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Spanish: A little subs2srs experiment

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IarllTroseddwr
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United States
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23 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 137 of 147
26 December 2014 at 7:00am | IP Logged 
Hey emk,

I've been following this topic and trying out the methods myself (thanks to your tutorials) and am really enjoying it so far. I didn't start with a TV series, however, have just gotten into Avatar and find that it's about my level of comprehension. So far, I've created a deck from the Spanish movie "Volver." At the moment, after starting around mid-November, I have approximately 1,000 cards in my deck. I delete any that: I don't like, that I don't agree with the translation (and am not sure how to fix it), are too easy.

My question for you, is once you get to the point of being able to understand the Avatar series without using subtitles, do you plan on deleting the deck that you used for that series and start over with a new series/deck until your comprehension is to the point where you can understand a decent amount of the majority of media you watch? Or do you think you'll keep reviewing the Avatar deck even after you've moved on to a new series?

I've been thinking about this for some time, as I am a bit over 50% of cards being reviewed in my Volver deck and am not sure if I should keep it while reviewing another series.
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plumbem!
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 Message 138 of 147
26 December 2014 at 11:57am | IP Logged 
emk,

I have only read the first seven pages in depth but this is...
really motivating
and exciting

For one, learning Spanish is the patriotic duty of every American!
For another, you just make this look really fun
I am not particularly technically oriented but there is no roadblock to becoming so and I cannot wait to be home now with a nice desktop computer to try and puzzle this stuff out. I have forwarded the thread and the Subs2srs wikia to some very techically competent friends with the hope that they might reconsider taking up a language. I think language learning gets presented here in a way that really would appeal to that kind of culturally insulated yet analytic/technical demographic from which I can count most of my friends.



Edited by plumbem! on 26 December 2014 at 12:10pm

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emk
Diglot
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United States
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Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 139 of 147
26 December 2014 at 5:11pm | IP Logged 
Lots of grammar details with today's cards! But first, answers to some great questions:

eyðimörk wrote:
I really like the way your L/R set-up looks! I almost want a smartphone or tablet just to be able to replicate it.

For L/R with LF Aligner and Aglona Reader, I'd recommend looking at 7" Android tablets. Phones seem to work OK for ebooks where every subclause has been aligned by hand, but if you rely on LF Aligner to do sentence-level alignment, you'll need a fair bit of screen space. A 10" tablet would work, too, but it's probably a little too large for comfortable reading.

I'm using a first-generation Nexus 7", which works great. It seems to run about $100–150 these days if you shop around.

sfuqua wrote:
I think slowing the text is just another way of "cheating" to understand, and later it makes it easy to follow at full speed.

I think your progress using L-R is going to be very fast :)

Yeah, I may consider trying L/R with slowed-down audio at some point. I've only done 1h40m of L/R, so I'm still figuring out the best way to do it. One thing I really like: L/R makes it easy to fill up an extra hour or two, which I can't really do with subs2srs without totally throwing off the repetition schedule.

plumbem! wrote:
I think language learning gets presented here in a way that really would appeal to that kind of culturally insulated yet analytic/technical demographic from which I can count most of my friends.

This is definitely a ridiculously fun way to learn Spanish, and it seems to work pretty quickly, too. And as for "technical demographics" and language learning, it's already a pretty big thing—there's a surprisingly large number of programmers here at HTLAL, and on many other online language forums.

IarllTroseddwr wrote:
My question for you, is once you get to the point of being able to understand the Avatar series without using subtitles, do you plan on deleting the deck that you used for that series and start over with a new series/deck until your comprehension is to the point where you can understand a decent amount of the majority of media you watch? Or do you think you'll keep reviewing the Avatar deck even after you've moved on to a new series?

I'll probably keep my Avatar deck, because Avatar is awesome. Below, on the left, you can see one of my very first Anki audio cards, which I created from Buffy contre les vampires using TranscriberAG and a bunch of dodgy custom scripts. When I "move on" from a subs2rs deck, I delete the boring cards aggressively, saving only the ones I really like for some reason. The remaining cards are really fun: I can review them in seconds, with a near 100% pass rate, and they remind me of how much fun I had watching the series. I'm not even sure whether this helps my French any more, but I have so much fun reviewing these ancient cards that I don't want to delete them.



Left: Ancient, pre-subs2srs audio card from the French dub of Buffy, with an interval of several years. Those were fun times. :-)

Right: This card is a great example of why I don't worry about misunderstanding cards. The first time I saw this, I thought that hacia was some weird form of the verb hacer. But now I've seen hacia on a lot of other cards, and many times in Harry Potter, and it's clear that it actually means "to, towards" in most contexts. So when I saw this card again this morning, I finally understood it correctly. In other words, most comprehension errors are self-correcting.



- Left: Lots of good stuff going on here. Thanks to Essential Spanish Grammar, I've recently confirmed that sea is subjunctive form of ser "to be". This is really useful to know, because sea is both very common, and very distinctive, and so I'll be able to use it to identify Spanish constructs that take the subjunctive. And once I identify those constructs, I'll be able to use them to pick out more subjunctive verb forms. A virtuous cycle! Also, lo que is clearly analogous to the French ce que, which works a bit like "that which" does in English. You can learn a lot from these cards if you're curious and you pay attention.

- The first time I saw this card, I marked it as "passed" even though I didn't really understand what se lo was doing. But thanks to Essential Spanish Grammar, I can now unpack se lo cambio:

Quote:
se "you", indirect object. There are two tricky bits here: (1) polite address in Spanish uses third-person forms to say "you", and (2) if a verb would normally take a third person indirect object like le "to him/her/you", but it also has a direct object pronoun like lo, you write se lo instead of *le lo. Wacky!

lo "it", direct object.

cambio "I (ex)change".

So you can see how subs2srs makes grammar study far easier (because I already have hundreds of examples sentences stuck somewhere in my head), and how the occasional hour of grammar study can help me understand lots of weird little details on my cards.

Is this real? Can a small amount of study make comprehensible input a lot more effective?

I believe this is true. And ironically, the best data for this appears to come from one of Krashen's own studies, even though he ignored the implications of his own data!

Krashen wrote:
Nagy, Herman, and Anderson (1985) calculated that native speakers gain about 3,000 words per year from reading one million words. In order to compare these four women’s rate of acquisition of vocabulary to that of native speakers, we extrapolated what their rate would be if they had read one million words: Mi-ae acquired vocabulary at much greater than the native speaker rate (over 5,000 words per million), Su-jin at just under the native speaker rate (2,500 per million). And Jin-hee and Alma well under the native speaker rate (about 1,200 and 1,000 words per million respectively,)

Clearly, the two women who used the dictionary learned more vocabulary per words read. We must ask, however, whether the time spent with the dictionary was well spent. Perhaps this time would have been better used for more reading.

Combining massive reading with a dictionary made vocabulary acquisition 2–5x more efficient! And with a pop-up dictionary, this doesn't even need to slow you down much. And this is why I cheat by using subtitles and parallel text and the occasional hour with a grammar book.


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IarllTroseddwr
Newbie
United States
Joined 1965 days ago

23 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 140 of 147
26 December 2014 at 7:32pm | IP Logged 
Wow, thanks for the quick response. That makes sense, keeping the cards that are most fun or that stay relevant. One more question. At the beginning of this experiment, you mentioned that you had two movies, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Matando Cabos. If you made decks for either of these, do you mix the cards with your Avatar ones? Or if you haven't made a deck for them yet, if you did, would you mix them? Or keep two separate decks?

Something that you may find of interest if you plan on listening to Spanish music, which I plan on experimenting with shortly, is AnkiLPCG (https://github.com/sobjornstad/AnkiLPCG). It seems to be a simple program to make Anki cards from song lyrics. I'm not sure how compatible it will be with translations of lyrics, but I plan on playing around with it a bit to see if I can get something useful from it. Especially if I can add song segments cut with Audacity to the cards...
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emk
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Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 141 of 147
28 December 2014 at 1:31pm | IP Logged 
IarllTroseddwr wrote:
At the beginning of this experiment, you mentioned that you had two movies, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Matando Cabos. If you made decks for either of these, do you mix the cards with your Avatar ones?

I use nested decks, more or less like this:

Spanish::Sound::Avatar
Spanish::Sound::Y Tu Mamá Tambíen

I organize things by language (because I don't like jumping between languages when reviewing), by media type (because sound cards can't be reviewed in as many locations as text cards) and by movie/series (so I can easily switch between between them). When actually reviewing, I select "Spanish::Sound", and I review all my audio decks together.

IarllTroseddwr wrote:
It seems to be a simple program to make Anki cards from song lyrics.

I think you can also load MP3s into Subtitle Edit, and use it to synchronize the lyrics as an srt file. Then you can just use subs2srs normally. Subtitle Edit is ridiculously useful for pretty much anything involving subtitles.



- Left: An old French card, made from Taxi with English-only subtitles. I've experimented quite a bit with different subs2srs formats, and I find that cards without L2 subtitles are still useful, but much less so than ones with L2 subtitles.

- Right: My headphones work great for subs2srs reviews, but if I spend an hour doing L/R, they bug my ears. So for a change of pace, I decided to try using Aglona Reader without audio. It took me maybe 1.5 or 2 hours to finish a chapter of Harry Potter, but I had the chance to consolidate lots of things I'd learned from Avatar. Here, notice another example of haçia "towards".



- Left: I have one subs2srs card with delante, and it always gives me trouble. Here, we see it means "(in?) front". Also note habérnoslo dicho "to have said it to us" and callaos "shut up (plural)". This looks like a vosotros form!

- Right: Ah, and that would be Hermione, marvelous as always. :-) And another vosotros!



After reading chapter 6 in parallel format, I switched it to "advanced" mode, and started again. And for the most part, I can read it! I need to confirm one or two sentences per screen, which I can do simply by tapping them. Aglona Reader plus LF Aligner is a great combination.

However, I have very mixed feeling about reading without audio. This experiment has been very audio-heavy, and I want to keep it that way. So maybe I need to find new headphones that are gentler on my ears for extended periods.

Also, resultaba is imperfect? Really? Come on, why can't any of my European languages ever agree on little details like this?



- Left: I actually understood 90% of this audio while watching Avatar a few weeks ago.

- Right: ya is apparently the most confusing word in Spanish. In theory, it means "already", and ya que means "as, so, since". But it occurs in other frequent combinations, such as ya saber where I wouldn't expect it. More data required.



- Left: Another long-format audio card. I still like these. :-)
- Right: Ah, so that's how the plural imperative works! It's just the third-personal plural.
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Serpent
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 Message 142 of 147
28 December 2014 at 11:53pm | IP Logged 
The 3rd person plural of the subjunctive ;)
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Crush
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 Message 143 of 147
10 January 2015 at 10:00am | IP Logged 
Quote:
- Left: An old French card, made from Taxi with English-only subtitles. I've experimented quite a bit with different subs2srs formats, and I find that cards without L2 subtitles are still useful, but much less so than ones with L2 subtitles.
I was just coming here to ask this very question, i've got L1 subtitles for the Korean version of Avatar but no Korean subtitles that i know of. The audio in Avatar is much cleaner than in Korean TV shows (which do have English/Korean subtitles) and the dialogs are simpler, which is why i was hoping to use it. I guess i'll hold off for now.

Quote:
Also, resultaba is imperfect? Really? Come on, why can't any of my European languages ever agree on little details like this?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, resultar can be used in both the imperfect and preterite. Here you could use "resultó" as well, but it would change the feeling of the sentence a bit and in narration there tends to be a preference for the imperfect anyway.

Regarding "ya saber", ya can mean "already" or "now". For example, "ya lo sé" could mean "I already know". In English, you'd often say something like "Yeah yeah, i know" when someone tells you something you already know. In Spanish, you simply say that you already know (ya lo sé). But it can also mean "Now I know" (sorta similar to "Ah, now i've got it!"), which is its meaning here: "I know his name now."

To toss a bit more into the pile, it can also be used:
-colloquially similar to "yeah" or "yeah right" ("Soy el presidente de IBM" "Ya, y yo soy el rey de Francia" - "I'm the president of IBM" "Right, and i'm the king of France")
-meaning "soon" ("ya te llamaré" - "I'll call you soon")
-and as "anymore" when you have a negative sentence ("ya no puedo" - "I can't do it anymore", "ya no lo aguanto" - "I can't handle it anymore").

I guess it's kinda interesting for me to hear about your troubles with it as it was one of the words i just picked up naturally by talking to people and never really paid much attention to.
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Serpent
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 Message 144 of 147
10 January 2015 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
I kinda feel like Spanish ya and Portuguese já are becoming grammaticalized, they remind me on the Indonesian past and future particles sometimes :) In many cases it just feels like they are required, just to perform a syntactic function, not a (significant) semantic one. Many sentences just sound unnatural without it. Like, if I look for perfective examples in Portuguese, I always include it. It's almost as if the absence of ya/já is more marked than its presence.


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