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Rdearman Super Challenge Log

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 1 of 158
30 April 2014 at 12:29pm | IP Logged 
Just starting a log so that I can look back at my initial goals and plans and see how well I've done.

I've taken two full challenges in French & Italian. I've collected more than enough resources over the years to complete the challenge so now it is a matter of buckling down and getting on with it.

==============
French \ TV \ Films:

I will start by watching:

- All 40 episodes of Valérian and Laureline. 1200 minutes total or 13 films
- 76 episodes of Peking Express. 760 minutes total or 8 films
- Rewatch Engrenage 4 seasons & 5 if it is released. 520 minutes or 5 films
- Watch 30 films I have in French. 30 Films
- Episodes of Tintin 39 episodes. 1170 minutes, or 13 films

This will take me to 69 films, then I'm going to have to search around or use podcasts for replacement.

French Books:

- Read 10 pages a day.

==============
Italian \ Film \ TV:

Start by watching / rewatching:

- 7 seasons of Carabinieri: 174 episodes, 8700 minutes or 96 films
- Watch 4 Italian films or TV to catch up.

Italian Books:
- Read two monolingual text books
- Read 10 pages a day of novels.

===============

Now in theory if I can simply keep consistently reading every day and watching an episode of Carabinieri and French TV I should hit targets easily.

I anticipate reading being the most difficult bit for me, but we'll see!

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 2 of 158
01 May 2014 at 11:03pm | IP Logged 
OK, day one of the challenge and I've surged forward on the French movies with two under my belt already. Reading is going to be an issue for me, but I'm hoping to make up the daily quota at the weekend. Or downgrade to easier books.

I've decided to try to do weekly updates of this log and hope I'm not boring to many people.

FRENCH:
Movies: Game of Death, and The Avengers
Books: The Shadow over Innsbrough (Lovecraft) French

ITALIAN:
niente! Gotta get to work now. ciao!

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 3 of 158
03 May 2014 at 9:11am | IP Logged 
I have completed a diagnostic on the GLOSS / ODAS website to test my reading level in French at the start of the Superchallenge and I'll take it again periodically, maybe every 5 months, to see progression from the constant exposure to reading. The results are here: https://oda.lingnet.org/DA_profile.html?ID=234&DB=oda_french _rc&view=false

Don't know if this will keep the old score. So I'll just put it here in case.

1+ in Reading which seems to be high A2 or low B1 depending. Content 100%, Linguistic 76.67%

I took the test late at night and I was getting very bored with it after an hour, so started skimming to get the answer and move on. I'll plan more time for the test next time. I have to say that this test seemed very comprehensive and much better than the typical level testing you get on websites. They don't have a listening test for French yet or any Italian level testing.

If anyone reads this and knows where I could find a good level test for reading in Italian I would appreciate it, I'd like to see how I'm progressing with that language also.

Edited by rdearman on 03 May 2014 at 9:11am

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 4 of 158
09 May 2014 at 12:00pm | IP Logged 
OK, Friday and a batch of "Lessons Learned" from my first super challenge. Starting with the mistakes.

1) Jumped into a very difficult book by HP Lovecraft for which I can find no English translation. The printed version is very word dense with an average of 500-600 words per page. I'd have been better off starting with my Stephen King novels I think. But I'll keep going since I only have 23 pages left, then read some of the "readers" I have for french to catch up.

2) Children's TV is boring! So although I can easily get through an hour understand it better, the adult TV shows are more interesting and entertaining even if I understand less. So scrapping Trotro. Having said that, the Disney stuff is still good as long as it is the old cartoons.

3) Two full challenges are going to be a problem for me. There just isn't enough time in the day. I'm already doing language exchanges, classes and I have to work for a living. :(

OK so on the bright side of things:

1) I am already noticing signs of improvement in my French. Italian not so much and here I think I need to read more challenging books.

2) I had forgotten that I had "Tutti pazzi per amore" so I've started watching that again from episode one. I can already see that my Italian is better than when I first watched this last year.

So the plan for next week is:

French:
- Peking Express
- Valérian and Laureline
- Complete the Lovecraft book and complete a French reader

Italian:
- Read a "Parallel Text" book which I have.
- Watch "Tutti pazzi per amore"


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Isarin
Tetraglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 4516 days ago

34 posts - 41 votes
Speaks: German*, English, French, Japanese
Studies: Czech, Mandarin, Italian

 
 Message 5 of 158
09 May 2014 at 9:40pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
3) Two full challenges are going to be a problem for me. There just isn't enough time in the day. I'm already doing language exchanges, classes and I have to work for a living. :(

Well, to me it looks as if you're doing just fine so far:) I signed up for French and Italian as well, so I'll be following your log! Would you recommend Tutti pazzi per amore?
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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 6 of 158
09 May 2014 at 11:35pm | IP Logged 
Isarin wrote:

Well, to me it looks as if you're doing just fine so far:) I signed up for French and Italian as well, so I'll be following your log! Would you recommend Tutti pazzi per amore?


OMG Yes! I really really love this show. It is funny and well written. Even the first time I around when I understood little if nothing which was said, the situations and the comedy shines through. It can be sad also once you get into the characters, but I won't give any spoilers.

I highly recommend it, all my Italian friends recommended it to me. I was disappointed they only did 3 seasons.

Thanks for the encouragement, the challenge is to get people into the habit of using the language, and this type of show, which you'd never see in English is worth the effort.

If you are doing French too, I recommend Engrenage if you like cop TV series, and Valérian and Laureline is a great cartoon (and comic book)
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 7 of 158
16 May 2014 at 12:58pm | IP Logged 
Better progression this week.

Starting with French Challenge.

I've reverted to a French First reader which has allowed me to catch up with my reading activity this week. With this reader I have a 98.6% comprehension rate (based on the number of unknown words I've underlined) as opposed to the 78% I had with the Lovecraft book. So I'm going to complete this book, then move on to a Stephen King novel, which I've read before in English, so should help me a lot more with determining words through context.

I've loaded all 40 episodes of Valérian and Laureline on my Samsung so I can watch them anywhere. They are only 30 minute cartoons so gives me more flexibility when I have a 1/2 hour to spend. I've noticed already (or perhaps I'm kidding myself) improvement in my listening comprehension.

Italian Challenge.

I've started this week on a more complex book with parallel text. Much to my surprise I've discovered I can read French better than I can read Italian, but I can speak and understand Italian better than French. This makes no sense to me, but highlighted to me the fact I must keep reading. I'm fairly sure I'm in this situation because I've read a lot more French than Italian, and conversely watched and spoke more Italian.

Another thing I've noticed about Italian, which my Italian tutor pointed out to me, Italian books seemed to be written by intellectuals for intellectuals. Even kids books are verbose.

I've settled down to re-watch Tutti Pazzi per Amore. I'm on episode 4, season 1, and I'm enjoying it just as much as I did the first time.

----------

So lessons learned for this week.

1) Even if you pick a really difficult book, struggle through to the end.
2) Don't struggle through difficult/boring films, it isn't worth it. (The cat & the rabi) -> Hated it!
3) I cannot cram in 2 super challenges and 6 language exchanges into a week when I work full time. Cutting this back to 1 French, 1 Italian.

-------------

Good luck everyone on their respective challenges.
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4113 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 8 of 158
22 May 2014 at 11:17am | IP Logged 
Three weeks and still going!

OK, week number three has been a very busy one for me, but I seemed to have settled into a bit of a rhythm and it is easier to work on the challenge. I've tried to spend more time reading this week, and to manage my time a little better. I've got 4 books on the go at the moment. I keep two large books by the bedside for reading and carry two little ones with me for lunchtime reading. My co-workers probably think I'm a little odd grabbing two books out my bag and sitting in the car reading. Oh well.

French
This week I have watched a large number of Valérian & Laureline episodes. They are enjoyable and I've got all 40 of them. I'm up to #17 this week. I'm going to work my way through all 40 before I switch to something else.

I understand "Engrenages" is back for season 5 and should be released in November? With that in mind, I might rewatch all the last 4 seasons this summer.

Bookwise I've got two french books on the go. I completed the "First Reader" and racked up 2 books on the SC Bot. I'm currently reading Le Fléau by Stephen King, the English title is "The Stand". I've read this book in English 3-4 times, so I'm plowing through the French version at a good rate of speed. Faster than the Lovecraft book certainly. It is odd that for this challenge I seem to be only reading horror, and I don't normally read horror books. However this book alone will account for more than 29 books in the SC. And I've got 3 other Stephen King books thanks to a French friend.

The other French book which I read at lunch time is Le Petit Nicolas (Little Nicholas). It is small and should hopefully be quick for me to read. I bought three of them, so should keep me going for a few lunches.

Italian
Sticking with the series Tutti Pazzi per Amore. I love this series, and I've managed to find the sundtrack listings on Wikipedia and I might start looking around for some of these for the iPod (yes I still have an iPod).

For books I've got two Italian books as well. The bedside book is "La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia", an Italian children’s book written and illustrated by Dino Buzzati. It is a large format hardback, so it isn't easy to carry around.

The second book is a parallel text book called: "Una torma di donne dai cappelli enormi, in marcia" (A mighty horde of women in very big hats, advancing) written by Michel Faber. It is technically a short story, but it is also very word dense and hard going. But I'll keep pluging away.

General Comments
This week I've already noticed a lot of words are "reenforcing" themselves in my memory because I've hit them in multiple contexts. For example the word "sauf" in French has come up twice in a language exchange, once in my French lesson, 2-3 times in my reading and once in my TV watching. I find this interesting because if I was only listening I would have heard this as "solve" but having run across it in both reading and speech I know how it sounds and how to spell it.

I've given up on Goldlisting in French and Italian. I was doing the most common words in two goldlist books but there just isn't enough time in the day. Besides reading each day means that I'm already driving the common words into my head and for me it is more enjoyable than Anki or Goldlisting. I've never really liked those two methods since they remind me of the weekly spelling tests I used to have to take in school. Besides Thomas Jefferson was supposed to have said: "I have nothing but contempt for anyone who can spell a word only one way." and I have to agree.


Good luck to everyone doing the Super Challenge and remember the wise words of Sir Winston Churchill. "If you're going through hell, keep going."





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