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New Super Challenge Discussion thread2014

  Tags: Super Challenge
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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3283 days ago

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

 
 Message 273 of 766
18 May 2014 at 9:54am | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
What I would really like to hear at this point, is how is everyone doing?


Personally I'm really into the challenge and I've been logging my efforts in French & Italian. At the moment I have to say I'm struggling with reading. I'm struggling not because of resources or difficulty in comprehension, but just the sheer amount of time reading takes me.

Currently I'm running about 5 to 1 (films v books) in both French and Italian. The reason is because I've loaded a lot of cartoons or TV shows on my smartphone I can watch something at lunch while working, or other short periods of time.

Hopefully I'll be able to start bringing the ratio closer to 2-1 or 1-1 as my reading gets faster.

Thanks for the challenge!

1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4644 days ago

9757 posts - 15779 votes 
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 Message 274 of 766
18 May 2014 at 2:38pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
For first timers, my main advice as always is: start reading NOW. Don't watch the films first, and think you can catch up on the reading later.
Very true. Or at least do LR/listen to audiobooks, like Kerrie does for example.

As for myself, I've been reluctant to start new books because my reading list is already embarrassingly huge, but now I'm excited about the books by David Eddings. I have the first part in German and the remaining three in Italian.

Also wondering which languages to do for the June Tadoku. Since it partially overlaps with the 6WC, Swedish makes sense, otherwise I guess it depends on what books I'm done with.
1 person has voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 3442 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 275 of 766
18 May 2014 at 3:02pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
I'm still trying to find my balance. My 'real' Super Challenge language is Italian, though I also entered with French. I did French in SC-1, and so I figure this isn't so much 2x challenges as 1.5 (cause it shouldn't be as hard the second time, right?).

I am figuring the same, Kanewai. :)

I am aiming for the original 10,000 pages for both Spanish and French, though. Over twenty months, I think it is doable. I really think that second five thousand pages is where a lot of progress is made.

kanewai wrote:
For first timers, my main advice as always is: start reading NOW. Don't watch the films first, and think you can catch up on the reading later.


What he said. Seriously, start reading now. Even if it is a paragraph at a time. Next week it will be a page, and in a few months, it will be a chapter. Start out with baby steps, and you will be running by the end of the challenge.

If I had to do it differently last time, I would change two things. First, I would not have tried to do eight languages. I watched a lot of films/TV in about 7 languages last time. While it was not exactly a waste of time, I could have used that time to make more progress in one or two languages. If I had just chosen Spanish and French, I might have been able to get at least a half challenge done in French. Regardless of the argument that's been going on (and I do NOT want to start it back up - this is just my opinion and MY experience), the Super Challenge is designed to encourage your progress in ONE language. Holy cow did my Spanish improve. For years, I'd kept going back to textbooks and courses. Assimil. Living Language. Pimsleur. You name it, I've been there.

Then the SC gave me the nudge to go actually *use* my Spanish. I started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Easy stuff. Well, now it is easy stuff. At first it wasn't. Harry Potter was *hard*. Sure, it's written for kids, but it's written for native speakers at a middle school level. (And that's only the first two or three books. Once you get into the last few books, you are delusional if you think they are aimed at kids!) <jumps off soap box>

By the end of the first SC, I was reading Spanish fairly easily. There are a few *huge* jumps in your reading comprehension along the way. At some point, you will realize that you are actually *reading* your target language. In the four months between challenges, I read about 2000 pages in Spanish. My daughter was reading a book that sounded interesting, so I found the Spanish version and read that. I have a list (a mile long) of stuff I want to read - most of it is in English - but why not read the Spanish version? Now I am adding lots of original Spanish literature to my list, too.

As far as watching movies/TV goes, I would actually encourage those of you at the beginner/low intermediate stage to start with reading, and the audio part will be easy. I found that I understand a *lot* more of what I was watching after I had done more reading. Get a reader or a bilingual text, and work your way slowly through something you enjoy. Use Learning with Texts or Lingq to work through something, then go back and re-read it without the crutches.

I really love the graphs, and the weekly badge thing. At the end of each week (or more frequently, if you like) tweet how much reading you got done. You will be amazed at how the graph looks at the end. You will be able to *see* how much your reading has improved.

If you exclusively watch movies, it will be harder to watch 100 films, but most of us watch TV shows too. If you find a show you like, you will be able to knock out 10 "films" very quickly. (For example, I got Buffy to watch with my daughter this summer. Seven seasons of TV = 144 episodes = 72 "films" for the SC.)

I find that I can understand many TV shows without subs now, but I still have a hard time keeping up with many movies. With TV, you get into the story line. You get used to the actors and their voices (and the characters and their mannerisms).

I think you will have a better chance of FINISHING the SC (and making the progress you are aiming for) if you focus on the reading first, and leave the film/TV primarily for later.

Dislaimer: This is my opinion and my experience. Obviously, your mileage will vary, depending on your level, your goals, how many languages you already speak, your target language(s), and your learning style. I just wanted to share what worked for me in the hopes that it can help anyone who is interested in making a lot of progress in one or two languages over the next twenty months with the goal of watching 100 films/TV and reading 5000 pages for this challenge.
10 persons have voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 3442 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 276 of 766
18 May 2014 at 3:11pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
kanewai wrote:
For first timers, my main advice as always is: start reading NOW. Don't watch the films first, and think you can catch up on the reading later.
Very true. Or at least do LR/listen to audiobooks, like Kerrie does for example.

I would like to clarify this. I use L-R to listen to audiobooks in conjunction with actually "just" reading them. I work through a text (using Learning with Texts) and learning the vocab, THEN I listen to the audiobook while following along the text. This helps my listening comprehension and pronunciation. After listening to a page (or more frequently a chapter) a few times, I will go back and read the text again. Then sometimes I will go back and listen without the text, to see how much I understand, and what I'm still missing. This is the best way I've found to learn from context for new material that is probably more advanced than I should be doing. :)

I don't know how everyone else does L-R. I anticipate I do it differently than Serpent (and others) do.

I think that it's a great way to get audio/"film" time done for the SC at the early stages, though. :D
1 person has voted this message useful



VivianJ5
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2309 days ago

81 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 277 of 766
18 May 2014 at 3:34pm | IP Logged 
I stand by Mary Higgins Clark in any language ;-) ! I was very turned off by the books we had to read in university
French classes (Balzac, Sartre, Stendhal among others), since it took me ages to feel like I was actually reading a
STORY. Especially Balzac: he can spend the first 20 - 30 pages just describing the "milieu" of the society he's talking
about...talk about a turn-off.

Then, a few years later, I spent a few weeks at my French in-laws summer home, with a large library of all kinds of
popular literature, with lots of translated American novels. I had never read Mary Higgins Clark in English, but I
really enjoyed the French translations: once you understand her style, her stories were very predictable, with a not-
very-difficult vocabulary, but it was more than adequate for my level at the time.

Which is one of the reasons I recommended series like Nancy Drew to my teenage English language learners:
predictable story progression, with easy-to-middling vocabulary level. Plus you feel a sense of accomplishment
when you can finally whip through the books so easily after reading ten or more!

The classics can wait for a later, more advanced level...why not enjoy the process as much as possible?
3 persons have voted this message useful



Kerrie
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Kerrie2
Joined 3442 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 278 of 766
18 May 2014 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
VivianJ5 wrote:
I stand by Mary Higgins Clark in any language ;-) !
The classics can wait for a later, more advanced level...why not enjoy the process as much as possible?


This is my philosophy as well. I want instant gratification. :)

Well, as much as you can get when learning a language. Which isn't a lot. Any little bit helps. hehe

I actually started reading a Nora Roberts book last SC because it looked like an interesting story, and I got into it right away. (I guess those best-selling authors aren't all that bad! LOL) In English, I have a tendency to read stuff that is far more complex that uses a much larger vocabulary base, while a lot of best-selling stuff is much easier and faster to read. Which is really perfect for an intermediate level, since you can understand most of it while stretching yourself a little further with each book.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3056 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 279 of 766
18 May 2014 at 5:13pm | IP Logged 
I agree. And those "trash" books (as the intelectuals or snobs call them) have other advantages as well. For exemple colloquial contemporary language. That's something Hugo or Dumas can't offer, no matter how much I love some of their books :-) But careful about the translations. There is a huge difference between high quality translation of a low genre book and by a lazy one, made by a translator who is totally uninterested and just wants to get paid asap.

I consider making a list of great low genre books when I am finished with my scs ;-). Awesome high quality fantasy including less know authors, not that high but enjoyable vampire books, child/teen aimed books that won't bore an adult, scifi ad polars, BDs and so on. For now, I am grateful for all such recommendations from others.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4644 days ago

9757 posts - 15779 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 280 of 766
18 May 2014 at 5:54pm | IP Logged 
Yeah these books are usually easy enough that it's better to read them in the original :D


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