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Spanish: A little subs2srs experiment

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emk
Diglot
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 Message 113 of 147
14 December 2014 at 9:11pm | IP Logged 
victorhart wrote:
How have your past 10 days gone emk?

Wow, has it been that long since I posted? Things have been going well: Lots of good days, a few challenging days. Last night I didn't finish all my reviews because I fell asleep halfway through! I'm up to 18 hours of total Anki reviews, or 2,970 revisions, with 646 active cards in my deck.

I want to respond to your thoughtful post at greater length later on; you've raised some very interesting questions that deserve followup. But for now, a few thoughts and minor clarifications:

1. The Anki time estimates are reasonably accurate, at least in my case. It's certainly possible that 20 minutes according to AnkiDroid might actually be 30 minutes on the wall-clock, but the numbers are in the ballpark.

2. Outside of Anki, my "study" hours consist of an hour or two of grammar study, maybe another 10 total hours preparing captions for Avatar and various movies, and so on. On top of that, I occasionally pick up things in Spanish and try to "read" them, or I turn on the radio and see what I can understand. So yeah, you could multiply my time invested by two, and you wouldn't be far wrong. I don't care to track time any more precisely than that; it rather defeats the purposes of idly leafing through a book.

3. My goal isn't to memorize cards, but rather to understand the audio when I hear it. If I understand the audio without the subtitles, I pass the card. If I don't understand the audio, either I fail the card, or I mark it as "Hard", or I suspend it outright.

Reviewing a card

For example, the "front" of a card looks like this:



As soon as Anki shows the card, it plays the accompanying dialog.

The "back" of the card looks like this:



On a day-to-day basis, I don't rely very much of the translations. If I understand the Spanish audio on the front of the card easily, I often won't even glance at the back of the card.
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 114 of 147
15 December 2014 at 4:30am | IP Logged 
Ah, today's reviews went really well, and I cleared the backlog that suddenly appeared out of nowhere this weekend. I've also decided to cut back on my daily new cards for now: I'm dropping Spanish from 20 new cards/day to 10, and Egyptian from 5 new cards/day to 4. Why? Well, Anki was becoming less fun over the past week, because I'm tired and busy, and I couldn't use my usual 5:30am slot to work on my reviews.

Fortunately, my actual Anki cards are still awesome and fun, and the Spanish cards were surprisingly easy today for some reason.

Anyway, here are some cards from today:



- Left: Lots of nice stuff going on here, and I just learned tuve.
- Right: Understood on the first try, without subtitles!



- Left: An older card which has matured very nicely. I understood this without any problems.
- Right: Understood without subtitles, except for sigas, which I can't be bothered to look up tonight. If it's important, I'll see it again.



- Left: Understood on the first try without subtitles.
- Right: Understood on the first try without subtitles.

I'm really starting to get used to Spanish verbs, and their lack of pronouns. The verb endings are a lot more important for comprehension than in French.

Anyway, I understood quite a few cards on the first try tonight, including some fairly complicated ones. This is a good sign, I hope. I've really internalized a lot of new Spanish in the last month and a half, and it's been a whole lot of fun!
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PeterMollenburg
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AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 115 of 147
18 December 2014 at 6:42am | IP Logged 
emk,

I must say this subs2srs stuff looks great! I'll be sure to refer to your logs at a much later future date emk
when I'm ready to set it up. If i can get it running efficiently it certainly looks like it will be well worth setting up.
A question tho, does this strictly only work with Anki? I'd like to know if I can run it with 'Flashcards Deluxe'. If
anyone can answer this i don't mind... Emk are you still focusing on French as well? You seem to make good
use of your study time and don't study huge hours in general from what I understand, so do you still have
room for French?

PM
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 116 of 147
19 December 2014 at 8:06pm | IP Logged 
PeterMollenburg wrote:
A question tho, does this strictly only work with Anki? I'd like to know if I can run it with 'Flashcards Deluxe'.

Subs2srs outputs data in spreadsheet format. You could probably somehow get it working with other software, provided the other software in question supports images, audio and import from external files.

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Emk are you still focusing on French as well? You seem to make good
use of your study time and don't study huge hours in general from what I understand, so do you still have
room for French?

Well, French is pretty easy for me to maintain, because I've been speaking it at home for almost three years now. If I take a "break" from French, there's still an awful lot of French in my life, and it's mostly my more abstract active skills that suffer. And I do lots of little things in French—at the moment, I'm listening to the French audiobook of Harry Potter in the car.

Found a $3 graphic novel about the Titanic!

I turned up a fun little book at the used bookstore last night. It's a graphic novel about the sinking of the Titanic, written for fairly young readers:



I actually understood this pretty well—the first episodes of Avatar involved plenty of boats and ice, so I had a fair bit of vocabulary. This is actually the first time I've tried to read a story in Spanish without parallel text, and I enjoyed myself. There were definitely a couple of hard-to-guess words on each page, but some of them became obvious later in the book.

Subs2srs and Avatar helped me tremendously with this text: I've already picked up lots of important vocabulary with no obvious English cognates, and I can more-or-less follow what verbs are doing.

Watching episode 5 without subtitles

This is the episode I just finished studying:



Rewatching this without any subtitles went quite well: My comprehension is probably at least 70–80% without subtitles, and Spanish verb endings are actually starting carry real information for me.

Now, what happens if I watch a familiar episode that I haven't studied in detail yet? Let's find out.

Edited by emk on 19 December 2014 at 8:08pm

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emk
Diglot
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 Message 117 of 147
19 December 2014 at 10:07pm | IP Logged 
Next Tuesday will be the 60-day mark for this experiment! My deck now contains 437 mature and 263 recent cards (and 271 suspended). I've done 20 hours of Anki reviews, and 3,483 reps. I've learned 3 episodes of Avatar.

While waiting for some software to recompile, I watched parts of two more episodes, all without subtitles. Here are the results:

Episode 5 (above, studied using subs2srs). Comprehension is very high—about where I was after several seasons of Buffy, and after passing my B2 exam. This is pretty remarkable, when you think about it—subs2srs has allowed me to actually "learn" three episodes to the point where I have essentially B2 comprehension. But only for those three episodes.

Episode 6 (prepared for subs2srs, but not yet studied). This case is a bit more interesting. I've recently watched this episode and spent some time aligning the subtitles against the Spanish audio. So I have a pretty good idea what's going on. Overall, this gives a nice boost, especially in the scenes I've watched several times. I can follow the plot, and I can sometimes get big sections of the dialog.

Episode 7 (watched in French about a year ago). This is the purest test of comprehension. I remember the plot of this episode (more or less), but I've forgotten all the details. And I have good news: I can follow most of what's going on! I'm definitely missing over half the dialog, but I almost always get at least several words per sentence, and sometimes I get multiple consecutive lines. Overall, this is actually pretty fun.



So it looks like I'm definitely nearing the point where I could start just watching Avatar for fun. Even with my strong background in French, this is pretty awesome—20 hours of "official" reviews, according to AnkiDroid, and I'm more-or-less able to follow an actual TV series (with lots of guesswork). (For comparison's sake, Sprachprofi was watching a Japanese TV series unaided after ~30 hours of Anki, with 50% comprehension, but she's a talented polyglot.)

Personally, I'm just happy that my brain is starting to understand things like hay que hacerlo automatically. My English-and-French discount doesn't actually help much with phrases like that, but after 3,483 reps, they tend to jump right out at me.
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emk
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 Message 118 of 147
20 December 2014 at 12:19am | IP Logged 
OK, I had so much fun watching parts of episodes this afternoon that I just went ahead and watched episode 8. Now I want to watch 9 and 10.

It's hard to judge where my listening is, in CEFR terms. My skills are definitely narrow (but not so narrow I can't more-or-less read a kid's graphic novel about the Titanic). And even if you limit me to just Avatar, I'm still a ways below the solid B1 I had when I began watching Buffy in French. But I'm getting there quickly. The temptation to just sit down and start watching straight through without subtitles is very strong this evening. :-)
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Evita
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 Message 119 of 147
20 December 2014 at 11:08am | IP Logged 
Your log is an awesome source of information, emk. I'm thinking of trying subs2srs myself but I have one question for you. How is the audio quality in your cards? I want to use some Korean TV shows (dramas) but they often have background music during dialogues. Isn't it distracting in Anki? Or is there a way to remove it?
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 120 of 147
21 December 2014 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
Evita wrote:
How is the audio quality in your cards? I want to use some Korean TV shows (dramas) but they often have background music during dialogues. Isn't it distracting in Anki?

I've used subs2srs-style cards to learn the lyrics to music, and it's not too bad.

Episodes 9 and 10. These were two fairly challenging episodes, and I missed more than I did with episode 8. I could still follow the plot, more or less, but my comprehension was well below when I started watching Buffy in French. Not sure why these episodes were harder than episode 8. Anyway, I have accurate subtitles for episodes 6, 9 and 10, so I can always do another ~750 subs2srs cards and see if that gives me another small boost. Or I could just read through the parallel subtitles and rewatch the episodes.

On the other hand, last night's card reviews went very fast, and almost everything was very easy. Some times you win; some times you lose.

Edited by emk on 21 December 2014 at 7:03pm



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