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Serpent’s log

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3859 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 1 of 119
10 February 2007 at 1:28pm | IP Logged 
Sometimes I can make even myself surprised. Today, I bought two books in Ukrainian, one has loads of jokes and the other one two novels by Михайло Коцюбинський - Тiнi забутих предкiв and Fata morgana. Both books include translations after each phrase or sentence. I've already started the one with jokes and read 25 pages already (during a 40-minute ride in the metro:)) each joke is typed twice though, with and without translations, so I've read a bit less than that. I hope to read at least a couple of pages a day, my starting to read only the translation being the sign that I should stop reading for now.

It's such a pleasure to change a language from Just flirting stage to Studying actively :) at least I hope that my studying will be active. It's so frustrating not to be able to understand well enough a language which is one of the closest ones to your mother tongue!


And what I hope most is that it won't affect my Finnish studies.

Update: this was started as a journal for Ukrainian, but now I decided to make it my journal for all languages I'm learning except Finnish which deserves a journal of its own as it will always be a special language for me, "the language of my heart" as someone else here said (unfortunately don't remember who exactly).

Edited by Serpent on 13 January 2014 at 6:03am



Kubelek
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
chomikuj.pl/Kuba_wal
Joined 4114 days ago

415 posts - 115 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishC2, French, Spanish
Studies: German

 
 Message 2 of 119
10 February 2007 at 2:50pm | IP Logged 
Are you planning on learning to speak Ukrainian too, or just improving reading and listening, but sticking to Russian when you need to speak?

I don't know how close those languages are. For me improving my comprehension in Slovak wouldn't take too much time, but to learn to speak it properly years. I imagine there would be a lot of interference with Polish when it comes to inflections.

Although since you've gone so far with Finnish, you're probably not scared of grammar of any language. What a confidence booster Finnish could be for an aspiring polyglot :)



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3859 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 3 of 119
10 February 2007 at 3:59pm | IP Logged 
I don't know yet. Actually I'm also going to learn Belarusian and Polish, both because of my family background, so they're sort of more important for me. But there's nothing available here for Belarusian, only dictionaries, and Polish is not similar enough to try to learn it more or less naturally.

And if I do decide to learn to speak proper Ukrainian, I'll study the grammar for sure. It just seems interesting to try a new approach, to catch the grammar instead of learning rules... I'll be applying to study at the Applied Linguistic department of moscow state linguistic university and this is also my specialization at my lycee (it belongs to MSLU), so I really love such stuff:) once we had a task to translate a text from Polish without a dictionary or grammar reference book, just given about 10 words with translations in different forms so that we could notice some different inflections and the way letters correspond. I found it extremely interesting.

As for Finnish...now agglutinating languages won't scare me for sure, but German grammar is in my opinion much harder than the Finnish one... Although this is probably not the grammar itself, but the thing that there are few rules to tell the gender of a word and even they have loads of exceptions :/ I should also admit I'm not working on my German as hard as I could, mostly because I'll have to learn it from scratch if I enter the university.



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3859 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 4 of 119
17 February 2007 at 1:50pm | IP Logged 
My learning hasn't been as active as I hoped, I was reading the book just three times this week. However I decided that it's better to read it aloud, so I read quite a bit slower now. But that's a lame excuse, I know :(

And it somehow did affect my Finnish :D Yesterday (or better to say today, it was 4 AM) I read some bits of Ukranian aloud and then went on to learn Finnish... And I noticed myself speaking Finnish with a hilarious Ukrainian accent ;oD after singing a couple of Finnish song it vanished and some more time later I actually noticed I was speaking Finnish with a better accent than I usually do! Perhaps I was just trying harder than usual though.



Denis_BD
Diglot
Newbie
Brazil
Joined 3752 days ago

16 posts
Speaks: English, Portuguese*
Studies: French

 
 Message 5 of 119
17 February 2007 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
Hi Serpent, you probably already know a great deal of language learning techniques and methods. I would just like to express here some thought I had while reading your post, where you talk about grammar and stuff.

For me I think that learning first to speak a language is more beneficial than going after the grammar and rules and all that stuff at the same time. At least I think this approach helped me to kick start my learning of French.

I've divided my learning process into these stages:

Stage 1) Learning the basic language (speaking and simple writing)

Stage 2) Where I will start to learn some grammar rules and prepositions for example.
Stage 3) Is yet to be defined, but I think I will have a more traditional approach here. Learn more rules. But at the same time, being a more heavy user of the language, I mean, write it a lot and talk it a lot. I can call this stage PRACTICAL USAGE, I think.
Stage 4) Will be... FLUENT USAGE (I hope!)

Although I've expressed my humble opinion, I think I'm here more to learn than to teach. Well, tell me what you think, please.



Edited by Denis_BD on 17 February 2007 at 3:52pm



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3859 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 6 of 119
18 February 2007 at 10:47am | IP Logged 
Hi! I'm by no means a language learning expert :)
What do you mean with "Learning the basic language"? Learning with a phrasebook first? In Farber's book, the same thing is advised, except that it's recommended to learn really basic grammar first. I mostly agree with the strategy he advises, it's such a great feeling to move on with the grammar and suddenly realize: Oh, that's why this has to be said this way! I only don't quite understand why it is so necessary to start with the first article on the first page of the first newspaper in the target language you got, no matter how boring it is :/ He compared the learner with a soldier who wouldn't ask to be sent to fight in the tropics if he's been sent to the Arctic. I however think that learning has to be pleasant and if you have interesting stuff in your target language, why read the boring stuff?

Actually my learning of Finnish has been almost exactly like yours so far, right now I'm in the 3rd stage. The difference is that the first "flirting" stage lasted for about 3 years in my case :/ Also I concentrated a bit more on grammar during the 2nd stage, just because in Finnish you need to know more than in most languages to say rather simple things.



Denis_BD
Diglot
Newbie
Brazil
Joined 3752 days ago

16 posts
Speaks: English, Portuguese*
Studies: French

 
 Message 7 of 119
18 February 2007 at 10:15pm | IP Logged 
Hello! What I mean by learning the basic language is to be able to formulate simple phrases, orally at first, and then, gradually, to learn some writing (simple grammar). So you can start “playing a little bit” with the language.

So then you can start "glueing in" some new elements like new vocabulary, new grammar rules etc. day by day. I think it’s easier that way. That's Pimsleur’s approach. And I agree with you about the discoveries we make when learning a language.

Dr. Paul Pimsleur advocates that the ideal first step to learn a language is actually learning how to speak it. That's why his language programs are so "speech driven”.

I think you can learn with a phrasebook also, it would be a great vehicle for basic language learning, but if you have access to an audio-based support, I think it would be better. I’m saying this based on my experience.

This approach is helping me to learn French!

I haven’t got the opportunity to come across Farber’s book, but I will check it out.

Clarify for me what you mean when you talk about those newspaper articles, please. Are they included as exercises in Faber's book?

Thanks!



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 3859 days ago

9754 posts - 6174 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 8 of 119
19 February 2007 at 6:54am | IP Logged 
Well Farber's approach is that after doing the 5 or so first lessons on grammar you should find a newspaper in your target language and read the very first article on the very first page, looking up every single unknown word in the dictionary even if these are almost all words in the article, and then move to the next article until you read the whole newspaper, and a very important point is that you shouldn't skip any articles no matter how boring they seem:/
that book is not a textbook, it's a book on how to learn languages effectively, so no excercises are included. And it seems to me that he doesn't approach them as excercises either, since he suggests just reading the article and learning all the unfamiliar words, it's rather your first usage of the real language.



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