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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
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SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5540 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
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Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 337 of 364
19 November 2015 at 11:01pm | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
My last landmark/goal reached for the Super Challenge! Today I completed 150 hours = 100 films in Mandarin!


This I found particularly impressive and inspiring - well done!
2 persons have 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 338 of 364
20 November 2015 at 8:21pm | IP Logged 
@jeff thank you for the support! I repeat what I said about Russian: it's an effort, though I still haven't reaped the results, my comprehension is fairly low.

I'm a bit tired of my current schedule. Many of my current native materials are quite boring. I'm making progress in the languages (especially Georgian and German) but I can't help finding them boring. I read only a few pages each day (except for French), so I tend to stay with a book for several months. Even in the case of films I only watch 10 minutes a day, which means two weeks for watching a film of an average length. Well, at least I see progress with Georgian. I wonder about the effects of listening-reading for German and Russian, though. It seems I can't always focus on vocabulary acquisition while doing listening-reading.

I think just listening to Glossika sentences whiel doing other stuff isn't that bad and will bring some results. I like it how the German sentence comes quickly after the English sentence and I can quickly associate both. Even when you're reading sometimes you feel tired and look away when trying to read in parallel. In the case of Glossika (using only audio) I can't help being exposed to English+German sequentially.

FInally getting back into reading Italian, after two days with no time for going that further. I look up few words and most of the time I do so in order to be sure of the meaning and be aware when not all the meanings of a word match in Italian and Portuguese. This is tricky because some words are just partially cognates (well, in fact most behave that way, but I'm having in mind words that have two common meanings and only one is a cognate). The motion and position verbs present a good set of cognates and not-so cognates (or even false friends like FR fermer x IT fermare).

Also Estonian once again. It took me a while to 'tune in', especially due to the longer periods at the top of the page. As I kept reading I started to better associate words, sentences and their Spanish counterparts. I'm really becoming used to the Estonian syntax much faster than it takes for Georgian, Russian and Mandarin.
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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 339 of 364
23 November 2015 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
Another rather productive weekend. I tried not to feel burn out with video and decided to read instead when I was not so in the mood for video. So I watched the final episode of the German documentary '2057', one episode of 'Mysteriet på sommerbåten' and one episode of "One and a half summer' on Saturday. On Sunday, I read 40 pages in Norwegian (a record for Norwegian) and watched one episode of Pastewka. I also chatted with a Russian for some minutes. In English, but when he spoke in Russian I understood it cristal-clear. It was basic words. Only when he said a longer sentence I couldn't understand if fully for meaning but I still understood the phonemes properly.

Norwegian series are a passion and a nemesis. I found Dag to watch online, season 4. Without subtitles, and I'm afraid I can't follow it without subtitles. Now I doubt I can actually speak Norwegian. As for the series I'd like to watch from NRK, 'Unge Lovende', it's not working on my browser as it did with 'Side om side'. It's really frustrating when part of one's motivation for studying languages is watching TV series and after three years one still can't do that. I say this with Norwegian, Russian and French in mind. I wonder what other people who became 'second-nature' listeners in French did that I keep doing wrong in French, Norwegian and Russian. I've had 200 hours in French, 100 in each of the other two. Maybe it's always the issue of not focusing entirely on what I'm doing.

Finished my first level-2 Chinese Breeze series novel. Now i'm going to work on a level-1 novel that I left behind. It wasn't that difficult to understand a level-2 novel. Not all words in the glossary were new to me, and there weren't more than 5 words I didn't know from outside the vocabulary. On the other hand, I still don't have the necessary momentum to understand the language on-the-go. Even if I know all the words in a sentence, my brain still isn't used to the Chinese syntax in a way that I can understand one sentence as it is spoken, so by the second sentence I'm already completely lost. This is a issue I have to deal with for my other languages as well, and I have yet to figure out how.

Still thinking about the need of doing more intensive activities. Both intensive and intense. I'm stuck within the comfort zone of extensive activities, background activities, not paying attention, not making any active effort for speaking - and what's worse, not even for understanding. I'm not sure I could handle more intense activities now considering the amount I already do, but considering the lack of efficiency maybe it's worth cutting by half the number of pages I read extensively and read 1 page intensively instead. I can tell this from Estonian, where I've been doing mostly intensive activities for over 1 year and now I started bilingual reading, but as I turn this bilingual reading into a more extensive activity its efficiency diminishes extremely. Graded reading, meeting words by frequency, making a conscious effort to learn those frequent words within context (because learning them within textbooks isn't enough) is probably something I can no longer do without. Perhaps I have to reschedule all my works.

Even when I'm watching films with double subtitles, I'm just learning vocabulary from conversation in a nearly intensive way, but I'm still not listening intensively, because I just let the video play regardless of whether I decyphered the speech or not.

One problem with doing only parallel/bilingual reading: I don't understand one sentence, I gaze at the translation. Sometimes it's due to lack of vocabulary, but other times I just didn't take the time to process the sentence in the L2. I keep doing this day after day, never taking my time to learn to process the L2. An error that goes on repeatedly. Perhaps the language that is mostly kept back is German. I should be reading better German now, but I read zero intensive German. No trying to parse sentences on my own. Just a quick glance at the German, then another glance at the English text. As long it's alright, I keep scrolling down; one second of hesitation and I rather read further in English and then only 'confirm' at the German, but very quickly. This is not a method for learning consciously, for acquiring reading skills in the language. I'm aware I can't do a focused reading for so long in all of my languages and I also need to keep the quantity granted by extensive reading, but 100% extensive, even when it's disguised as parallel reading, won't bring me closer to my goals which are becoming an independent reader, more critically in German and Russian.

Not everything is a disaster: it's getting better with Georgian, but in the case of Georgian I did some intensive reading up to my previous textbook, I reviewed some readers and thus allowed myself to take a closer and more intensive look at texts I was vaguely familiar with form my 'first wave'. But even at those texts I'd still skip studying some passages intensively here and there, by just bilingual-reading them. For German there wasn't a proper intensive-reading phase. Even when doing Assimil I'd read very quickly with the excuse that I was focusing on listening but then when it came to the actual listening I'd make the same mistake of not paying attention to sounds. It sounds unlikely, but what I was doing was the following: using a full-set of graded bilingual text and audio in L2 and focusing on learning the individual words I still didn't know from the texts. Basically what I'm doing for when I watch videos with subtitles and pause for unknown words. I'm turning the whole variety of resources I use into plain vocabulary drilling. Not fair, not efficient.

With Papiamento I've always read intensively. Two pages a day might sound too little, but it's about 4x or more a typical Assimil lesson. Reading 4x an Assimil lesson intensively in the L2 from the intermediate level on is not something to be neglected. I know, Papiamento is nearly transparent but my progress has been rather consistent. Even though in the case of listening I barely did extensively listening for Papiamentu, and for only some 2-4 minutes a day, the mere fact I was doing the reading activity intensively allowed me to keep growing my vocabulary and at least passively acquiring the main words that weren't obvious cognates. Now I'm finally starting to understand Papiamentu audio even when I'm not paying attention. Conclusion: there's more to the relative success of Papiamentu compared to other languages than its similarity to Portuguese. Maybe the 2-page intensive reading is more of a success recipe than the 5-10 pages extensively (I still believe success is in the compromise, anyway).

I won't do any drastical changes in schedule right now, it's a troublesome moment in other aspects, but it's something I have to keep in mind. If there is time I will just add up 1 page of intensive reading for each of my languages as post-schedule activities. The main usse with reading fewer pages a day is that you spend several months on a novel and it gets really boring. You start to long for all other books you could be reading in that TL, which is what I feel about German and not at all about French, where I read 20 pages a day and thus finish a new book in a couple of weeks.

One excerpt from "Stillness Speaks":

Eckhart Tolle wrote:

Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling — mastery in any field of
endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least
is taking second place.


Does it remind anyone of fluency?

A bit more on Kazakh. I'm really not paying attention to what I'm studying, just having a glance at it, as I'm not going to learn the language now. I can see how its verbal morphology is rich for expressin modality: the subordinate clauses get really short with the infixes playing even the role of what would be conjunctions in IE languages. I should have this in mind when I finally go for Turkish. Modality/subordinate clauses are something tricky for me whatever the language; understanding what is expressed is far away from actually getting it correctly. For example, the subjunctive in French and Portuguese have common roots but it is easier to compare the Georgian and the Portuguese subjunctive, which have a larger number of forms, than the French ones at which many forms are merged with the indicative, not to mention the indicative actually being used in other cases. Btw, I wonder which Turkic language has the most conservative morphology and which one has the most regular noun morphology (they don't necessarily have to be the same, of course). Overall the noun morphology seems fairly regular when compared to a finnic language like Estonian, for example.

Time for only one Glossika lesson and no Estonian reading. At least I chatted in Georgian, Estonian, Italian and Mandarin.
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 340 of 364
24 November 2015 at 9:45pm | IP Logged 
I keep falling in love with the Estonian language. Being able to use a monolingual textbook, with only a few word look-ups, is quite rewarding. Even if the textbook is for beginners, by lesson 9 there are at least two texts 4-paragraph long each. Once again I appreciate the ability of Estonians+Russians for writing textbooks, because those texts allow you to reinforce the key words and you don't feel overwhelmed by too many words at once.

I learned one important lesson today: I was going to buy one Kindle book from Amaazon.fr and I thought I could, but the moment I logged into my account it was no longer available. No big deal: I searched at a Braziliam bookstore and the the same French e-book is available there for almost half the price!

Probably the best day with Georgian reading. A couple of words looked up per paragraph, which means I'm looking almost all of them up at the translation and sometimes even in the dictionary. Now I am doing parallel reading, almost intensively. Today I didn't become tired and decide to read paragraphs and pages extensively instead. I kept reading in parallel and comparing words all day long. This is a stage prior to basic reading fluency where I could make an attempt of reading a pag without translation and just looking up a couple of words per paragraph. For this to happen my grammar should also have gotten better, so it probably has, which allows me to understand new sentences even more easily and thus brings me into a virtuous circle.

The book "En tid for alt" uses the pronoun I (sounds like a normal Norwegian i) meaning 'you, plural'. From what I could learn at the ##norsk channel, this is a Danish usage, common during the Union, and the author probably uses it at "En tid for alt" to make it sound archaic. I chatted quite a bit in Norwegian while discussing the issue, it was interesting and fun. Today I also chatted in Mandarin and in Georgian: for the latter I got important corrections (I did so too for Mandarin but I make less mistakes there and get feedback more regularly, while for Georgian it's rarer).

A good day for both Russian and Chinese. At Russian I understand more from just the Russian subs and I can start associating it with sound. At Mandarin I can absorb all at once: audio , Chinese subs and English subs, less and less dependent on the English subs. That's the way to go till I can watch with subtitle only in L2. There were few unknown characters (not words, characters) in 10 minutes video.

Finished my journey with Kazakh. I really don't have the mental energy to continue just exploring the language. It's a language I enjoyed, perhaps more than Uzbek and Turkmen, but the main one on my hitlist is Turkish, and even that one isn't for now. It was a nice Turkic challenge. The fact I have been studying Georgian and Estonian kind of 'spoiled the fun'. Some features of Turkic that seem unique for IE speakers don't seem so for speakers of Kartvelian and Finnic languages, like the postpositions. On the other hand, I bet the Turkic languages will impress me for their economy even more than Georgian or Estonian did when I start studying them in depth: it seems there's more than can be expressed through verbal infixes in Turkic while in Georgian and Estonian you'd need different 'tenses'. At this respect Turkic languages seem to have a more 'regular' morphology, but this is to be figured out at another episode.

I won't start another language to replace the Turkic challenge now. No opaque language from my hitlist (btw I'm learning towards Greek rather than Indonesian or Turkish as it used to be the case). I am reaching a critical mass at several languages at once: Georgian, Russian, Mandarin, Norwegian, German, Estonian. At each of them I expect to progress to the next level soon. So, maybe sticking some intensive activities for them after my normal scheudle is the way to go. After all, now that all of them are at least B1 for reading no single activity feels like a chore anymore.

Writing here just to keep note: I found the series Camelot in Georgian. Maybe next time I will be lucky and be able to watch a series with subtitles again, even if I don't really like Middle Age stuff.

As happy as I was to find out I can buy French ebooks directly from the Brazilian bookstore, and after all the struggle to get my account reactivated, the payment still wasn't processed and so the ebook isn't available as of today (I could have bought it earlier but I was considering I'd buy it from Amazon where payment is processed instantly). Anyway, good things may come to the better and I'm going to read the book "Le jeu de la Vie et comment le jouer" by Florence Scovel Shinn and Dr. Mary Sterling. Maybe I can learn something new from it. In ten days I get back to my recurrent authors. Maybe next time (two books later) I should get back to fiction to see how my daily French is like, but I'm not in the mood for staying longer in fiction when I can keep reading about interesting subjects.

Glossika is working. Even i I keep making the same mistakes re. not to pay attention to it, I can still learn a lot from short attention moments, and it also gets easier to pay attention and to understand what I pay attention to, as the repetition keeps happening. I'd gladly do it for another language after Business German. Estonian is a good candidate, though I only have the text so far, no audio.

Once again I had just enough time to read Estonian. It's becoming my favorite activity of the day, where I see most progress. Funny how with Estonian (and with this novel) I don't find it annoying to read a sentence in L1 first, it doesn't feel like spoiling. It helps that Estonian uses the Latin alphabet and it's fairly easy to resume where I stopped, to flip between Estonian and Spanish. Things were much more complicated when I started trying to read in Georgian. Yet I still think it was my headstart that was more consistent in Estonian. I had better resources and I used them better. I still can't transfer them into output optimally because I'm nearly clueless about noun morphology. Basically the same issue as with Russian. I tend to try harder with complicated verbal morphology because I still think getting the verbs right is more important than getting the nouns right (after all, I speak a language natively that has several verbal tenses and has no cases). Anyway, I'm confident I can think about some output next year. Estonian is a language I really enjoy.
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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 341 of 364
25 November 2015 at 9:59pm | IP Logged 
Speaky had another change on its interface which makes it look more like social networks. I like it so far. I can see people who are online more easily. There should be options to order by native language, for example. Still not possible to just search by native language, you only search for those who 'match' your native language as well.

Hello Talk, on the other hand, wasn't working since last evening. It only resumed when I logged out and logged in again. There were some messages pending answer. Even so I still couldn't send voice messages, even after taking courage to discreetly record them at the office's canteen.

The new interface at Gospeaky looks nice but I miss more ostensive notifications, I'm not sure but it seems even the (1) notification at the tab and the sound are gone.
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 342 of 364
26 November 2015 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
The Estonian textbook has interesting exercises for learning cases: singular, then plural, then plural with numbers. Just that they're useless without an answer key. Russians weren't much keen on placing an answer key at their textbooks even though they are perfectly suitable for self-study.

It's official, Speaky disabled sound notifications, and now I'm completely lost as to whethert there are new messages.

Today I finally paid more attention than usual to reading Chinese with pop-up. And it didn't take much longer than it usually does to read faster, probably less than 5 minutes more. This means I've been doing what we call in Brazil "economia porca" (petty savings). When I pay more attention I recognize more words I already know, and I also seem to learn more words.

At the same rhythm, I also managed to understand better from the Chinese Breeze level-1 book. There was one page that was only partially legible, and I managed to kind of follow the story with the audio. The gap is still too wide between what I can understand as text and as audio. though. The speech is normal native speed, despite the book using only 300 characters.

I read Georgian on the phone before coming home. The pagination was different and I ended up reading more than I usually do (4 pages according to the web app). I read some 60% more and didn't feel any sympton of burnout at all.

So I went to the Norwegian series and I had moments of good laugh. It doesn't mean I understand everything but I do understand enough.

Russian! It starts to get real fun. I dared watch a few scenes without looking at the subtitles at Interny. Then I finished the second book by Douglas Adams and started the third one right away, and it only gets easier, and I stick to 10 pages a day which I can't take in Georgian or Mandarin, for example. It helps that now the Russian text, besides matching audio, as the previous one already did, is also full and not abridged, thus matching the English original text as well. So I can follow the story more appropriately isntead of spending most of the time flipping through the English text to keep pace with the Russian audio. I also exchanged audio and text messages with a Russian on Whatsapp. So, my prediction that Russian would surpass Georgian might come into reality...though in fact I can understand more words in Georgian than in Russian. I think what makes Russian less tiresome are the presence of audio as an incentive and the IE word order.

I also chatted in Chinese (it's becoming automatic) and learned to use 牛 as slang. I chat through Hello Talk and sometimes I wish I could chat at the desktop too so I could write faster, as it is becoming easier to write long sentences.

Back into reading Estonian! A great way to finish the day. I'm already considering reading two pages rather than one, but that will depend on how much I will progress in the upcoming days.
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 343 of 364
27 November 2015 at 8:42pm | IP Logged 
I'm going to do a lot of reviewing in order to finally learn case usage in Estonian. Just the usage, because for the actual forms I'll have to keep looking at the online declinator. I should wait till I've read some more pages first as I will have some input to relate to.

Finally an easier day with Chinese redng. After the first 20% you start to get used to the vocabulary on a book, and so the text becomes easier. This is what happens now with my Chinese Breeze book, even though it was supposed to be equally easy all the way long, since it is targeted at learners who have a much narrower vocabulary than I do. Well, it turns out my listening skills are much behind compared to my vocabulary.

The dubbed American movies I've seen lately don't have much dialogues, they're mostly cops/action movies. I have yet to find channels with dubbed dramas. Well, at least I'm starting to ignore the subtitles more and more often.
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 344 of 364
30 November 2015 at 9:42pm | IP Logged 
The lessons are becoming longer at "Räägime eesti keelt", but they are interesting and it's still worth looking up all words.

Starting to make more sense out of spoke (=read) Chinese. Today I understood a page from the Chineze breeze book even though half the page was illegible.

I needed it for my Monday. I watched my usual 10 minutes in Norwegian and understood almost everything, enough for a good laugh. Time goes by fast when you understand the language and have fun.

Reached 4000 pages for German. That's 80% of a Super Challenge, and one of the reasons I'm not an independent reader the way I am with Norwegian is that I'm not trying it, I'm not doing any sort of that intensive reading with 5-10 words looked up per page that historically precedes my acknowledgement that I can read a language, or at least that was the case with both French and Norwegian. Btw, started an Austrian film, Das finstere Tal. Subtitles are for hearing impaired people so I get the bonus of learning how to describe sound effects and instrumental music in German.

Finished 'L'alchimista', my first novel in Italian. Now I'm following garyb's advice and try the supposedly easy Fabio Volo (for a moment I thought his name was 'Fabio Vuoto', but that would be way too self-explanatory).

It occurred to me after reading one of emk's posts at "Activating passive knowledge" that if I want to speak about myself, my learning, my plans etc. I'm better off listening to interviews, especially the ones involved several guests at once at a TV show.

When I liasten to Glossika while doing some sort of work I understand a lot. When I'm reading the forum I can hardly remember a word I listened to in Glossika.

Today I checked The Wayback Machine for Serbian School. It's such a loss.


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