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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 297 of 364
18 September 2015 at 12:04am | IP Logged 
Yesterday I could read Georgian in parallel with both devices as my bedside read. It was really productive, it paid off to wait instead of starting reading in Georgian only on the bus. On the other hand, I should not be affected by any sort of anxiety. I'm on the verge of reaching basic reading fluency for Georgian, Russian and German. It is a time in language learning when you get thrilled and you want to 'finish' soon, but it is still part of an ongoing process, so even if you feel like you're progressing faster now, the brain still needs a time to settle the knowledge down. So, it's not like because it feels so close that it's going to take only a blink of an eye. After all, what I'm doing now is becoming comfortable with the words I already knew, familiar with the ones I had an idea of their meaning, I start to become familiarized with the most difficult words, and, since I am more comfortable about the most frequent words, I can start guessing the difficult words through context AND I Start to figure out grammar/word order faster so I can start following the meaning at the sentence level instead of just the word level . But for this to start happening in a more natural way those things all have to concur for each other. So, no rush through a text, no feeling of anxiety if one text is almost transparent and the other one is opaque, because this is part of the process when you are 'almost there' but still not there.

Today I finally made a good use of the extra hour in the morning these days I'm not going to the gym. I watched my 10 minutes of Chinese. I read my daily French quota of 20 pages and started Norwegian in parallel with both devices, the book is still 'En tid for alt' and will remain so for the next months. It is not as difficult as expected. Yes, it's much more comfortable to do parallel reading than 'perpendicular reading', but since I can't bring both devices to here I'll stick to reading in Norwegian only, looking up 'known unknowns' and resorting to the translation at the most complicated passages. I could open each epub at one Firefox window at the computer, but what isn't practical is marking where I stopped and counting pages. I can count pages at the tablet manually but I'd still have trouble finding where I stopped at the desktop device the next day, having to manually search for portions of text. That's extra work not related to learning, and sometimes you have to make choices. If anyone knows an executable ePub reader for win that displays epubs as actual pages instead of a long text file, drop me a line.

I also watched the Georgian series earlier than usual, at quality time, and I understood much of what was going on. I also 'recognize' more words I'm still not sure about their meanings, which means there is less of 'blur' - Georgian is phonetically an easy language to 'transcribe' even when you don't know the meaning of the words, anyway, but now I recognize more uncertain words, while it used to be just distinguishable sounds but not words. So, I expect that with time, as I become more familiarized to words I read in dialogues in the novels, I will start to understand more from the TV series as well. It could have been better if only I had Georgian subtitles for whichever show, but the life of a learner of a less-common language isn't always that easy. At least I have enough voice-over dubbing which I can get English subtitles for. That wasn't enough for Russian and I saw an increased progress when I got hold of double subtitles, same went for German before, but at least my motivation for Georgian is higher, the language itself is easier to transcribe than Russian and German, which I already find easier than French and Norwegian, and maybe I can still get somewhere in terms of listening comprehension.

Another great study of Naljaga Pooleks. I'm more and more convinced that the quality of those dialogues is above average. Wittier than Assimil, more down-to-earth than the dialogues of Georgian: a continuing course, more contemporary than Linguaphone. It should really be used as a model for textbook writers. It makes my love for the Estonian language grow even stronger.

One thing about learning through this busy schedule: you gain precious minutes every day just by using appropriate software. Windows Media Player is native to the OS but it opens slowly and is slow throughout, sometimes it freezes. Part of it is due to its attempt to load all libraries and take control of every media in the local disk, the network, the portable disks. I couldn't start a player of my own, but ever since I got SMPlayer portable I can open audio/video files instantly and, most important, resume from whatever I paused at whatever computer I attach the portable HDD to. SMPlayer is on my portable HDD and so whether I study from home or from here I can just resume where I paused the day before. That means a lot.

Started Linguaphone Russian, the 1990 edition. The speech is still slow. I skipped the alphabet and am just listening so far as I can understand everything. I really want to go quickly on those easy first lessons. I have the textbook at one window and the handbook with a glossary at another, so it is basically L-R with L2 audio and both L1 and L2 text. This is going to work, I just need to get to more useful lessons. I'll be counting 1 page per lessons for the SC for those lessons with short dialogues, and when I get to texts I will probably make it two pages count as one. One thing I have to pay attention is not to allow the slow soundfiles to delay my learning schedule. Today it took long, but I hope it gets better with time. It seems Linguaphone took the path of 'modern' courses and instead of a simple format of lessons with dialogue and explanations and exercises, it has several parts of dialogues then the same text slowly then exercises and the handbook is a complete mess with each sentence receiving its own explanatory paragraph. I should get used to skipping it as I'm most focusing on audio and text.

So far, so good. I have time and so I read 4 pages from Deception Point in Mandarin instead of the usual 3. I was quite comfortable with reading, no sign of burnout due to that extra page. It helps that it was mostly dialogues with 2-3 lines per character, so it was easy to follow. On the other hand, as everything is connected, the fact is was easier to follow the dialogue left my mind 'fresher' to concentrate on what I usually have trouble with, which are narration and description, and so I'm improving my understanding of these and my ability to anticipate words. Same principle as I mentioned above: reading comprehension is built-up by several layers that each get a better coverage from time to time as you approach full understanding of a text.

No breakthrough in terms of Norwegian comprehension today, but then I wasn't paying attention most of the time. As for the Quebecois film, Monsieur Lazhar, I have trouble understanding the children when they talk to each other, as they employ genuine Quebecois French.

Still chatting regularly with people from Taiwan and Italy. Mostly in English but much enough in my TLs that I'm starting to learn a hot.

I lost time in the middle of the afternoon but still managed to watch Futurama again after several days and study Uzbek and Italian. Now I have to catch up with some tasks here and if there is still time I'll go for Kuxnya...and so I did. It turned out this specific episode wasn't at Youtube, only at a local Georgian site. I can't stream other videos at the desktop but if it's an Android app, then it's alright! So, I watched the video on my phone which was still much better than the alternative - watching the Russian original. Now there are only 10 Kuxnya episodes left with transcripts. I feel I could understand what's going on without subs, but I'd miss Max's insightful introduction and conclusion, which I consider to be most of the fun in the show.

People at Speaky have the bad habit of those from the late sharedtalk.com : asking for adding you at Skype. I don't mind telling them my Skype number, but it's so much more practical to chat at the desktop with an interface that allows corrections.

Edited by Expugnator on 18 September 2015 at 12:07am

1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 298 of 364
18 September 2015 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
Yesterday I continued my bedside reading with the Georgian translation of the new novel from Paulo Coelho. This morning I was a bit more effective on tiem management: I watched my Chinese film quota - understood quite a bit, the Georgian series - ditto, and I read my French and Norwegian quota. It was much faster to read Norwegian with two tablets in parallel, but it was still strenuous for they muscles of the eye and I still don't understand as much as from a 'lighter' novel. Things are starting to make a little more sense, though.

One thing I forgot to say about Nalja Pooleks: the song has the same theme as the dialogue, which are daily-life situations. Today it was about an unbecoming neighbor, and the song was Mägra maja (Badger's house). Call that synergy!

Linguaphone has a lot of detailed info about Russian. I could probably benefit from reading all this, but at my current stage, with the input I've had and the possibility of actually using the language through chatting, it is not wise to delve into a study that would be more learning about the language than learning the language. I can always review some grammar later through a grammar-translation or a grammar-exercise method. I'm happy wit just the dialogues so far. Even though they still sound a bit bookish, especially given the low speed, there are quite some insightful colloquial expressions that I hear a lot from series and that I'm learning to master.

Today I studied about making phone calls. This "Schaum's Outline of Chinese Vocabulary" really knows how to enhance one's linguistic competencies. I need the Russian one.

I still like 'Angelika' better than 'Interny'. I really need to be able to consume Russian native materials freely soon.

The verbal system of the Turkic languages doesn't cease to surprise me. A lot can be made through infixes, especially aspect. I tend to enjoy languages that make use of progressive tenses, so I'm probably going to like it when I study a Turkic language in depth - which will probably be Turkish. So far I'm just having some notion through dabbling in Uzbek.

Today at Kuxnya there were several dialogues I understood better from the Georgian audio than from the machine-translated Russian transcripts into English.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 299 of 364
22 September 2015 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
The weekend wasn't among the most productive, especially for Georgian: only 10 pages, which just made up for Monday and Friday when I didn't read before going to bed. I also watched one episode of the Norwegian series Side om side (thank you for reminding me, daegga!), but I need to keep watching further before it goes into ikke tilgjengelig mode. Most important, I resumed Norwegian duolingo! I really need more output and I hope the course will help me keep pursuing my goals of activating the language.

The lessons at Linguaphone Russian are already becoming longer. I like it how you have a text about a situation and then the same situation as a dialogue. This helps build several competencies at once. I'm going to keep doing two lessons a day as far as I can keep it, because I don't want to spend too much time on material slightly below my level. I'm just changing my count for the SC to 4 pages instead of 2, because 12 pages of lessons is quite something.

I noticed that in daily life Georgian uses a form quite similar to the English perfect, for saying for example that someone has read a book.

Another day when I read 4 pages from "Deception Point" in Mandarin. It's becoming a fun moment in the day as my comprehension increases.

In French, at least in Canada, they say "cours de récupération" for the same thing we call "aula de recuperação" in Brazil, so, the concept and the word used seem to be the same.

It was a good day of watching Interny, and I understood most of what was going on thanks to the double subtitles (usually there are so many new words that I don't manage to process audio, text and bad machine translation in real time). Maybe after all 12 seasons I can try something without subs.

I'm impressed at how easy it seems to be to form passive verbs in Uzbek. I still won't believe it's that simple.

Season 3 of Kuxnya is coming to an end. I still need to keep watching stuff in Georgian. I found some videos with Georgian subtitles, like Game of Thrones. I also have quite many American cartoons dubbed in Georgian, for which I could get the original subtitles. What is left now is figuring out which one will do better. Maybe I'd alternate one day with subs in Georgian, the other with Georgian dubbing. This is a compromise for when subtitles with audio in L2 aren't an option. Today I finished some pending long-term tasks and there was time for resuming Duolingo for the weekend.

I was planning on saving enough time so I could resume writing in my TLs on my log. Even though I've been chatting at Speaky, it's not been consistent. I chat mostly in Russian, Italian and Chinese, while Georgian, Norwegian, German and Estonian are difficult to find language partners for. Today it wasn't possible to write anything yet, but at least I studied Duolingo and I chatted the longest in Russian. Russian is starting to become a language I can speak, though at a lower level. So far it was only a passive language. It is really motivating when I think of what I should say in Russian, then I decide to check at Google Translate and what I thought was right. I even get some cases right. The correct function at Speaky also helps a lot, the Russian guy I was talking didn't correct everything, but the few times he used it were very enlightening. Seriously, I thought I'd be doing much worse with cases, as I've never actually drilled cases the traditional way, but I have somehow developped an ear for what feels right even in plural and in adjectives.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 300 of 364
22 September 2015 at 11:38pm | IP Logged 
I read 10 pages from Georgian in the evening yesterday. Combined with the usual 6 I read during the day, that made for 16 pages. The problem is those 10 pages took me almost one hour, even with translation. Besides, I feel my extraocular muscles are getting really tired. Anyway, as long as I keep the pace of 55 pages per week I can reach the missing 420 pages in no time. What I am most concerned about is actual learning. I still have the feeling, though, that I have several words on the verge to becoming transparent and maybe what I need is some rest for this knowledge to sink in. Oddly it might be the case for at least three languages at once, so it will be really awesome if I realize I'll have reached basic reading fluency in three languages at once. I have no big issues with understanding dialogues at any of these languages, my difficulty involves narrative and descriptive texts with the larger vocabulary and longer sentences it encompasses.

Today I was thinking that what I dislike the most about SRS is the repetition. If I had a set of sentences I'd just study one after the other, with a sense of graded progress and no daily quota, I'd learn a lot. That's what's behind Duolingo, and that's why I like it and it works for me (I don't review lessons on Duolingo). If I ever get into sentence drilling again, possible sources are Tatoeba or Glossika (I'm thinking of Georgian now).

It is taking me longer to study Naljaga Pooleks and Linguaphone Russian than I had expected, because this is the time where I usually get some Chinese practice at Speaky. Nonetheless, I'm still enjoying all this a lot. It doesn't do any harm because I'm reading both French and Norwegian in the morning (btw, it's taking me much shorter now to read the 10 pages in Norwegian even if I don't understand everything).

So I managed to practice a little Georgian, and now I'm missing Norwegian writing. I really shouldn't worry about French, because I write in it almost everyday at the chat. It's the language I usually employ with the French guys at the main channel. I was practicing while I was reading Georgian in parallel (my afternoon reading of just 4 pages, not the Paulo Coelho's book), and so I noticed I was also having less trouble with the reading than usual, that means, synergy.

It's getting better with German, too, even though it's mostly a passive language now. I'm starting to get into the flow really quickly. Today it was a bit heartbreaking to move into German as it was fun with Georgian, but then at least I'm noticing I'm starting to fill in the blanks in my vocabulary.

Today I spent a lot time training my co-worker who is going to do my job while I'm on sick leave. The surgery is due tomorrow, when I'm not going to study at all, obviously. I'll be at least 14 days off from work. Don't know when I'm resuming studying, maybe sooner than that. I'll try to keep reading the forums and my weakest languages (thiugh Chinese is harder as I rely on Pera-pera a lot). I will also try to watch videos which I watch from Youtube or the apps from the TVs, so maybe I can still keep practicing. Only the resources I need a computer for will be put on hold, but I hope it's not for long.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 301 of 364
02 October 2015 at 2:40am | IP Logged 
So I'm back home. I'm back into studying two days earlier than expected, but today I'm starting after lunch, three hours later than usual, so perhaps there won't be enough time for everything. It's relieving to get back to Estonian, anyway, and notice I'm not doing that badly.

Reading Norwegian and getting more than the gist. Almost no need to read the translation, even less so that the missing words are usually descriptive irrelevance. I should try reading during weekends, because this book has over 700 pages and at 10 pages a day I won't finish before 2016. And I'm looking forward to L-Ring again but this time with text in Norwegian so I can transfer listening comprehension to video as well.

Not bad for a first day staying longer at the computer. I went as far as the Russian TV series. I was supposed to start L-Ring "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in Russian, but I couldn't find audio and text that would match. It seems there are several translations into Russian and they differ largely. I don't intend to spend a lot of time on this, so I will probably just keep reading in parallel while having aural clues on the background.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 302 of 364
03 October 2015 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
Not much happening today, only that I went to the clinic for removing the stitches. Things have been going as but the actual region of the surgery in the abdomen still hurts and I might have to wait before even walking for a few minutes as an exercise. I missed a couple of hours even though I had started earlier, because in the morning I got busy with seeing all my books being deleted again by iTunes and having to format, restore a backup and then manually transfer the books back into the iPad, out of my usual order and with books I had already deleted. Nothing that wouldn't teach you a lesson at avoiding iTunes at any cost.

New resource started in Mandarin: Clear Midsummer's Nights. I am watching through Viki for the double subtitles. It doesn't work on mobile so if I can't run it at the other desktop (video block) I will have to try something else. I believe it is going to work, as the video is running from Youtube. As for the learning, the dialogues are indeed really fast and I still have trouble figuring out audio and pinyin after the English. So, the reason I wasn't benefitting much from the Singaporean series lately wasn't exclusively due to the different dialect.

I also finally started Автостопом по галактике, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in Russian. I really couldn't find a text for the audio I have, and the differences from text 1, text 2 and audio are strikingly high. What I'm doing now? Take a quick look at the English, then read the text because it's reading that matters and then the audio is playing on the background. It's a pity that the audio won't match with text because it's so neatly spoken, so transparent and Russian isn't a hard language to understand phonetically, so if audio and text matched that would be a boost and would quickly put Russian at the level of German and Norwegian in terms of reading. Well, let's see how it goes, I'm overall happy with the result nonetheless. Besides, I didn't have it planned but I ended up reading 10 pages instead of 4 just because it's what I usually do for German which I L-R as well. It's a lapsus for the better, and since I also started reading Kato Lomb's book in Russian while coming back from the clinic, that means I read 19 pages in Russian today with no big effort. I'm starting to fall in love with the language, really.

Regarding the Yürükler Turkic Challenge, I was supposed to start Kazakh and keep working on it till the end of the year, but I'm still reading Parlons Ouzbek and I want to finish it. Will try to speed up reading during the week and maybe when I get back to work I can already work on Kazakh. It's a bit confusing to learn about all those similar countries and similar languages in a short timeframe, but it is fun to have even the basic overall description of the country one finds in language books.

Not having luck with language exchanges at Speaky anymore (let alone HelloTalk). Well, it seems it was just a wave I couldn't keep surfing.

I could finally get back to Assimil Perfectionnement Italien, which I was already close to completing. Now it's a few more weeks. Today was review about the subjunctive. No big deal, as Italian has the closest usage to Portuguese when it comes to the subjunctive.

Answering Duolingo at the computer is much more relaxing and fun. Not sure if it's faster, it probably is, but I'm much less worried about typing something wrongly and having to correct it. Pity that I missed "Chinese Practice" today, I was in a good sequence there as well.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 303 of 364
05 October 2015 at 11:39pm | IP Logged 
I did quite a bit during the weekend: I watched three episodes of "Side om side" - can't miss any as they are only online for three weeks each subsequently. I also watched "One and a half summer", which only has subtitles in English. I think I have to get usedto the characters' voices first before starting to understand more from the audio. I read a bit more from "Parlons Ouzbek", which is also helping boost my French reading count, but there are still 80 pages left and I don't expect to finish today. I want to finish it before going back to work so that I have time to prepare materials for Kazakh, in case I need to get audio for textbooks I only have text for, and stuff. I only read 5 pages in Georgian each day on the weekend, but now that I'm over 2200 pages I think I can make it until December. What I've been most consistent about, though, are Duolingo Norwegian and Chinese Skill (the app equivalent of Duolingo for Mandarin Chinese). Oh, and I watched one episode from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" where they spoke Cantonese and it sounded quite like a similar language from within Mandarin's family indeed, as if, for example, I was listening to a still non-transparent Romance language but for which I could have an idea of how the language worked even in terms of grammar. Sounds encouraging, getting back Cantonese later with a huge discount. It's not just the characters, really.

Not much new to report in terms of my daily language learning activities, the ones I wrote one post about at the General Discussion Forum. All goes well until I start some more energy-consuming activities, which fortunately correspond to the final 2/5 of my studies: L-R in German (the vocabulary is not that simple and the reading speed is a bit high), German film (I have to keep an eye at separate subtitles at a text file), Chinese texts from Goethe Verlag (will take me still one and a half months) and then L-Ring Russian with unmatching text and audio and watching Russian series with both Russian and English subtitles at separate text files and I have to keep scrolling down at both and deleting for continuing the second half the next day). At least it's getting better with Georgian now: I wonder where I should concentrate my efforts in order to reach basic reading fluency, whether at common abstract nouns or on writing for reinforcing known words or just grammar. German is starting to lag behind but I think it needs more output and perhaps a series that will allow me to build upon vocabulary instead of just watching films.

When I'm done with all the Goethe Verlag tests (still the Advanced Estonian missing) and with Duolingo and Chinese Skill I will have more free time not only chronologically but also I will be less tired, and so I may experience writing more. As a matter of fact, just as I complained I wasn't receiving any more exchange messages, I started to be contacted by Chinese people at italki. It helps that I changed my profile language to Chinese, and I only hope I won't help them unlearn the English they already know. The problem with my previous acquaintances from other languages is that i'm resorting to English too much after speaking too much on my TLs. It is important to find a balance.

My conversation with a Malaysian turned into my longest and most productive Chinese exchange ever. After having already written a lot, he started sending voice messages in Chinese, and I started replying in English but later in Chinese. Funny how my memory of the tones is mostly based on the accent marks on the pinyins: when i'm in doubt I try to recall how the pinyin looks like. I tend to get the tones right of most of the words I already know, which means I'm learning in an organic way. He said my pronunciation is sometimes blurry but understandable. He sounds quite like Singaporeans and I said I'm used to watching Singaporean TV shows. He asked me if it wasn't a trouble to watch too much Singaporean TV instead of mainland, but I replied that I didn't learn the accent even though I was watching them, and that now I was back to mainland Chinese programs anyway. Also, I don't confuse many of the initials/finals I thought I'd confuse (n x ng which are alien to Portuguese which only has nasalization). It seems most of my personal ghosts regarding learning Chinese have been exorcized!

My Russian L-Ring attempt is still confusing, but it's helpful somehow. It's forcing me to read quickly so I can pay attention on the listening, and I'm starting to get the hang of it.

It's going alright with Parlons Ouzbek: 20 pages more today and 17 left, which means I will start Kazakh on Monday. With this, also 20 more pages for the French Super Challenge, and I may reach 10k pages. I'm not sure starting Kazakh will make me feel any better about wanderlust because what I'm wanderlusting for is a language that is a bit less opaque than the ones i'm learning. For example, Greek, a 2nd Slavic language, a Baltic language.

And so I'm back into watching Kuxnya. I think I will only see the rest of the 3rd season and then wait till I get better at watching with subtitles, as I'm doing with the series Anzhelika in Russian. It turned out that I didn't have free time for writing in my target languages because I spent a lot of time chatting in Chinese, but it was worth it.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

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

 
 Message 304 of 364
07 October 2015 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
So I'm lost in exchanges. The headstart I'm giving myself while I'm at home, by starting two hours earlier, went down the drain as I spent 40 minutes at a Skype conversation with a Italian in English, Italian and French (she is billingual, though I still sense an accent). She was much more strict about my French than about my Italian, she would correct every mispronunciation on spot, the dream of 9 out of 10 French learners. I had trouble with some nasals that I know in theory but when it comes to speaking I still may mix up, same goes for the e muet. She said I still need to soften my French accent, that it sounds too dry and I explained the issue with having an African teacher and having a native Portuguese accent from a place that is heavily influenced by Africa, and so the intonation being the most proeminent feature and the hardest to transmute, even if I am consciously aware of it now. She said my Italian accent was ok. She wants to prepare for some job interviews that involve role-playing and I think what she needs mostly is someone to listen to her and point out some mistakes, so even if my English is far from perfect I think I can help.

Then I exchanged some voice messages with a Chinese girl. Voice messages are the way to go, you eliminate all the awkward silences from a real-time conversation. The best of it was that I started to understand even the longer messages, with over 20" of audio, making sense out of keywords first and thus realizing the grammar. It's about time to call Chinese a language.

Another breakthrough of the day: I read 20 pages in Norwegian instead of 10. It didn't feel like a chore, though it took long as I was interrupted halfway through it for the Skype conversation. Norwegian is becoming a new French in terms of reading comfort.

It was good day for reading in Mandarin, probably thanks to the warm up. Maybe it's time to try reading something extensively again.

Not to self: always check if the Speaky live chat is off or on. It was turned off against my will and when I turned it on I started to receive a lot of messages from new people.

But then I somehow regret it. I talked to two Russian guys, one only in English, another one in Russian, and then one Italian girl living in Switzerland, in German (really hard to find German exchange partners) and then a German girl (who knows) contacted me for helping with Chinese and started to ask me desperately to correct some paragraphs of movie reviews. I told her my level was perhaps lower than hers but she kept insisting 为什么你不告诉我错误在哪儿? . I told her about lang-8, italki, even the IRC chat but she kept insisting she doesn't have any Chinese teacher or partner. Well, whatever. All this took precious hours from my routine that includes other languages.

It was a good day with watching the Chinese series "Clear Midsummers Night". The story starts to become interesting and I also understand quite a bit of the Mandarin. Same goes for the Russians series Interny: I understand more and more of it.

No time for everything in this which was one of the most intense study days ever. Just enough so I could finish Parlons Ouzbek and think about Kazakh for tomorrow.


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