another gigantic time sink as you can imagine, and one full of irony -- just like you have to spend some money to make money, you need to invest some spare time to get more spare time, and even when phase one (which always always looks like you don't have 'it' any more) is over, in the end you may not spend your gain in what you intended to at first, making the whole loop look like you took two steps backwards ;)

Now there are some comparatively lesser (given the amount of time involved) reasons why I have stayed off-languages, or at least on the wrong side:
- Too much HTLAL of the wrong kind. Even if I didn't get to comment that much and I avoided non-Team TAC sub-forums and threads to avoid getting 'carried away' and focus on the TAC teams stuff, I visited HTLAL (almost) every single day and this took up bloody ages once you add all the time I spent -- and I didn't even fully catch up with everyone's logs as I was supposed to do! The moral: stop watching others make progress and make some of your own instead.
- I decided to ditch 'hidden moments' (flashcards while commuting on the bus and such), the point being it actually became a constant reminder of how I was doing that instead of the real study I had good reasons not to be doing (as opposed to doing it the 'right' way, i.e. in addition to regular study), so in the end it was being counterproductive. I guess it was easier to give that up for a while than finding a way to keep doing it and feeling good ;(
- Native speakers I'd really like to talk to (i.e. my friends) are far and away: the Vasilievs ('my' Russian family) moved to another city exactly one year ago, and while most of my old Ukrainian and Russian friends (Sasha the grocer and co.) are back in town on the coast, my family moved here to the city meanwhile, so I rarely go there any more, nor will do in the immediate future. Also, I finally rang my Japanese friend and neighbour (the one who lived in the opposite block) only to find out he was finally leaving for Japan (he's been claiming he'd eventually move out of the country for as long as I have, so all's well if you ask me -- for there's still hope I will actually do it too someday). Now, I used to communicate with them in maybe 1% their native languages, so this is a huge loss in qualitative terms, but not quantitatively.

However strange it may sound, though, I have made some progress, even if I only have anecdotal evidence for it...
----8<----
It's December 31st 18:50, though, so I'll just quickly outline the rest of what's coming, and I'll hopefully elaborate on this tomorrow in a couple more posts with progress reports, new log, etc.
----8<----
Some two or three weeks ago I was checking through my video collection, in which there was a 'Filmi (ru)' entry that had been lying there for years (3+). I ended up firing up a movie called "Hishniki", which I vaguely recalled was a Russian knock-off of Predator, just for kicks. It was actually "Predators" dubbed into Russian, and while not being heavy with dialogue, I sat through it and I actually understood way more than I could ever have thought possible. So YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! I am impressed with myself :D

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Japanese, and much more regrettably, about German, before I do some testing. Anyway, How could I pull that off? No idea, but given that I don't believe in magic, I'd attribute my little "feat" to the simple fact that, for years, I kept a lot of stuff I learned over the years "bouncing in my head". Should make a good start for an interesting discussion thread, shouldn't it?

OK, plans AKA to-do: a bit more self-assessing to round up 2014, start a new log for 2015, decide if I'm TACing alone or with the advanced teams, and have fun tonight at the diner party with my family (absolutely not in that order! :)

Happy 2015 everyone!


Edited by mrwarper on 31 December 2014 at 8:09pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3643 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 13 of 16
01 January 2015 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
Hi, good to see you again, and to see that you have made some progress, albeit with minimal study. I am so
sorry for all your losses. You should have called.

It was a great pleasure to see you again (twice:-) while I was in Granada, and - eh - we still have available
space on team Pushkin :-) You would be most welcome.

Don't forget to post this summary also in team Katyusha's thread :-)
1 person has voted this message useful



mrwarper
Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3535 days ago

1491 posts - 2500 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 14 of 16
03 January 2015 at 3:07am | IP Logged 
Actually I successfully followed the instructions in this German forum thread to root my phone. No mistakes, no prior experience rooting phones (years of experience in general and advanced IT stuff though). No dictionary trips either. Only resource in the internet explaining what I needed to do by mid-summer, so a little bit of pressure to read from there.

I'll be in Madrid for the next four days doing a full-time museums circuit, so I'll round up my final self-assessment on January 7th or 8th covering German, more detailed plans for [Team]TAC in 2015, etc. If you have any comments on how the above counts (or doesn't count) for some degree of German skills, you have four days to do so ;)

@Cristina I promise to get back to you after I come back (been busy again reading the TAC'15 thread and catching up with 9 months of the non-TAC parts of the forum), thanks a million for dropping by.


Edited by mrwarper on 03 January 2015 at 3:08am

2 persons have voted this message useful



mrwarper
Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3535 days ago

1491 posts - 2500 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 15 of 16
12 January 2015 at 8:08pm | IP Logged 
So, Japanese. I've been over why I've mostly kept "off-" Japanese for the last few years before, so let's just analyze what I have done or not.

Before the final disaster streak of October I finally forced myself to call my long-time Japanese neighbor and friend (the one living across the street) before he left for Japan (which he did shortly thereafter). I managed to meet him three times, each of them representing between 4 and 8 hours of truly fascinating conversation covering from buddhism to football, a subject I'd normally avoid at all costs because I hate it, but which is actually interesting in the appropriate hands (my friend is a semiprofessional football trainer so he knows how to give it some depth).

Of these, I didn't manage to get to 2 hours of speaking in Japanese. Exchanges of pleasantries I can manage, anything I attempt beyond that makes me quickly fall back to Spanish, English or whatever, because my vocabulary is so limited I'm (theoretically) better at connecting stuff than I am at actually uttering sentences to be connected. Fortunately, my main goal when meeting my friend was talking to him, not necessarily doing so in Japanese.

Right after coming back from Madrid I tried to watch a Kurosawa movie I had previously seen with another friend years ago and I couldn't understand more than a few words here and there, way less than I seemed to recall. I guess what you lose first is whatever stuff is most lightly connected (or unconnected) to anything else.

So, Japanese was a total* failure, but again no surprises.

The only thing I regret is having neglected the team thread as well, especially because I was co-captain/helmsman. Not that it was very active anyway, but rather than going with the saying "the sorrow of the many is a fool's consolation", I'll take it is a lesson to not partake in any future teams until I actually activate my studies beforehand so there's an actual chance of positive contribution. I hope 切腹 (seppuku, or harakiri) is not expected from me, though ; (

*I've been slowly scanning books and tidying up my formal study materials. They'll come in handy someday. That's a promise, as solemn as another Japanese friend of mine's that we'll meet in person again in Spain sometime. Given that I don't want to make promises I'll need to break I won't dare say when I'll get to use what I've been gathering. I'll just keep hoping for the moment.

Edited by mrwarper on 12 January 2015 at 8:21pm

1 person has voted this message useful



mrwarper
Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3535 days ago

1491 posts - 2500 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 16 of 16
27 January 2015 at 8:06pm | IP Logged 
OK, the belated 2014 wrap up. I allowed myself some time to think about stuff and make the most realistic possible plans for 2015 so as to avoid utter failure, and now that I have made my mind up I thought I'd tell those who for whatever reason are still hanging around... :)

A lot of stuff happened beyond my control which deterred my language learning, but that's how life generally works, so I better focus on the room for improvement that there is in the whole lot that's still within my control. The one thing that hasn't been working for me so far is TAC Teams, given how many hours it consumed (a lot) and how little I advanced (zero, null, zilch) got out of it. Being honest about it, the single most important reason why is that I didn't make it work beyond reading my mates' logs -- and in turn if I didn't partake more actively in TAC teams when I could it was, well, because it looked too hard.

I have a student now who is exactly at the same point: she wanted to start at 'full speed' with our stuff but she never seemed to find the time to start studying at a steady pace. I suggested a couple of simple things she could do to warm up while she got that extra time (which should at least minimize the initial trauma anyway), but it backfired: she shied away because she doesn't feel advanced enough to do anything on her own, so she is more determined than ever to 'start for real or do not even start', which is all well and good, except that she still doesn't find the extra time needed to start and maintain full speed. A lesson to be learnt, undoubtedly.

What am I to do about this myself, then? I'm not afraid of doing stuff, challenges and whatnot, I'm only frustrated because everything I'm able to say/write feels inadequate when compared to what all the others do. As I've said countless times before, what I really need to do is sit down to bump my languages levels up -- if only a percentage of what I can do feels inadequate (compared to 100%, even 90% of uselessness would be good) it'll be good to jump back into the Teams train when interaction might actually help me. That, however, is how I assess my own failure at TeamTACing. If anyone else is still reading this and wants to chime in, please be my guest. One way or another, though, there's an independent way to check, and it is looking at how I do at this TeamTACing thing... in languages I'm actually good at (aha!).

Summing all of that up, my final plan for 2015 is to further polish my advanced languages (which is no time waste but actually something *very* useful in itself) and see if some of the stuff I do there somehow helps with my weaker languages while I keep working on them the traditional way (a little home study here and there) -- at the very least, or as a bonus, we'll see whether TeamTACing and I mix well when frustration is not a factor.

So, 'good bye' everyone, and all the best for you and with your plans in 2015. BTW I already placed a new log stub for 2015 weeks ago -- if you want to drop by you'll find I have been doing some study already, and what the 'Terminator-like' updates I promised long ago should look like). I'll update there soon with some text actually intended for human consumption, expanding on how to advance beyond advanced, etc. :)


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