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David Styles’ TAC Log: DA/NO/SV, RU, ZH

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DavidStyles
Octoglot
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2338 days ago

82 posts - 179 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese, Norwegian
Studies: Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Danish, Serbian, Arabic (Egyptian)
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 1 of 17
03 March 2014 at 12:05am | IP Logged 
Here I'll be charting my course to fluency in the TAC fashion.

Team Asgard: DA/NO/SV
Team 鹊: ZH
Team Я, я и только я: RU

This latter is not a real team, as the name suggests, but rather just "Me, myself, and I". The Russian Team "Катюша" closed its doors to newcomers, so I'll just shadow their activities and catch up at my own pace, starting this coming week.

Edited by DavidStyles on 03 March 2014 at 12:06am

2 persons have voted this message useful





DavidStyles
Octoglot
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2338 days ago

82 posts - 179 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese, Norwegian
Studies: Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Danish, Serbian, Arabic (Egyptian)
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 2 of 17
03 March 2014 at 12:07am | IP Logged 
Team Asgard (Scandinavian TAC)

DANSK:
• Watched a one hour episode of Forbrydelsen. Tried to follow as much as possible of the Danish with English subtitles (I'd prefer Danish subtitles, but I don't have that option for the show).
• Looked up some words ad hoc. Nothing organised. Watched a one hour episode of Swedish TV that was mostly in Danish (due to being a documentary filmed mostly in Copenhagen) with Swedish subtitles; tried (and largely failed, but tried) to follow the Danish.

NORSK:
• Daily Anki cards with audio.

SVENSKA:
• Wrote my introduction to the TAC chiefly in SV as per TAC challenge.
• Watched a one hour episode of Swedish TV that was mostly in Danish (due to being a documentary filmed mostly in Copenhagen), and used the Swedish subtitles to be able to follow it.

Team 鹊 (Chinese TAC)

Reading/writing:
• Read a one-page article on Lingocracy.
• Tried to read a Chinese newspaper (中国日报). Found I could get very little meaning so far without heavy recourse to looking up vocab.
• Wrote my introduction to Team 鹊 in Chinese as per January TAC challenge
• Translated a Chinese song into English as per February TAC challenge
• Daily Anki cards (top frequency characters, ZH➔EN)

Speaking/listening:
• Listened to the Chinese song I translated
• Completed Michel Thomas Method's "Foundation" course

Team Я, я и только я (Russian TAC)

Summary for the past week (starting with the TAC challenges next week):
• Read a six-page article on Lingocracy
• Daily Anki cards
• Worked through a chapter of my big Russian textbook
• Skimmed through a bunch of articles on Правда, fairly comfortably

Edited by DavidStyles on 03 March 2014 at 12:08am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Ogrim
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Senior Member
France
Joined 3036 days ago

991 posts - 1893 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 3 of 17
03 March 2014 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
Hi David, welcome to the forum. I would really like to know how you deal with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish at the same time. It interests me, as a lot of people fear interference between similar languages (and there have been plenty of discussions about that on the forum), and the Scandinavian ones are after all very similar and (more or less) mutually intelligible. It seems you are most advanced in Swedish, right?

Which Russian textbook do you use? I have plenty of material but I am always interested in getting more tips.

And if you have any particular questions regarding Norwegian, as "Godfather" of the Asgard team, I'm there to help.


1 person has voted this message useful



Emme
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Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3744 days ago

980 posts - 1593 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, German
Studies: Russian, Swedish, French

 
 Message 4 of 17
04 March 2014 at 11:55am | IP Logged 
Hi David, welcome to the forum and the TAC.

As a member of both Team Asgard and Team Катюша my TLs overlap with yours to a good extent, so I’m certainly going to follow your log.

I’m sorry that Team Катюша had to close its doors to further members, as you wrote, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t interact with its members and follow and comment on their logs. By being on Team Asgard you’re already a teammate of mine and Expugnator’s, so you’ve got at least two fellow Russian learners by your side this year.

Lycka till!

1 person has voted this message useful





DavidStyles
Octoglot
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2338 days ago

82 posts - 179 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese, Norwegian
Studies: Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Danish, Serbian, Arabic (Egyptian)
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 5 of 17
04 March 2014 at 1:20pm | IP Logged 
Ogrim wrote:
Hi David, welcome to the forum. I would really like to know how you deal with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish at the same time. It interests me, as a lot of people fear interference between similar languages (and there have been plenty of discussions about that on the forum), and the Scandinavian ones are after all very similar and (more or less) mutually intelligible.


Indeed; it's an issue. I teach, amongst my other main languages, Spanish and Italian. For what it's worth, I also have a modest ability in Portuguese, and a long background in Latin, so there's more than plenty of overlap. People ask me "Doesn't that get confusing?". Yes, yes it does. It's not that, if thinking about it, I'd ever not know which is the Spanish and which is the Italian. It's just that if speaking quickly, I may find that the wrong language's vocabulary or constructions may come to mind first, and slip out in error.

Hell, I even get it sometimes when I struggle to remember what language I'm supposed to be speaking, or the word I need will come to mind in six languages but not the one I want, even if that's my native English :p

What I do for this is that I don't teach more than one language on a given day, and when it is the day to teach one of them, I "power up" on that language, by immersing myself in that language for a short while before teaching (do some reading, watch a movie, etc) so that my brain's in gear for the language in question, and thinking in the correct language. Similarly if I'm traveling, I'll strongly focus on that language before my departure, especially if I normally speak a similar-but-not-the-same language more frequently.

As for DA/NO/SV, there are a few things at hand. Because my interest in them is more chiefly personal than professional, I'm relatively content to err in three languages sooner than speak in one perfectly. Additionally, I find quite a poverty of good learning resources for them, so studying the three together, à la Frederick Bodmer (author of "The Loom of Language", he advocated learning similar languages together rather than separately, and focusing on an understanding of what shifts are made between languages, how, and why, to essentially shift gear from one language to another) seems to be a worthy option, so I can make use of things available for all of them, as they come to me. Thirdly, since I'm clearly going to learn all three, I might as well get the confusions now, instead of prolonging the pain by learning, say, pure Swedish, then confusing myself with Danish, then confusing myself with Norwegian, for example.

Ogrim wrote:
It seems you are most advanced in Swedish, right?


Probably, not that this means much so far.

Certainly Swedish is a LOT easier for me to understand when spoken than Danish, and somewhat easier than Norwegian. As for reading, the three are probably close to similar. Speaking, given the dearth of practice, I daresay if I opened my mouth to speak any of them right now, I'd slip straight into Icelandic, being the only Scandinavian country in which I've actually spent time. Writing... I'm not sure yet, as I haven't done much, and have invariably had to look up plenty of stuff while writing anything but the most simple things.

Ogrim wrote:
Which Russian textbook do you use? I have plenty of material but I am always interested in getting more tips.


RUS' - A Comprehensive Course in Russian

http://www.amazon.co.uk/RUS-Comprehensive-published-Cambridg e-University/dp/B00EKYT8J6

(going for nearly £100 there, but if you want it, I'm sure it can be found for less money than that, if you search around; I think I payed about £30, or certainly less than £40, for it)

Ogrim wrote:
And if you have any particular questions regarding Norwegian, as "Godfather" of the Asgard team, I'm there to help.


Thanks :) I'll probably more likely bother a friend of mine with whom I speak daily (DinaAlia on here), but I appreciate the friendly offer. Always good to have such obliging native speakers. Some don't wish to help, some wish to help in principle but in practice find it tedious and resent it, and few like yourself are actually so well-spirited regards the matter :)

Ogrim wrote:
Hi David, welcome to the forum and the TAC.

As a member of both Team Asgard and Team Катюша my TLs overlap with yours to a good extent, so I’m certainly going to follow your log.

I’m sorry that Team Катюша had to close its doors to further members, as you wrote, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t interact with its members and follow and comment on their logs. By being on Team Asgard you’re already a teammate of mine and Expugnator’s, so you’ve got at least two fellow Russian learners by your side this year.

Lycka till!


Thanks! Something of a new thing for me.

Edited by DavidStyles on 05 March 2014 at 10:56pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3563 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 6 of 17
06 March 2014 at 9:58pm | IP Logged 
Welcome DavidStyles. I read your introduction at the Members' Profiles subforum and I'm
glad you managed to join the TACs. Most of our languages overlap (I'm also a member of 鹊
and I also learn Russian), so I'll keep an eye at this log, while you're also welcome to
drop by.
1 person has voted this message useful





DavidStyles
Octoglot
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2338 days ago

82 posts - 179 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese, Norwegian
Studies: Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Danish, Serbian, Arabic (Egyptian)
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 7 of 17
09 March 2014 at 9:39pm | IP Logged 
Thanks :) And now for this week's update:

Team Asgard (Scandinavian TAC)

DANSK:
• Done the first lesson of the "Dansk, her og nu" web course. Just started it today, Sunday, so will do a lesson a day. 12 lessons. Super basic stuff, but that's my level of (active, at least) Danish right now.
• Watched an hour of Forbrydelsen with EN subtitles. I'd rather have DA subtitles, but that's not an option I have available.

NORSK:
• Daily Anki cards with audio.
• Done the first lesson of the "På vie" web course. Just started it today, Sunday, so will do a lesson a day. 17 lessons. Super basic stuff, but that's not too below my level of (active, at least) Norwegian right now, so in a few lessons' time I expect I'll be learning plenty.
• Watched an hour of NO TV - quite difficult to follow without (any) subtitles. But then, it was opera. I chose it in error. It was called "Et sjakkspill", and I thought it might be a documentary about Magnus Carlsen (the TV shows list gives only the show's title and absolutely nothing else).
• Listened to a whole bunch of songs (at least an hour's worth in total) in Norwegian, narrowing down options for March Challenge. Sang along to some that had subtitles / lyrics otherwise available. Some on repeat for maybe another hour ;)


SVENSKA:
• Watched "Det sjunde inseglet", which is far better in SV than in EN. When last I watched it, I didn't understand Swedish. Even so, I found it a little more difficult to follow than my more modern "Nordic Noir" Swedish things. Possibly because it is made 50 years earlier and set some hundreds of years earlier - not sure which, if either, is to blame.
• Listened to some songs in Swedish, narrowing down options for March Challenge.
• Spent some time reading 8 Sidor with voiceover, helping me to link up Swedish pronunciation to spelling.


Team 鹊 (Chinese TAC)

Reading/writing:
• Daily Anki cards (top frequency characters, ZH➔EN) upped to 100 new cards per day as per March "100 things" challenge. This is pertinent, as it means that I'll do all 3000 characters in common usage by the end of the month.
• Lingocracy reading
• Trying to follow the subtitles of 王菲 songs. I can get many characters, but generally they go by too quickly for me to clearly read all of those. There are enough characters missing from my knowledge that I can't understand the songs unless I actively sit down to translate it, looking up vocab that I don't know.

Speaking/listening:
• Completed Michel Thomas Method's 5 hour "Advanced" course
• Passively listened, without yet paying close attention to, Michel Thomas Method's 2 hour "Vocabulary Builder" course.
• Listened to plenty of 王菲 songs

Team Я, я и только я (Russian TAC)

• Daily Anki cards with audio
• Followed the Crimea issue in Правда and at ВЦИОМ
• Corresponded at length with a Russian acquaintance on the topic (to include some lengthy pages of fairly high-level discussion, which is above my usual level of Russian in most areas. Much recourse to looking up words and double-checking constructions). I actually spent so much time doing this that I didn't do my textbook studies for Russian for this week, but it seems a fair trade.
• Wrote the following short introduction as per January challenge borrowed from Team Катюша:

Меня зовут Дэвид Стайлс. По профессии я учитель языков. Я учу: английский, французский, испанский, итальянский, немецкий, и латынь. Мой родной язык английский. Безусловно, мне нужно узнать: китайский, русский, и арабский. Я также хочу узнать: шведский, норвежский, и данский. О моей семье, у меня есть жена и сын. У меня также есть кошка и змея. Мне нравится боевые искусства, и шахматы. Я также люблю готовить и поездки. Я посетил Россию только один раз, но я хочу вернуться. Я также надеюсь, что смогу скоро читать великие произведения русской литературы; мне большая мотивация.

My name is David Styles. By profession I'm a language tutor. I teach: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Latin. My native tongue is English. I certainly need to learn: Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. I also want to learn: Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish. As for my family, I have a wife and a son. I also have a cat and a snake. I like martial arts and chess. I also love cooking and travel. I've been to Russia only once, but I'd like to return. I also hope that I'll soon be able to read the great works of Russian literature; for me, this is a big motivation.

Edited by DavidStyles on 10 March 2014 at 11:38am

1 person has voted this message useful





DavidStyles
Octoglot
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2338 days ago

82 posts - 179 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese, Norwegian
Studies: Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Danish, Serbian, Arabic (Egyptian)
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 8 of 17
16 March 2014 at 10:56pm | IP Logged 
This week's report:

Team Asgard (Scandinavian TAC)

DANSK:
• Daily "Her og nu" course segment
• Watched an hour of "Forbrydelsen". EN subtitles, but I have no way of disengaging those.
• The first two units of an 18-unit "TY Danish" course that I borrowed from the library. Not a huge fan of the TY series, but sometimes, one must go with what is available.

NORSK:
• Daily Anki cards with audio.
• Daily "På vie" course segment
• Much text chat with Norwegian friend who kindly offers many corrections.

SVENSKA:
• Daily "Kom loss på svenska" course segment, making it now finished, as it was seven parts long.
• Watched "Ettor och nollor", 3 hours of Swedish crime drama, with Swedish subtitles. Made speedy searches regards commonly used words and phrases that I didn't know already (and of which I wasn't sure the meaning until checking). That night I then dreamed in Swedish, with Swedish subtitles :p
• Rewatched "Män som hatar kvinnor". EN subtitles, but I have no way of disengaging those.


Team 鹊 (Chinese TAC)

• Daily Anki cards with sound. On the one hand I've been rather light on any other studies of Chinese this week; on the other hand, I've done rather a lot of these Anki cards.

Team Я, я и только я (Russian TAC)

• Daily Anki cards with audio
• Textbook study
• Been exploring Russian songs, seeking one for Team Катюша's February challenge. Been listening to a lot of Марина Девятова and similar, but am trying to branch out (difficult to search well when one doesn't know of so many artists)

Edited by DavidStyles on 16 March 2014 at 10:57pm



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