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New Super Challenge Discussion thread2014

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maydayayday
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3412 days ago

564 posts - 839 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, SpanishB2, FrenchB2
Studies: Arabic (Egyptian), Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Polish, Persian, Vietnamese
Studies: Urdu

 
 Message 705 of 766
15 April 2015 at 7:49pm | IP Logged 
Is there a super challenge 2015?

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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3102 days ago

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

 
 Message 706 of 766
15 April 2015 at 7:51pm | IP Logged 
maydayayday wrote:
Is there a super challenge 2015?


The Super Challenge from 2014 isn't over yet!! It runs from May 2014 to the end of 2015, for a total of 20 months.
3 persons have voted this message useful



maydayayday
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3412 days ago

564 posts - 839 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, SpanishB2, FrenchB2
Studies: Arabic (Egyptian), Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Polish, Persian, Vietnamese
Studies: Urdu

 
 Message 707 of 766
15 April 2015 at 9:45pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
maydayayday wrote:
Is there a super challenge 2015?


The Super Challenge from 2014 isn't over yet!! It runs from May 2014 to the end of 2015, for a total of 20 months.


Doh! I should have done the Maths!

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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3082 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 708 of 766
18 April 2015 at 12:55am | IP Logged 
I was looking over my old spreadsheets, and noticed an interesting pattern with my
French and Italian. The times are from when I started learning (or relearning) the
language, not from the start of the Super Challenge:

5 months - Native materials are really hard, and not much fun to read. It's too
frustrating, and not worth the effort.

8-10 months - Native materials are really hard, but I can slowly work through them
with a lot of assistance (kindle dictionary, parallel texts, English translations for
reference).

12 months - Reading is enjoyable, but slow and tiring. After about twenty minutes my
brain is fried.

14 months - Some days I can read a whole chapter with minimal use of the dictionary,
and everything just flows. Other days I am completely lost and it's just frustrating.
This is where my Italian is at.

16 months (French only, so far) - Reading starts to feel natural, and I can pick up
more of the nuances in the writing. I can spend an afternoon reading without feeling
mentally exhausted.

3 years on, and my French reading is in an odd place. I can pick up most popular
novels and tear through them with no problem, and then I'll stumble on an author who I
struggle with & feel like a beginner again.


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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3082 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 709 of 766
18 April 2015 at 2:18pm | IP Logged 
Ok, so my secret hope was that my last post would trigger others to post their experiences - particularly with
German and Russian. Because: Goethe. Thomas Mann. Tolstoi. Dostoevski. I want to know how much I
would have to suffer before I could read them in the original.

So: there are 18 active German readers and 7 active Russian readers. So sez twitter. Talk to us, and tell
us how it's going!

(or anyone & everyone else, of course)

Edited by kanewai on 18 April 2015 at 2:23pm

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Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 4254 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 710 of 766
18 April 2015 at 4:08pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
3 years on, and my French reading is in an odd place. I can pick up most popular novels and tear through them with no problem, and then I'll stumble on an author who I struggle with & feel like a beginner again.

Interesting. Care to give us an example?

I'm doing the SC with Italian and French also, and sometimes the above happens to me with Italian. Well, it doesn't make me feel like a beginner, but requires a slower pace.

The best example is I Promessi Sposi: I got used to classics in audiobook format, since (a) it's practical, and (b) I can withstand the pace. Until Manzoni's masterpiece, that is: the vocabulary is richer and it takes more time to absorb. I'll have to resort to a written version ("have to" is not the best expression, but you know what I mean).

So, I'd like to know who your "French Manzonis" are. :)

As for my SC, I joined primarily for Italian, French being only to keep track of what I read.

Congratulations to everyone, both the high-achievers and the ones like me. :P
1 person has voted this message useful



BAnna
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2815 days ago

409 posts - 615 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Turkish

 
 Message 711 of 766
18 April 2015 at 9:42pm | IP Logged 
Kanewai, here are some thoughts about my experience, for whatever it's worth:

...as far as Russian goes, my being at the A1 level means native reading materials are almost completely incomprehensible, though the feeling when picking out a phrase that is understood is quite the thrill.

I did both SC I and SC II with German. I started studying German about 4 1/2-5 years ago now, so I was at a high A2-low B1 when SC I started, I *think* (sorry can't remember exactly, but I think I had studied German for a bit over a year when SC I started). During SC I, I had to look up lots of things all the time and really only felt comfortable with mid-level texts at the end of the challenge, with what you describe as popular novels. This time around, the popular stuff is absolutely no problem (pretty much like I'm reading my native English), with occasional odd vocab that I only look up if it really bugs me. More literary stuff is a bit more challenging, but definitely not like being a beginner again. The book that got me over the 100 threshold in German was Siegfried Lenz's "Heimatmuseum", which was almost 800 pages. It took quite a while, but wasn't extraordinarily difficult. Not sure how challenging he'd be considered by native speakers. Just this week I started Grass's "Die Bleichtrommel", which doesn't seem too hard so far. I have dabbled in poetry reading (Goethe, Heine, Rilke, etc.) and that is definitely more challenging, yet quite rewarding. The vocabulary can definitely be a challenge when the source material is not modern. I haven't tried reading Mann yet. I've heard he is pretty complex. I have read him in English, but it's been a while.

I also did SC II with Spanish, reading a mixture of popular and more literary works. I can't really speak to your pattern in this respect since I've spoken Spanish for 40+ years, but never really did much reading in Spanish in that time beyond the newspaper and a very occasional novel or some short stories. Nothing I read seemed very difficult at all, with the exception that peninsular Spanish had some unfamiliar vocabulary to this speaker of the Latin American variety, so there were some things I had to look up when reading writing from Spain.
1 person has voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2858 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 712 of 766
18 April 2015 at 9:58pm | IP Logged 
Luso wrote:
The best example is I Promessi Sposi


That's the first long Italian book I remember reading. I remember it being quite a
bit harder than, for example, Conte di Montecristo (the Italian translation). I
was working through my dad's book collection at the time and that happened to be the
toughest one in there (IMHO, of course). FWIW none of the Italian novels I've read from
the local library have anywhere near the complexity of language (or length, for that
matter).



1 person has voted this message useful



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