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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 289 of 364
04 September 2015 at 11:40pm | IP Logged 
Listening to Russian with an Estonian accent is hilarious, but actually realizing it's Russian spoken with an Estonian accent makes me happy. Today I met a native Estonian at Speaky who seems really nice, she is already helping me with Estonian and I help her with her English which is still in the basics.

I was out for two hours for some pre-surgery exams. Coming back and managing to study languages and noticing I'm making progress is priceless. "Naljaga poleks' is really interesting and is going to help even with my Russian. Norwegian is becoming more and more transparent. By the way, I recorded a short clip in Norwegian this morning but decided not to post because I paused a lot. I then realized it wasn't because of Norwegian itself, I was attempting to speak about a lot of subjects at once and so blanked. I quite likely would have had those long pauses in Portuguese even. It helps to be asked questions than to just try to speak from zero about your language learning. Once again I know the answer to this: taking the daily output challenges. Anyway, I'm just happy that I'm becoming used to my languages and I'm enjoying almost everything I'm doing. Adding a language now would add to the fun, but I'm at a more tight schedule because of the health issues and so I am going to wait before succumbing to Greek wanderlust.

Finished the first lesson from, Schaum's Chinese. I like the lesson's format. Today I learned some new words and reviewed the same vocabulary from the beginning of the lesson (which I studied yesterday) in new sentences. This is effective for me. I admit I'm a bit too focused on pinyin so I'm trying to pay more attention to the characters concerning new airport vocabulary so I can at least recognize them when I see them.

Watching "The Vietnamese Bride" brings me wanderlust for Vietnamese, especially when I read that Vietnamese has borrowed a lot from Chinese origin (no idea if they are recognizable cognates in the language-learning sense, though).

So I managed to study today. I'm happy I did, because I learned a lot and I didn't think so much about the health issues and the marathon I have to run from doctor's offices to labs and such.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 290 of 364
09 September 2015 at 12:59am | IP Logged 
Yesterday was a holiday so I travelled on Saturday to my hometown and came back yesterday at noon. One number describes the extended weekend: 150 pages in Georgian. I read on the bus to the airport, on the plane, at home and the same in the way back. I am close to reaching 2000 pages in Georgian, and my goal are 2500, a half challenge, until December. Since I'm probably going to have a surgery, I want to leave all the remaining SC tasks at their best, close to completion. The only other challenges I still haven't finished are the Reading parts of the Russian and Mandarin half challenges, and both are at over 2000 pages so I think it's doable. I am not sure whether I will be able to study normally in the upcoming days where I have to visit doctors and labs and even less so after the surgery, so I will try to anticipate what I can, and the days I won't be able to study normally at the computer I will try to focus on extensive reading for those three languages. It may sound as too obsessive when I have a health problem to deal with and I'm still concerned about languages, but it helps to think this issue won't prevent life from going on, instead of being terrified and thinking I may not do things I used to do before, like exercising intensively.

I liked today's song at "Naljaga Pooleks": Käime katuseid mööda, by Smilers.

Yesterday I had a look at "Culture Talk" materials again. They have Uzbek and Turkmen. I have already been through all the videos for Georgian but I'm thinking about doing them again because where else do I have access to natural, colloquial, native-speed dialogues with transcripts and English translations? Now I have to think about a different way to study them, to make sure I'm retaining more than the previous times.

Regarding language practice, I'm a member of a Whatsapp group for Norwegian, as I mentioned briefly. It is mostly intermediate/advanced learners including immigrants but the practice it forces is quite good. I even became aware of new resources such as books I'd be glad to read in Norwegian. I've also chatted a bit in French at Hello Talk and at the IRC (there is an IRC channel vaguely linked to old HTLAL, in case some people still don't know - it is fairly active during European day/evening). and at Speaky I've chatted in Chinese but not as much Estonian as I'd like to. I will try to keep myself motivated and keep contacting my language partners so I can practice all the languages I want to.

It was a good day of reading in Mandarin, even though I was behind at schedule due to having left during lunch for picking results of some exams. I didn't read as focused as I could but I did pay some attention and learned new words but also realized I understood quite a bit.

I really like the way Schaum's book contextualizes the flying-related vocabulary. It makes it much easier and less painful to learn that much vocabulary at a time and it brings up a good feeling of process.

I am already planning on reading the next Georgian book. It's probably going to be Paulo Coelho's new novel, which I have to find in Portuguese now. The app from lit.ge works even in my old iPad while the one from saba.com.ge doesn't even work on the newest one, and so I can only read their books from their site with an internet connection. That seems a detail but makes a lot of difference those days when I'm working on my challenge score and have many hidden moments on the bus and waiting for appointments where I don't have an internet connection.

People have been contacting me at Gospeaky with an interest to how and why I managed to learn that many languages. It helps to have a service that allows you to display your skills instead of limiting you to one target language. I was contacted by a Ukranian and we chatted in Russian, it was perhaps the first time I chatted in Russian consistenly. I understood nearly all she said but relied on Google Translate to keep the conversation going, and wasn't doing that bad. Speaky also has the built-in correction formatting and it works great. The Ukrainian used it a few times and it was really helpful. I felt like I had been transported to one of Solfrid Cristin's log's adventures and had to find my way through Russian. Sometimes I remember some expressions I never though I'd have "actively", and I even get some case endings right from context without ever drilling cases myself.

I ran out of episodes with transcripts for the Russian series Анжелика. Pity. I was really enjoying the series. Now I'm going for Интерны and I hope everything is going to be easy as I will be playing from a local player instead of streaming and so I will be able to use both transcripts and the machine translation effortlessly.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 291 of 364
10 September 2015 at 12:03am | IP Logged 
Still having busy days and spending the rest of the afternoon trying to catch up. No big news with most of my resources. Today I started the Russian series Interny. I tend to avoid medical series but at least it's a comedy. I hope I'm going to learn a lot through almost comprehensible input through over 100 episodes (or as long as I can stand it), even though I still don't get the subtitles translated correctly. Well, maybe in the meantime my Russian will get good enough to get rid of machine translation into English.

As for the Russian novel (still Allegiant), I'm reading it mostly when on the bus as I come back from any of the doctors' offices. I am happy with how much I can understand just from reading in Russian (when I read on the bus I read it entirely in Russian first).

Finally managed to study Italian again, after several days. It takes me less than 10 minutes to read the notes and then listen to an Assimil Perfectionnement Italien lesson. Enough to keep the ball rolling. When it's over I will probably delve into native materials and only resume any textbook-like resource when I start producing systematically. It will probably be an advanced grammar or the one from the Practical Guide series. No time for Kuxnya once again, though. The good news is I caught up with the fora so I'm likely to have more time for studying when I'll be actually sitting at the computer.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 292 of 364
10 September 2015 at 11:51pm | IP Logged 
Main issues settled. I consulted with one of the best surgeons and my surgery is schedule to within one fortnight. It is going to be simpler than I expected, few days of recovery and the perspective of going back to the gym one month later. In the meantime, I can do some lighter exercises as long as it isn't too strenuous or starts to cause any pain. WIll try tomorrow, maybe some slow jogging ;) Today I expect to have my first 'full day of studies' after 10 days.

"Naljaga Pooleks" is really fun. The dialogues sound really authentic and contemporary, and I listen to and hear their counterparts in Russian. Since the Russian ones sound quite natural and useful to the extent that I remember them from the series I watch, I bet so is the case with Estonian:

Naljaga Pooleks wrote:

Ja mis see siis on?
Ma näen küll, et...
Saage aru, et...
Üks hetk.
Kohe toon.
Teeme nii, et...
See pole võimalik.
Ma ei tea, mis ma siis teen.
No vaadake ometi!
Las ma mõtlen natuke.
Tore!
Ma mõtlesin ümber.


Funny how 'Ma mõtlesin ümber' corresponds to 'Я передумал' . The translation I got to English from Google was confusing but I understood its meaning fully thanks to the Russian!

When I go through the first few lessons/chapters of a textbook/resource, I tend to flip forward and check how many lessons are there. Usually I'm obsessed with completion and want to see the end asap. In the case of 'Naljaga Pooleks', I did this after chapter 4 because I was worried the book would be too short, and I was relieved to check it has 21 chapters!

Reading Dan Brown in Chinese is really fun now. It is hard to notice, but I suspect I understand more words know than in the previous book, as the reading is much more comfortable. Still not enough to read extensively, though.

The film "La Tête de Maman" is an interesting one. Good for learning the language, too.
Not so difficult for beginners.

It came as a surprise, but working with Schaum's Outline of Chinese Vocabulary has already become pretty easy and comfortable. I'm on the chapter about train stations, and maybe I have more familiar vocabulary than with airports. Regardless of that, the course is really helpful and I feel more confident now in case I'd have to go to China.

I liked the movie "Fack Ju Göhte". German comedies bring up a new, lively essence of the language, although I didn't get to see much in terms of urban landscape yet.

I'm definitely having my share of daily comprehensible input in Russian, both TV with double subtitles and parallel reading. I expect a boost in comprehension, especially when I start L-Ring. The series Interny has accurate transcripts that lead to better machine translations, even though sometimes I don't even look at those, only at the Russian.

Italians say 'adesso arrivo' as we say 'estou chegando agora'. Most of the time, it's an euphemism for gaining time when you are actually going to be late. Cultural similarities...

Finally I got time for another Kuxnya episode. It was really fun. I wonder if other Kuxnya fans got transcripts after episode 60 (end of third season)?
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 293 of 364
12 September 2015 at 12:34am | IP Logged 
Let's move on into a new day because it's great to just be alive.

Sometimes good things turn into a better. I had scheduled to voicechat with a guy from Singapore this morning but he only showed up at almost 9 am, when I was supposed to get ready for work. So I skipped what could be my first day back at the gym before the surgery, when I was planning to do some light jogging and still couldn't speak Mandarin.

It wasn't in vain, though. I chatted for a long time to a Georgian which I also had met at Speaky. I was forced out of my comfort zone but noticed it is much easier now to look words up and find the correct Georgian forms. Still a nightmare for the future tense, where Google T usually gets everything messed up, but today I even managed a perfect tense - ორჯერ ევროპაში ვყოფილვარ/I've been to Europe twice. I was in doubt about the correct form, I had forgot the first ვ, but I still could search at Google and find it.

Then when I talked to the guy from Singapore we talked mostly in English. His English is about the same level as my Chinese or lower, which means there is room for both to progress. When I tried to explain to him that I didn't always could voicechat, but I could usually textchat when I was online, I resorted to Chinese to make it clear. He said my pronunciation wasn't that bad and he was looking forward to helping me practice later. It turns out he's from Taiwan, so I hope I can get my initials right even though I won't get exposure to a Northerner accent yet. I still chatted a bit more in Georgian later.

I'm starting to get the hang of both Mandarin and Georgian sentences that start to come up naturally. In Georgian you have to get used to the fact you use the verbal nouns more often than the subjunctive forms and it's actually easier to come up with the verbal noun, which is the form listed in the dictionary; Chinese at this respect is more like Papiamento, with serial verbs lined one right after another. Learning to express serial verbal concepts is an important feat that is somewhat overlooked when speaking in a target language and can help students speak at lower levels. For example, it's one of the main contrasts between Serbian and Croatian. Portuguese is quite free at this respect, even more so than English because we have a conjugated infinitive, while Georgian makes heavy use of verbal nouns and Russian does so to a lesser extent.
In Georgian we can say things like:

I need to help you with the learning of French

...and that may even be a native's first option.

I just realized why I find the lessons from "Naljaga Pooleks" so useful. Apart from the lively dialogue, the sentences reviewed separately fit well into the category of "language chunks" as discussed on a thread at Language Learner's forum.They are important collocations that help boost one's language skills and they come up very often, hence the usefulness of the lessons for introducing them all in context and drilling them three times.

Today I finally read 4 pages of Dan Brown's Deception Point in Mandarin instead of 3. It's becoming a comfortable reading. I'm also on a better mood, particularly for Chinese. I read almost intensively, reading the translation when I couldn't understand something even with Pera-pera. Normally I read all 3 pages at once with Pera-pera and only then I read translation.

Norwegian comprehension is improving slowly. I can understand and have good laughs when I pay attention, but I don't always manage to pay attention. So today I understood well about 5 out of the 10 minutes of my daily quota of TV series. The audiobook, on the other hand, starts to become transparent. It's translated literature and it's enunciated speech, but it's native accent nonetheless, and any noticeable progress can be motivating.

J'ai commencé à regarder le film "Monsieur Lazhar". Peut-être que ce n'est pas mon premier film canadien, mais cette fois je vais essayer de faire plus attention aux accents et au lieu de tournage. J'ai trouvé curieux que tous les enfants étaient en tenue d'hiver au début du film et il y avait beaucoup trop de neige même pour une Paris en hiver, alors ça s'explique.

It was one of the best days with reading Georgian. Basic reading fluency is getting closer and closer. I'm noticing some synergy.

Started the German film Kokowaah, yet another one with Til Schweiger, till I find other options. The German subs are out of sync, so I decided to leave English subs at the video, open the German subs at the notepad and keep deleting the seen parts, as usual. I thought I could be able to deal with delayed subs but it turns out this film has the overall issue of the German ones I got: too low sound volume.

Russian seems to have taken the lead as the language at which I see the most progress. I have some ideas about extensive reading I'd like to open a thread for.

I finished reading the historical part of Parlons Ouzbek and I'm back at language. Still on phonetics. Now it seems I'm more clear about pronunciation, even though some vowels still have varying sounds.

It turned out there were meetings, difficult tasks and the time I had saved early went down the train. Well, at least I studied up ot Italian.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 294 of 364
15 September 2015 at 12:28am | IP Logged 
The weekend wasn't much productive language-wise but at least I finished the Georgian book on Arabic dialects. It turned out there were 50 less Georgian pages than expected. The rest of the book is an abridged version in English which I didn't bother to read. So I started the new novel by Paulo Coelho, Adultério. It concurs to be the easiest to understand book I've ever read in Georgian. I still don't feel comfortable about reading extensively, but maybe I will after I become used to the story.

At 'Naljaga Pooleks', I'm surprised at how much I'm starting to understand from the explanations in Russian. Estonian still progressing slowly, but I feel more and more comfortable and maybe I could deal with native material now. TOday's song was Öö Chicagos, by Jaak Joala. It was the easiest to understand so far.

Finished reading/listening Norwegian Wood, my first book by Murakami, in Norwegian. Now I was supposed to buy 'En tid for alt', by Karl Ove Knausgård, as recommended by Ogrim, but I'm having trouble with my accounts at both Norwegian ebook bookstores I have, which have been deactivated. They don't seem to be happy about having a customer in Brazil. If I don't manage to buy the book until tomorrow, I'll pick an audiobook with text in L2.

I finally chatted with the Italian I had met at GoSpeaky. We text-chatted at Skype in English then Italian and French. She is French-Italian bilingual and very strict when it comes to correcting Italian. Hope I cna keep practicing Italian. I also managed to practice some German at the chat. Like I often say here, this chatroom has quite a lot of activity and people speak many languages in there. I wonder why there aren't any more people from the forum there.

German is the language that needs the most work on in order for some improvement to take place. It used to be Russian. I have trouble finding German media for watching offline.

Finished watching "The Vietnamese Bride". Now it's time for Mainland China stuff. It is easier than I thought to find stuff with double subtitles. This is because Chinese subtitles are taken for granted, so when you find resources from China with English subtitles they are quite likely to have both.

Russian is becoming more and more familiar. The series 'Interny' is funny so far, and I'm learning a lot even though the most complicated parts also are translated worse at Google.

I was busy training a coworker to replace me next week so I had to pause right after the Russian resources.http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2 015/09/aramaic-middle-east-language/404434/
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 295 of 364
15 September 2015 at 11:56pm | IP Logged 
Reading "Paulo Coelho" Georgian after Portuguese isn't much productive, because even if I read paragraph after paragraph or even first in Portuguese and then in Georgian I still don't manage to analize all the Georgian sentences. When I actually read in parallel, side-by-side, I manage to relate nearly all Georgian words to the Portuguese original (I wonder if the translation did it directly from Portuguese or still from English, I bet it was a direct translation because I didn't see any reference to an English translation as before). In order to read in parallel, I need both devices, one at each version. Therefore, it's something I can only do at home and not at hidden moments as I had been doing with the other book when on the bus or waiting for appointments with doctors. Something using a hidden moment may actually mean wasting a good resource that can bring your language up to the next level when studied with maximum attention. I didn't manage to read a minimum of 5 pages yesterday so I didn't even add anything, but maybe today I can catch up as a bedside reading.

Finding German films has become a no-issue (at least for now). Next goal is to find German series I can watch offline.

It's becoming easier to read in Russian. I can follow the story, which means I don't get stuck at too many words or collocations/word order that breaks the flow of the story.

Reading from the dialogues at Georgian: a Continuing Course has also become easier. I am becoming used with some structures and verbal usages and so I'm managing to pay attention in the details, including some forms that seemed too complicated. Sometimes I even anticipate what comes next.

I had my demand to the Kundeservice from tanum.no replied and so I bought "En tid for alt" by "Karl Ove Knausgård". It has over 700 pages! I was expecting to read it quickly and then get back to a L-R, but this is likely to take long. Maybe I should take my time, read a bit more intensively, looking up for missing words, so I can improve my vocabulary from actual literature. At least I will be able to read during hidden moments, which was more complicated with L-R because I'd have to bring earphones and save the soundfiles at the smartphone first, one more routine to remember.

The reading of "En tid for alt" started quite difficulty. The book makes a lot of prophane references to biblical stories and so there is a sort of...not really, archaic, but bolder vocabulary I have to learn. On the other hand, I'm sure it will do better for my Norwegian and it's exactly what I need now. One needs to respect one's own insights, intuitions or whatever you call that when it comes to language learning. I got the feeling I needed to start watching Russian with double subtitles. I postponed it fora while but when I did I saw noticeable progress. Now with Norwegian I kept repeating I needed to get back to reading in the language instead of just listening while reading in L1. So, at the first day I noticed it was exactly what I needed at this level.

Learned one French word: "tout est simagrées" = playacting, messing. I have a long to-read list in French from varied sources and I better not think about it. Doing over 20 pages a day is an important compromise that allows me both to keep improving the language and to keep addressing the subjects I want to study regardless of language-learning (since the non-fiction I want to read can usually be found in French).

Today I practiced German at the IRC chat and Italian at Gospeaky.

Today was very productive for German L-R and I'm noticing important progress. Maybe that means it's probably better to try L-R with both L2 and L1 text in Norwegian, as this is what I've been doing with German.

Another busy day. This time it was simply a lot to do. Didn't even manage to read and watch Russian. I may have to reschedule some activities if this persists, as I'm missing on a lot of other readings.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3801 days ago

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

 
 Message 296 of 364
17 September 2015 at 12:36am | IP Logged 
Today I can't complain about language exchanges. I've been contacted by Italians and Chinese at Speaky and chatted in those languages. I also met an Estonian friend on IRC. I used to talk to her long before I started learning the language, and now after 1 year and 4 months I could show her that I already understand something, even though I still don't speak properly. On the other hand, those conversations, the amount of work and a request from my cousin to work on the layout for a T-shirt took some precious hours I was expecting to have. No problem, just keep going.

Accomplished Language Book: I read Russian



I spent a lot of time on this book. In the beginning, even though the texts were supposed easier, my Russian wasn't good enough to benefit from any reading that wasn't strict textbook with translation. This one doesn't have a translation, so I used to get lost in the story while trying to figure out too many words, pausing to look words up and losing the flow of the story. This got better throughout the book, which really is a graded reader. As I got better at other resources, paid more attention to the novels I was reading and started watching with double subtitles instead of just English, I got better at this too, and so was the other way round: working more attentively at this reader helped me get better at reading the novel. Now I'm finally confident about the future of my Russian. The long ranting period is nearly over =D

Now I'm going for 'Linguaphone Russian', the 1990 edition, which I don't plan to spend too much time on because it seems easy now. Its texts seem shorter than the 60's edition I used before. I just have to decide how I'm going to count pages for the SC.

After a boring introduction about angels, which wasn't included in the English translation I got, "En tid for alt" finally got into the main text. It is more factual and thus easier to understand, and when I look up the missing words I figure out everything. The translation from Norwegian into English matches well.

Reading 'Dan Brown' in Chinese is fun. I'm starting to look up less words at Pera-pera, or even if I mouse-hover over them I still don't pay attention because these are words I'm familiar with. It's not so tiresome because I know most of the words and so I can also figure out the word order and the meaning of the sentence. And I'm enjoying the story.

Today's chapter at Schaum's Outline of Chinese Vocabulary was about road signs. It was quite interesting to read the description of the internationally known road signs! Besides, it was quicker and helped me catch up. At the sample sentences, I noticed I usually don't need to look up words other than the ones that are being introduced, which is a proof that the book is at the right level for you and that my level has improved as well, since I'd have to do so quite often. The same happened with the Russian reader I mentioned above: early on I'd have to look up quite many words apart form those in the glossary, but towards the end I'd go on with the glossary only, just fine. This is also a sign that I'm getting closer to being able to read extensively.

Unexpectedly, I started to understand more from the Georgian series, after a sequence of bad days.

I decided to skip Futurama today and read some "Parlons Ouzbek" and do one Perfectionnement Italien lesson instead. Time has been short lately.

Edited by Expugnator on 18 September 2015 at 12:04am



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