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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
364 messages over 46 pages: 1 24 5 6 7 ... 3 ... 45 46 Next >>
Senior Member
Joined 3503 days ago

1181 posts - 1912 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Korean
Studies: Persian

 Message 17 of 364
04 January 2015 at 7:26pm | IP Logged 
Good luck with all those languages! As we're on two teams together, I'm especially looking forward to see your progress in Georgian and Mandarin. I'm surprised there are so many Japanese learners and relatively few people studying Chinese in this year's East Asian Team. Maybe some people from last year's Chinese team will still reappear?
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Nieng Zhonghan
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
Joined 2306 days ago

108 posts - 315 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Japanese*, Spanish, Galician
Studies: Finnish, Icelandic, Armenian, Mongolian
Studies: Old English, Russian, English, German, Korean, Mandarin

 Message 18 of 364
04 January 2015 at 10:56pm | IP Logged 
I think it is really impressive that you can manage to handle so many languages
(maintaining or learning) them at same time.

Since we are on the same team (East Asian), I will follow your progress in Mandarin.

Best of luck with your languages in 2015, Expugnator.
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Senior Member
Joined 3801 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 19 of 364
05 January 2015 at 9:56pm | IP Logged 
An evident advantage of learning several languages is being on multiple teams and being able to share my stories and learn from so many team mates who are a true source of inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement once again and I hope I won't disappoint anyone or myself.

By the way, reading the logs of people who are learning languages which are in my hitlist is a way of dealing with Wanderlust, which has been particularly intense lately. So I'm glad I can read logs of people learning Croatian, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Esperanto, Indonesian while I keep trying to bring my languages to basic fluency so I can learn with less stress.

@Woodsei: Chinese and Japanese do share a lot of study issues, so I'm sure we'll have a lot to discuss at the team.

@Elenia: feel free to post whenever you want, I will try my best to help. I don't have any different techniques, I only try to keep going.

@druckfehler: I really hope so, I keep signed up to follow their logs, and I hope they show up even if not at our TAC team.

@milesaway and @Nieng Zhonghan , it's just a combo of lots of free time + lots of wanderlust really ;)
Finished the reading part of French the Super Challenge! 5010 words as of yesterday. I'm still reading the most important French book of the decade, Le Capital au XXIè siècle, which alone allowed me over 700 pages, but I'm looking forward to finishing it and doing something lighter. Btw, if a moderator is reading this, please add the tag Super Challenge to this thread, too.

Today is my first one on holidays home alone. That will last for two years. I believe it is going to be harder to keep the routine: more distractions and I also have to leave to have lunch, go to the bank etc. I'm more confident about one aspect: that I will be able to concentrate at one actitivy at a time and pay attention to it. The first test was successful: I watched today's episode of Happy Journey Across China and it was my best one ever. I could associate hanzi, sound and English meaning on the go, so it was almost like doing subs2srs (without the repetition that I dislike).

Even at the Papiamento short news clip I watch everyday I managed to stay focused and could reach over 90% comprehension (the matter being discussed, on taxes and retirement, wouldn't allow me for a full understanding).

Today's Estonian lesson was a bit less tiresome, maybe it was the rest I took in the previous two weeks. It is still the most demanding resource atm. This textbook I'm using will be finished on Friday. I admit I will have to review grammar a lot, especially if I want to activate it. It seems harder to make the average sentence in Estonian than in Georgian, because the noun morphology is much more complex and irregular in way that surpasses the difficulties of the Georgian verbal system.

Russian's Assimil Perfectionnement will also be over this week. One more book that I sort of wasted. My level wasn't high enough when I started to allow me to actually learn the nuances being introduced, the idioms, the up-to-date dialogues that include even computers and cellphones. It will be harder to find another recent textbook rich in dialogues. I will have to dig through last year's log to see if I hadn't planned something, probably Linguaphone which is old.

Speaking of old textbooks (but no so old), I did the first lesson of Learn Norwegian, after having worked on the long introduction last time. Like I wrote in my deceased log, this book has the most comprehensive introduction to Norwegian phonology ever. I’m starting to get the hang of double-toned words, even if most of what I hear already sounds natural thanks to the exposure I’ve had. But today is already about basic grammar. The sentences seem elementary, but my goal now is to work on them automatically. The exercises consist of translating into Norwegian; there is no answer key, so corrections are appreciated:

Learn Norwegian - lesson 01
Jeg er student. Jeg studerer norsk og historie. Læreren min heter Hansen. Har snakker godt norsk. Han er norsk. Mora mi er også lærer. Hun er ikke her. Hun er i Amerika. Hun snakker engelsk, fransk og tysk. Jeg snakker bare engelsk, men jeg forstår tysk og fransk. Faren min er doktor. Han er også i Amerika. Hans navn er John Smith. Søsteren min er i Paris. Hun heter Margaret. Hun studerer fransk og matematikk.

I really like the book Le chinois par boules de neige, but it turned out the newer lessons aren't OCRed. I tried an online OCR (the same I use for Estonian and German) but the results were bad and I don't have pinyin to confirm or replace the wrong OCR'ed character with the correct one - the differences may hinder comprehension. I already asked some friends for help, maybe it works.

I can say my main goal for today was reached. I did each of my activities with more attention than I usually put, and the results can be noticed. I'm far from being able to read Georgian or Russian extensively and get the gist, but I could learn more from today's reads because I'd pause and compare more often. Not enough so with German, but then I'm already starting to get the hang of it. Besides, I watched the Georgian soap-opera attentively almost all the time and started to get things from context. Maybe my upcoming novel will help, because it will consist largely of dialogues (whichever option I end up picking). Finally, I could grasp a lot from Deutsch Direkt as well as from Poor Nastya - Russian really is a language where you can learn vocabulary on the go, it sounds more transparent than any language richer in vowels, even with vowel reduction, palatalization and such. There was also the Singaporean series - once again, I'm close to a breakthrough in terms of understanding. Enough to only miss a couple of words every other sentence, so it's like I'm reading from a dialogue in a textbook.

That was all I could do as of today. No "extras": Turkic challenge, Italian, active skills. But that was sactisfactory given that my afternoon ends earlier when I'm home, and given all that stress involving going to 3 banks and still having issues with transferences. I'm not the slightest close to burnout and I feel like I could do 3 hours more, and that is an important symptom, that means I'm internalizing the feeling that I'm doing things a little more diligently.
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Senior Member
Joined 3801 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 20 of 364
06 January 2015 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Relative clauses in Estonian aren't that difficult. I was scared a bit with that many relative pronouns, because of the number of case endings, but it all makes a lot of sense, more than in Georgian, for instance.

Solved the issue with Chinese OCR. I tried Google Drive, but I also believe the problem was I made a too large image file with the text only in the top left corner and the rest blank, so maybe there was some interpolation that caused quality loss and then the OCR systems were having more trouble than necessary. Anyway, did lesson 7 today and found it really interesting. What's more, I just checked another reader I used, Étape par Étape, and noticed my comprehension really improved. The texts there all look familiar, with only the odd character missing, so it means my vocabulary grew. By the way, I also had a comfortable time reading from Digital Fortress today.

Learn Norwegian - Lesson 02
Hvor er du fra? Jeg er fra Drammen. Hvor er Drammen? Drammen er sørvest for Oslo. Er kona di også fra Drammen? Nei, hun er fra Eidsvoll. Er Eidsvoll langt fra Drammen? Nei, det er bare litt nord for Oslo. Har dere hus eller leilighet i Drammen? Vi har bare to rom og kjøkken. Har dere barn? Ja, vi har to. Arbeider de? Nei, de går på skole. Arbeider du og kona di i Drammen? Kona mi arbeider her, men jeg arbeider i Oslo. Jeg biler inn hver dag, men kona mi har kort vei. Hun går. Hva er hennes jobb? Hun er ekspeditrise. Hva er din jobb? Jeg er tannlege.

It turns out the book has the keys. But I decided to write on my own first and only check it when I'm done. Reading both at the same time is nothing but parallel reading which isn't exactly intensive output. Of those above, I only missed the 'inn' for 'jeg biler inn', but I believe the whole expression sounds dated and people use rather 'kjøre til...'. One question to be asked at the team thread, alongside with the one on long consonants.

It was my best day of watching შუა ქალაქში so far; I'm starting to get the hang of it. Also a good day with reading in Georgian, I could read half-pages and follow the story just fine. German is inconclusive, though; I am reading a dense non-fiction topic and that might be related. I noticed it's better to alternate and leave the French original to the left instead of only to the right (I can do so better at home because I just open one edition at a tablet).

Another good day for learning Russian from Bednaya Nastya, but when it came to Divergent, I was already approaching burnout and learned much less, though not neglectably. It helps to just use two tablets instead of browing tabs or using a tablet and a desktop.

It turned out I was done with my tasks earlier, and there was time for one more activity. The choice of the day was 10 minutes from Revolution with Norwegian subtitles. This time it was synced so I didn't need to use the merged subtitles. My Norwegian seems good enough too, and I'm learning a lot just from hearing the English and matching it with the Norwegian. Next time I will do more French, as my films part in the Super Challenge is lagging behind. Still no Turkish or Italian.
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Senior Member
FranceRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3267 days ago

414 posts - 582 votes 
Speaks: French*, EnglishB2, EnglishC2, Spanish, Japanese
Studies: Korean, Norwegian, Mandarin

 Message 21 of 364
07 January 2015 at 7:29pm | IP Logged 
Well, I guess everybody's said already, but impressive as always! I'll be especially
interested to see how you'll fit writing into that tight schedule that you keep.
你总是那么井井有条~ 看一看你的日记就促动我学越来越多. 今年,加油!
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Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 5232 days ago

9753 posts - 15778 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 22 of 364
07 January 2015 at 7:56pm | IP Logged 
Congrats on completing the Super Challenge reading!!!
I've added the tag :) you don't need to be a mod to add them, only to remove.
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Senior Member
Joined 3801 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 23 of 364
07 January 2015 at 8:11pm | IP Logged 
@yuhakko: 谢谢你! 你的汉语比我的好多了!我很希望今年汉语谈 论的机会越来越多!

@Serpent: valeu! Sério que não precisa? que bruxaria é essa?! (hope you're up-to-date with Brazilian memes)


First, let me tell you guys about yesterday. I went to the German meeting group called Stammtisch for the first time. The meeting in a German-style bar, and there were over 30 people, including people from the German Consulate. Of course I didn't have time to meet half those people, but from what I could follow at FB the other meetings tend to have around 10 people, which is fine. I didn't expect the German group to be so popular, since the French one used to have much less people and ended in ostracism.

So, now to speaking. I started by meeting a couple - he is from this state here, she is from Greece, and they live in Munich. I said the 4 words I know in Greek and they were amazed. I talked to them both in German almost effortlessly. I had more trouble understanding because of the noise and the accents, but overall I'm quite confident about my skills! They are already going back to Germany next week, but maybe we can meet in Munich, it's certainly a city I want to visit. I talked to other Brazilians in Portuguese, but we were discussing important stuff on global politics and economy as well as collecting tips on travelling in Europe. By the way, there was a table full of foreigners next to our, what a coincidence. The place is really neat, local-brewed beer and German-style food, a nice combination. Oh, and of course I also had a little interference from Norwegian when I tried to say a few sentences in German, but I preffered not to mention this, enough to scare people by telling them I could speak French and English. Most of the people work on Engineering, including the guy who lives there. The ones who live here have all been to Germany as Engineering exchange students. I'm in the Humanities, actually a civil servant, but my wife is an engineer and my brother-in-law is also in the technical field, so it is also a group for good networking. It turned out one of the guys has been to my hometown and has worked with a friend of mine (from here, not from my hometown) in the 90's, so, what a small world and what nice stories. Besides, the level in the group is high, higher than in the French one, for example. I'm really looking forward to having a lot of practice in German and making new friends this year, and I'm thankful for having listened a lot since the beginning, it really helped.

Now for today:

Learn Norwegian - lesson 03
Jeg har et rom i byen. Jeg bor der sammen med en venn. Det er et koselig rom med teppe på gulvet og en seng, en sofa, et bord osv. Der er bare én seng, men vennen min ligger på sofaen. Vi har en blomst i vinduet og et bilde over sengen. Det er en tegning av et landskap. Bordet står midt på gulvet og det er en stol på hver side av det. Vi har én lampe på bordet og én over sofaen. Vi sitter ved border og leser eller bare snakker etter dagens arbeid.

A few more mistakes, and I totally forgot about stol, but i'm on the right track. I wonder if you use 'én' for emphasizing the number when the noun is neuter as well or just 'et'...or is it 'ett'?

As for the other activities, nothing special to report, apart from a good day for Bednaya Nastya's comprehension and sound-translation association and a not so good day on Georgian and German listening comprehension. It seems languages rotate naturally in terms of results and mental capacity even if I try equal daily efforts.

Time for a Turkish lesson =D . Starting with a striking cognate, saat (cf. Georgian საათი, saaTi). Thanks to Georgian and Estonian, agglutinative languages and postpositions start to make more sense to me, as if Indo-European was the divergent one. It's a strange feeling that only multilingual studies bring up. Regarding sounds, I wonder if the Russian ы and the Turkish ı only differ because the Russian one is central and the Turkish one is a back vowel, all other variants kept? That is, is the Turkish ı just an unrounded u? Funny how it is easy to hear the difference in vowels but harder to make them sound different and to understand how they sound different. It is the opposite with consonants.
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Senior Member
Joined 5791 days ago

4228 posts - 8257 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 Message 24 of 364
07 January 2015 at 9:07pm | IP Logged 
To be honest, I can't pick up the distinction between Azeri/Turkish ı (IPA /ɯ/) and Russian ы (IPA /ɨ/) when spoken normally (as in full words in a sentence).

When these sounds are pronounced in isolation, I can pick up the difference. However when I pronounce the sounds as part of words, I've resigned myself to using Polish y (IPA /ɘ/) which for me in normal speech is too close to the previous two sounds. The Polish sound is what I'm most used to and for better or worse is still affecting my realization of the other sounds.

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