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The Cheating & Consolidating Method

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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montmorency
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Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 121 of 136
21 August 2014 at 3:42pm | IP Logged 
montmorency wrote:

I know there is a small but significant portion of Welsh vocabulary that is related to
Latin or French (or both). I'm not exactly sure how it came about. I don't think the
Romans ever really took control of Wales. Latin influence could have come from early
Christian monks and French influence could have come from Norman soldiers or nobility.


Slightly off-topic, but I didn't like to leave this hanging. Further reading tells me
that they definitely took control of the country, but except in some parts, never
really Romanised it in the way that England was. I think it's possible that monks or
the church in general might have had as much or more influence on the language than the
Romans.

And also it seems the Welsh gave the "Saxons" - Saeson, which is still the modern Welsh
word for "English people" - a pretty good run for their money, and were never really
beaten until the Normans came along. This may explain why Welsh survived for so long.
With the Normans, would probably come more influence from French than English.
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tarvos
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 Message 122 of 136
21 August 2014 at 3:51pm | IP Logged 
Breton also has some older words (that aren't direct French loans) that are similar to
French and Latin. An Italo-Celtic language group was posited by linguists, but I don't
think it's a very generally accepted theory. However Celtic words and Latin have mixed
for a long time and you can see it even more strongly in Breton (which is related to
Welsh).

The Bretons call the English language Saozneg.
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montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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Speaks: English*, German
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 Message 123 of 136
21 August 2014 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Breton also has some older words (that aren't direct French loans) that
are similar to
French and Latin. An Italo-Celtic language group was posited by linguists, but I don't
think it's a very generally accepted theory. However Celtic words and Latin have mixed
for a long time and you can see it even more strongly in Breton (which is related to
Welsh).

The Bretons call the English language Saozneg.


And in Welsh it's Saesneg! :-)
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MRoss
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Australia
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, German, Spanish

 
 Message 124 of 136
22 August 2014 at 9:12am | IP Logged 
"Given a choice between understanding 100% of one page, and 90% of ten pages, choose the
latter often, and the former only occasionally."

Love that!

The formal education German I took used the former approach. 100% translation, understanding
and grammar. One paragraph a week. Get it wrong and...ba bong.

My DIY Dutch used the quoted approach. Translate a lot. Get stuff wrong. Not know every
translated word by rote, brute force, but aquire through osmosis from repetition. Grammar
started coming naturally. Comprehension of unstudied text happened without knowing all the
words. There is no...ba bong, you're wrong, you fail...there is just constant improvement. My
ear also started picking out unknown words from the jumble of syllables and sounds so that a
newly acquired word from translation is subsequently identifed when heard.

I'm not yet fully at a glance stage with all the words I know in my L2, but a good many.
Others take a brief moment before I recall what it is. Oddly, some words took a half dozen
exposures to sink in while others just one. Interesting.
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montmorency
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United Kingdom
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Speaks: English*, German
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 Message 125 of 136
22 August 2014 at 12:37pm | IP Logged 
Quote:

Oddly, some words took a half dozen exposures to sink in while others just one.
Interesting


I suppose that it one of the great unsolved mysteries of language-learning, and I think
it's a common experience. In my case, when it goes in straight away, I think it's
sometimes a kind of unconscious or automatic association happening, to do with the
sound of the word or phrase.

On the other hand, I've had words not stick after dozens of exposures and repeated
conscious attempts to learn them. Very frustrating.

Quote:

Given a choice between understanding 100% of one page, and 90% of ten pages, choose the
latter often, and the former only occasionally.


The trouble is that some learners, including me in the past, want to understand 100% of
the 10 pages, and just plod, plod, plod along, until they get discouraged and fall by
the wayside, or get to page 10 having forgotten what was on page 1.

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emk
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United States
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
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 Message 126 of 136
11 November 2014 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
I've recently decided to put this whole "cheating and consolidating" idea to the most extreme test I can imagine, by starting a brand-new language with nothing, and using the most excessive forms of cheating I can dream up. You can find the whole story in my Spanish: A little subs2srs experiment log. The basic idea is that I use Anki cards with audio, images and bilingual subtitles:



I'm using a familiar children's TV series, where the video often illustrates the dialog quite clearly, and the audio is very clear. The results so far: After somewhere between 10 and 15 hours of study, including about 6 hours of Anki, I can already understand quite a few lines of new dialog by watching without subtitles.

My tentative conclusion: Sufficiently aggressive and creative "cheating" really does pay off surprisingly well.
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tarvos
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 Message 127 of 136
11 November 2014 at 3:27pm | IP Logged 
Also, a sufficiently related language to the ones you already speak also helps. I could
do this for Spanish, but no way if I was learning Kiribatese.
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emk
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 Message 128 of 136
11 November 2014 at 3:47pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Also, a sufficiently related language to the ones you already speak also helps. I could do this for Spanish, but no way if I was learning Kiribatese.

Oh, yeah, English and French both help tremendously. Furthermore, it's not my first foreign language, and I'm pretty good at puzzling out grammar from context. No guarantees that anybody else will get similar results, or that my Spanish will be good for anything besides one TV show.

But I was directly inspired by Sprachprofi's experiment, which involved tackling Japanese from scratch using a series about a Go academy. She studied Japanese verb endings for the first three days, and put in about 30 total hours of Anki time. By the end of her experiment, she could understand about half the dialog in new episodes without using subtitles. She used an interesting strategy to do this: she searched out short lines of dialog, and multiple lines which all used the same key vocabulary word, which I imagine helped quite a bit with the unfamiliar grammar and vocabulary.

Of course, Sprachprofi is an amazing polylgot—way out of my league—and she already had a strong background in Chinese, which would have given her help with the writing system and some loan words, I presume. But Chinese is Sino-Tibetan, and Japanense is supposedly Altaic, so it was still a pretty big jump.

Anyway, my larger point is that aggressively creative cheating really does seem to work better than doing the same thing with only minimal "cheating".

(Forgive me if I'm a bit overenthused this morning, by the way—the last couple of days of reviews and TV watching have been going quite well, and I feel almost like I'm getting away with something. So I'm oversharing a bit today…)

Edited by emk on 11 November 2014 at 3:51pm



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