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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: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 44 ... 45 46 Next >>
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 345 of 364
01 December 2015 at 10:53pm | IP Logged 
Today involved some strategies for maximizing study time. I had to see the doctor in the morning and so I'd spend a lot of time waiting but without an internet connection. So I uploaded the audio of the books I'm currently listening-reading to my email and downloaded them to my phone. I'd then open the pdf on TL on the tablet and the one in L1 on the phone. It proved quite effective and I found it easier to understand both Russian and German without the rush typical of the end of the afternoon. I even had time for some extra Georgian and Mandarin reading. I hadn't read Mandarin extensively in a couple of weeks and I'm happy with the amount I understood. I missed some keywords but the overall coverage was quite satisfactory considering the nature of the Chinese vocabulary and writing system.

Finished my first Ilya Frank's resource, the Russian one, Tales from Zaikina. Now I'm going to use the second one, Russian in One's Palm, just for the sake of completeness. It consists of dialogues, not texts, so it's supposedly easier. It's like getting back to Assimil to see how much I learned. I expect to do several pages in a row each day.

Lessons in Estonian are getting verbose. Two long dialogues and 3-4 texts each lesson. That's a challenge, but I intend to take my Estonian further anyway.

Sharedlingo is Starting to get crowded, though it will take much more to get any closer to the late SharedTalk.
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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 346 of 364
02 December 2015 at 9:01pm | IP Logged 
I started the short dialogues from Ilya Frank's methods. They are shorter than any Assimil lessons, but pretty interesting. Given their short length, I should probably try lo listen and only read later. I'm doing 10 in a row and counting them as 1 page.

After several days I could finally read in Mandarin with a bit more focus. I think I understand much more than the habit of reading with Pera-pera allows me to realize. I'm confident my Chinese will get better in the upcoming months as I keep receiving comprehensible input in all of my resources, taking care of both listening and writing.

FInished the film "Formula 51" in Georgian. This one was difficult and I'd lose track quite often, but at least short sentences are crystal clear. Now I'm going to watch a film in French, Ca$h (2008) dubbed in Georgian, with subtitles in Portuguese (I checked, they match the film). It's getting harder to find mainstream films but I'll keep trying because the other option is the Camelot series and I'm totally not fond of things that genre.

Three more pages from Fabio Volo's book. This time there were many idioms and so even though I read it earlier in the morning extensively, I decided to read it intensively later today. I don't regret my decision of reading "superficial" novels, because they usually teach a lot about life in the country. At one single paragraph I learned bilocale, mutuo and interesse euribor.

I also paid more attention to my reading session of Estonian. Muh better than the previous days. It's easy to distinguish what is a verb and what is a noun (it's not so easy in languages like Georgian, believe me), so I cna figure out the word order and what word translates what fairly consistently.
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 347 of 364
03 December 2015 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
Today I finally listened to Papiamento videos again, after several days. Still having a good comprehension. In the Papiamento front, I also finished reading the book "Mi bida no bal niun sèn" and now i'm back into reading short news articles, which weren't as elucidative as this book was - and this book is available for free at the author's website. Though it's been translated from Dutch, it has a wide range of Papiamento colloquial words. The author writes as though he is having an intimate conversation and discusses important issues involving marginalized childhood in the ABC islands. Enlightening.

At the material gathering front, I've been charged taxes for the DVDs for the 5th, 6th and 7th seasons of Futurama in German. The taxes are about the same as the actual price, which means I pay twice for them. At the current rate of over 4 reais for 1 euro, that means I paid around 8x the price in euros for those 3 dvds. I definitely need to find another way of having access to German media. On the good news, the Introductory Hebrew course with 90 lessons by Routledge is finally available, and that makes me wanderlust a bit more. I wonder how many "opaque" languages one can learn. At which point it becomes unbearable to learn all the vocabulary of a new language and thus experienced polyglots resort to only polishing up sister languages of those they already know? Maybe it's a topic I should open. I started Norwegian, Georgian, Russian, Mandarin and Estonian as transparent languages and although I am eager for more, be it Greek (which I believe won't be that hard in terms of vocabulary), Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic or Indonesian, I keep wondering if my brain really can take another language in my daily routine.

Still at the resources front, I bought the third e-book from a trilogy from a different bookstore, lit.ge . So far I had bought the two from saba.com.ge . Reason of change: I couldn't make saba's app work on iOs and had to open it on the website, so I could only read it while studying at the computer (or at the tablet through the website, not through the app, so only while I was online). Then I bought the phone with Android and managed to install saba's app and download the book, so now I can read it offline too. But I decided it was time to try lit.ge and open it on the tablet while offline, because the phone screen is too small, especially for Georgian. Well then...it turns out lit.ge's books can ONLY be opened at applications, they don't have an online library. So, since I can't install their Windows app here, that means I can't open it at the computer and so instead of a comfortable parallel reading at a large screen with a large font I will have to keep flipping my head up and down to the computer from the tablet or instead open the Portuguese translation on the phone and look left to rigth from a large to a small screen, both of which are uncomfortable. It turns out you have to consider all the variables while buying e-books!

More on Georgian: I read my first page intensively without a translation, and it went well! It was just the acknowledgments page, but it is rather long with over 10 paragraphs. I'm looking up about the same number of words in Georgian as I am with the basic texts at the Estonian textbook, some 3 per paragraph, still doable. But now back to "perpendicular reading".

My mind is finally adjusting to the Chinese audiobook. Now I'm following audio and text real-time, no pause to figure out what I'm reading, which is quite an improvement. This means I'm starting to associate meaning and sound which is an important step towards matching listening skills to reading skills. It's a text I can easily read but I couldn't follow while listening, even though I could decypher/transcribe the sounds. I believe I'm in the mood for Chinese: earlier I read 5 pages of the novel from Dan Brown instead of the usual 4, I could focus almost all the time and learn new vocabulary and I didn't even notice I was reading a bit more, as I wanted to finish a chapter.

Hit the jackpot for Georgian films. I don't think I will need to worry about finding a film I like next time. I can just watch the film I want to like in Georgian.

Ca$h (2008) is another film starring Jean Dujardin; I recommend it (in French, not voiced-over Georgian, though I understand the background French better than I usually do with the English one. I wonder if Serpent would watch a voice-over film and count it for both languages in the Super Challenge :P

Chatted in Russian a bit. Impressed with two phenomena: Google Translate is becoming more and more accurate for translations into Russian and b) My preevious idea of what to write is matching that translation more often as well, and when it doesn't, I'm more and more capable of evaluating which one is wrong and where, that is to say, the language starts to come more automatically, even adjectival declension. The conversation was fun because we discussed language learning strategies. It sounded like I was writing at the fora, though in Russian.

Needless to repeat but I will, the best moment of the day was reading in Estonian. Increasing the vocabulary coverage through leaps and bounds.
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 348 of 364
04 December 2015 at 9:11pm | IP Logged 
Yesterday I watched one episode of Kuxnya in Georgian voice-over. It's got much better since I began watching dubbed American films, but still not enough for me to enjoy and follow the plot the way I did when I had the transcripts. It turns out most episodes from the 4th season are no longer available with Bulgarian subtitles, which is the way I understand the most from. So I'll have to keep trying episodes in Georgian or Russian during my 'best days' until I reach the 5th season.

Once again I read 5 pages in Mandarin instead of 4, even past a whole chapter. This time I really forgot the number of the page I started reading.

Finished "Stille spricht" and went straight for the following book in Eckhart Tolle's bibliography: Eine Neue Erde. Pages are Cluttered A4 format with a smaller font, so I'm counting them as double.

Overall it was a good, productive day, though I still haven't succeeded at organizing myself for doing output activities after I've done all the schdule activities plus the surplus ones.
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 349 of 364
09 December 2015 at 9:26pm | IP Logged 
We had a hOliday yesterday and so I went to my hometown on Saturday and came back in the afternoon. Not much langugae-wise, except for the book I can only read in my new device: I finished it. Also, 10 more pages in Norwegian. It's sad but I have to 'save' Norwegian reading because the books are all so expensive. I wonder if the fact I'm not watching videos has to do with me having finished the Super Challenge.

Before sleep I tried to watch one episode of 'Dag', but my comprehension still isn't well enough. I have to try and get speed with audiobooks, maybe through actually increasing their speed.

It was a difficult Estonian lesson. Unusual vocabulary, took a lot of time for me to translate each word. If things keep at this rhythm the textbook is going to be harder than the novel I'm reading later in the afternoon.

At what point was language learning (or discussion about language learning) reduced to the best tricks for optimizing one's SRS with audio, video and whatnot?

An interesting text about Georgian.
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 350 of 364
11 December 2015 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
A great film, Les Choristes. Now I'm going to watch a comedy called "Lol".

Today's Estonian lesson had Little Red Riding Hood. It was great to read a story I was already familiar with, as I could understand nearly everything.

A friend asked if I could understand everything from The Lion King in Norwegian. I can't, most of what I understand is from knowing the lyrics in English. It was a good exercise nonetheless.

Finished the Chinese Breeze novel I was reading from the beginner's level. Aural comprehension is getting better. Now I'm going to try another level 2 novel, see if there was any progress compared to the previous one. I do have loads of Chinese materials lined up, for example, I found some textbooks on tips for reading. Chinese being such a dense language, I really don't foresee to let go of textbooks in the near future, though I using a lot of native materials as well.

Russian has the interjection "опа", quite like we use in Brazil. Today's Russian wasn't bad, especially the series Interny, which I can follow better and better. One quote from "Life, the Universe and Everything/Жизнь, Вселенная и все остальное:

Douglas Adams wrote:

They believe in `peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms'

Они верят в "мир, справедливость, нравственность, культуру, спорт, семейную жизнь и ликвидацию всех прочих форм жизни".


Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.
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 351 of 364
14 December 2015 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
During the weekend I only watched two episodes of Kuxnya in Russian, one without subtitles - understood slightly better than in the past; and another one with Bulgarian subtitles - they didn't help much as I wouldn't have time to both try to interpret the subtitles and the audio. Subtitles help when you can read them instantly. I think they also help for the sake of mentally splitting conversations, who is saying what. Anyway, I'll keep going slowly with Kuxnya, watching one episode only when I feel I'm mentally relaxed. This weekend I also gathered new material for Estonian and Mandarin. For Estonian, I got Glossika, but only text, yet I find it quite useful. Mybe with a text-to-speech feature it can be even more useful. I noticed that the other textbooks I found are aimed at beginners and it's pointless to work on them and see the same stuff again. For Mandarin I gathered a cool textbook called 'Developing Writing Skills in Chinese' and a few more on Business Chinese (including one by Routledge). I took a look at the 'Boya' series but it's mostly writing prompts which I could do on my own anyway.

I'm neglecting Papiamento a bit. Not having time for watching videos in the morning, and I keep forgetting to read the newspaper articles in the afternoon. Maybe I should write at the FB group that has some native speakers that help out.

Today I chatted with a Chinese girl from Macau who speaks Portuguese better than I speak Chinese. We talked about how poetry is hard to read regardless the language.

Getting real comprehensible input for Georgian. Ironically, the fact there is basically just 1 voice-over per genre makes it easier to get used to the sounds. I'm starting to understand the scenes pretty well. It seems the film is abridged when compared to the English subtitles (there are lines describing scenes in the subtitles that don't happen at all in the Georgian copy), but that's no big deal, I'm not watching masterpieces for the time being.

Back into the Estonian reading after missing Friday. After the intensive work at the textbook, the novel seemed much easier today.
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 352 of 364
15 December 2015 at 9:35pm | IP Logged 
Had a good day with reading Chinese. When I'm not in a hurry I can read at least two pages attentively and thus I both learn a lot and acknowledge that I already know a lot. When I don't pay much attention things cease to make much sense and it's mostly a collection of hanzi I look up and barely recognize. Chinese's strong left-branching character requires one to put some words 'on hold' while waiting for the end of the sentence to see which is the determiner, but luckily nowadays I can understand this syntax better.

I understood spoken Norwegian from the series better now, but I still need to finish the current book I'm reading and find one I'll be able to listen-read. My vocabulary needs some confirmation of some words I see often but still don't master.

Today I finished tasks much earlier than usual. Then I started feeling a bit sick and not really on the mood for writing in my TLs. So I went for more input: one episode from Mysteriet på Sommerbåten (Norwegian with subtitles) and then I started watching the DVDs from Futurama in German. Turns out they're region-blocked so I can't open the DVD proper, only the files. It looks quite confusing at SMPlayer. I have a 2:25 hour long video when I open the DVD through it. Not sure it contains all the episodes, at least its start doesn't match with the description of the 5th season at the German wikipedia's article. Well, at least it's German with German subtitles. But now that the boundaries between episodes aren't clear for me, I'm going to watch only 10 minutes at once. According to Amazon, what's labelled as DVD 5 are actually the first 13 episodes of the equivalent Season 6. Well, maybe one day I will watch the missing episodes in English or another language.


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