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Slow Learning: FR, HI, ancGR TAC 2015

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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3497 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 97 of 164
03 November 2014 at 6:14am | IP Logged 
You're making me wish I had more time than the 19 hours' layover I had in London on my
way back! I was there Sunday night to Monday afternoon. I had thought about popping over
to Foyle's but after my shopping sprees in France I really didn't *need* more books (not
that I ever let that stop me) and I figured I don't need much in the way of more
dedicated learning materials at the moment (I didn't even browse the FLE section at
Gilbert Jeune). I followed a walk suggestion from locals from Regent's Park to the
Canals to the Camden Locks. It was really nice! Hopefully I won't have to wait too long
before making it to Europe again!
3 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 98 of 164
16 November 2014 at 9:21pm | IP Logged 
It has been a couple weeks since my last post. Here are a few highlights. I'm doing Hindi for the Six Week Challenge, so I'll start with Hindi...

Hindi books

काला द्वीप (literally the Black Island) was a good read in Hindi. I have read the book several times in English (back in my younger days), and I have this one in Hindi, French and German, but this is the first of these I've read. It took me several hours spread over a few evenings, and I am a bit frustrated that my reading speed and comprehension in Hindi are worse than in French, but that is obviously because in French I get the bonus of cognates and a shared script. I still enjoyed reading this, and have started on टिनटिन तिब्बत में (Tintin in Tibet).



The Routledge Intermediate Hindi Reader is an excellent source of reading material for my level. Unfortunately, each reading is only 2-3 pages long, so that the whole book only contains 55 pages of Hindi. Each chapter has a glossary and language notes, which are very useful, and "comprehension questions" which are a waste of space. This week I read a chapter about how stars celebrate Diwali, which was quite interesting.


Hindi: a Spoken Thesaurus is a collection of 23 podcasts in which Rupert Snell (author of Teach Yourself Hindi) discusses vocabulary on various topics with a native speaker. Topics include things like Belief, Courage, Jealousy, Sleep, Respect, Health, Stupidity, Worry, etc, all discussed 95% in Hindi. I've listened to all of them 3 times this week, and I'll probably listen to them a few more times in the next couple of weeks.

Hindi audiobook
Talking Cave बोलती गुफा
An old tale from India about a Jackal who fools a lion, narrated in Hindi by Tom Alter, dramatised with music. The narration is excellent; despite his name, and the fact that his parents were foreign, Tom Alter was born in India and considers himself a native. Unfortunately, the other voices are pretty awful (silly voices one usually finds on low-budget cartoons).


French TV

Les Dames is typical policier series, starring Thierry Godard (from Engrenages and Un village Francais). I managed to watch 3 of the 7 episodes; fortunately each episode is self-contained. This is definitely one of the better French series I've watched.


I bought season 1 of Braquo on DVD because it was £8 and I have the French script. It is, unfortunately, another French policier which is trying to hard to be "cutting edge". It is enjoyable enough to watch, but the writers push the characters too far in the attempt to make it "gritty", and it ends up being unbelievable. Starting with one of the characters stabbing a suspect in the eye with a pen, the protagonists go on to accidentally kill at least 3 other suspects in the 3 episodes I've watched, and screw up a whole bunch of other things as well. And yet one of their superiors describes them as "the best". Yeah right. The DVDs were cheap, but the English subtitles can't be turned off, and I was planning to experiment with watching without subs...

French Books

I've been reading Les orpailleurs by Thierry Jonquet for the past couple of weeks, and it's been very slow going, and I've read about 100 pages out of 400. I was actually surprised how difficult it has been to read, despite the fact that I can look words up with the Kindle dictionary. It opens with a long and detailed description of the state of a corpse, which had loads of words I had to look up. On the positive side, I'm around 90% comprehension whenever there is dialogue. Sometimes I can read a page or two and not have to look up a single word. But recently there was an entire chapter which was just difficult to follow: it described how the killer became obsessed with the victim and how he eventually came to kill her. I was able to get the gist of the chapter, but only through a hazy mist. Nevertheless, I am very much enjoying my experience with this book.

Edited by Jeffers on 16 November 2014 at 9:27pm

4 persons have voted this message useful



Gemuse
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 2188 days ago

818 posts - 1189 votes 
Speaks: English
Studies: German

 
 Message 99 of 164
17 November 2014 at 5:21am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
It has been a couple weeks since my last post. Here are a few highlights. I'm doing Hindi for the Six Week Challenge, so I'll start with Hindi...

Hindi books

काला द्वीप (literally the Black Island) was a good read in Hindi. I have read the book several times in English (back in my younger days), and I have this one in Hindi, French and German, but this is the first of these I've read. It took me several hours spread over a few evenings, and I am a bit frustrated that my reading speed and comprehension in Hindi are worse than in French, but that is obviously because in French I get the bonus of cognates and a shared script. I still enjoyed reading this, and have started on टिनटिन तिब्बत में (Tintin in Tibet).


Tintin in Hindi!!!! No way!!!!
I didn't know there were Hindi translations out.

How is the page and binding quality? I gotta get me some of these.
1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 100 of 164
17 November 2014 at 5:16pm | IP Logged 
Gemuse wrote:
Tintin in Hindi!!!! No way!!!!
I didn't know there were Hindi translations out.

How is the page and binding quality? I gotta get me some of these.


Yeah, I was pretty jazzed to have found them. The page and binding quality are pretty good for a paperback. Not cheap binding you sometimes find in India where the pages are almost yellow from day 1 and the plastic is peeling from the cover. I can't remember where, but I did notice one word clearly spelled wrong. But overall, they are great and I am very happy!
1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 101 of 164
21 November 2014 at 7:57am | IP Logged 
I've been playing with https://lingvist.io/ this week. It's a new language learning website, and it just opened for international public beta this week. In fact, if you sign up by the 23rd of November, you get "an exclusive VIP membership", whatever that means.

I've given my initial impressions, with screen shots, here:
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=39610&PN=1&TPN=1#519248

I'll just add that I really like the statistics page, and the fact that readings and audio show what % of words you know. Obviously that will be more helpful once I "know" as many words on lingvist as I do in real life.

Right now it's only available for learning French, but they plan to add Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German, Swedish and Russian.
3 persons have voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3582 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 102 of 164
21 November 2014 at 10:58pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
I've been playing with https://lingvist.io/ this week. It's a new
language learning website, and it just opened for international public beta this week. In fact, if you sign up by
the 23rd of November, you get "an exclusive VIP membership", whatever that means.

I've given my initial impressions, with screen shots, here:

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=39610&PN=1&TPN=1#519248


I'll just add that I really like the statistics page, and the fact that readings and audio show what % of words
you know. Obviously that will be more helpful once I "know" as many words on lingvist as I do in real life.

Right now it's only available for learning French, but they plan to add Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German,
Swedish and Russian.


Awesome find Jeffers!

Hopefully it does turn out to be as good as it sounds/appears. I've joined up to take advantage of the free
membership currently on offer and will try it out sometime in the near future. Thanks again MC Jeffers and the
Crew. Hope they add Dutch one day too. Anyway fry on!

PM


1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 103 of 164
23 November 2014 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
I definitely have high hopes for Lingvist, particularly the fact that it lists readings and audio by % of words I know (based on the memorize lessons, of course). I was curious how long it would take me to get to 500 words known. Here's the answer:



1:38 isn't too bad, I think. Of course, none of the words were entirely new, but it was good to review them in a new way. I'll try to remember to make a note when I get too 1000 words, etc.
1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 104 of 164
29 November 2014 at 11:48am | IP Logged 
So far I have had a pretty relaxed attitude about my speaking, because I had no immediate plans to go anywhere I would need to speak. But now I'm planning to go to Belgium for the Easter break (not surprising since my sister lives there), and I want to be able to speak. I don't mean ask directions and order food. I mean, at the very least, ask and asnwer basic questions about work, life, family, etc. And better still, have a reasonable conversation digging a bit deeper about these things.

My speaking plan was as follows:
1. Get loads of input from reading to increase my vocabulary and range of expression.
2. Use loads of audio/film to get used to hearing real French so I don't get confused when people answer me (and to build up my library of expression).
3. Keep working on courses and anki to build vocabulary, practice grammar, and patch the cracks.
4. Start writing useful bits of language on Lang-8.
5. Start making "language islands" by combining writings from lang-8 (and post the more advanced versions).
6. Do some language exchanges using my language islands as a basis for conversation.

The first three steps are simultaneous, steps 4-6 were intended to start in order, but none of them will every be "finished". I plan to still write on Lang-8 even when I'm regularly conversing on skype.

I'm well into steps 1 through 3, and it's going very well in my opinion. However, I was always putting off starting to write until "next year". Well, now that I will be in a situation where I want to be speaking early next year, starting "next year" has become now ("the future is today!")

So, I've posted the following simple paragraph on Lang-8:
Quote:
Bonjour, je m'appele Jeff. Je suis americain, mais j'habite en angleterre. Je suis professeur d'informatics dans un collège.


I'm sure I made a mistake or two, but I didn't look anything up. (For example, is "teacher of computing and ICT" "professeur d'informatics"?)

Just for the lulz, I posted essentially the same thing in Hindi:
Quote:
नमस्ते. मैं जैफ़ हूँ. मैं अमरीकन हूँ, लेकिन मैं ईंग्लैंड में रहता हूँ. मैं कम्प्यूटर का अध्यापक हूँ, एक कालेज में.



Another circumstance that has changed is that I have been accepted on the Computing at School master teacher programme. That is great, but I realized it was going to be a lot more studying than I expected when I received six textbooks in the post. For these reasons, I'm going to dial back on the Hindi until probably next summer. I couldn't drop it entirely, of course.

One solution is that I've started Assimil Hindi, which is from a French base, so I will practice French at the same time. I think it will be good because I will work on the vocabulary and expressions for discussing "learning a language". Since language learning is my main hobby, I ought to be able to speak about it, right?

Edited by Jeffers on 29 November 2014 at 11:52am



1 person has voted this message useful



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