Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Reineke’s movie extravaganza

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
40 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4 5  Next >>
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 1 of 40
13 April 2007 at 11:17pm | IP Logged 
With a pinch of literature. If I can get to it.

This started as a Japanese learning log. Since I like the idea of keeping a log I will continue writing in it but entries will be about other languages as well.

"I intend to refine my language learning methods, develop new ones and learn as much as possible. I'd like to brush up and improve on what I already know."

Yeah whatever. I edited the title. I am not really studying anything. I might be learning something along the way along the way but I'm not studying anything.


Prior knowledge: 2 weeks of experimenting, mostly with the dictionary - therefore virtually nil.

No prior knowledge or study. I will start with Pimsleur.

Brushing up and improving on:


I will likely do a bit of everything here. It is probably my most advanced language, learned while watching TV. If you care to know how, follow the link.

French I might actually try to finish that Mauger course.

German Learned the same way as Italian, purely by watching TV. I will start with some easy listening and later we'll see.

Of the three Italian is the strongest and German the weakest. I have spent a lot of time on and off studying these and I've studied Italian since I was a wee little bairn. I can watch movies and read moderately difficult texts in German. Since I haven't done much reading in German (ever, sigh) any attempt at reading in that language feels like a major effort. That's rather unfortunate as one of my "plans" has been to read a lot in this language.

I intend to study Japanese vigorously. I have no prior knowledge, only a strong desire to learn this great language. I intend to continue studying Japanese after the six weeks are over albeit at a slower pace.

I will periodically report here on my progress or lack thereof.

My modest arsenal (Japanese)


Oxford Takeoff in Japanese + 4CDs (1 damaged @#$%**grumble**!!!)
Japanese for Busy People I
Genki I
Some 105 pages of printouts of online grammar guides and useful vocabulary
Barron's Japanese Grammar
Gene Nishi Japanese Step by Step
A Guide to Reading and writing Japanese (Tuttle Publishing)
Heisig: Remembering the Kanji
Langenscheidt Pocket Japanese Dictionary

Audio courses:
Barron's Pronounce it Perfectly in Japanese
Pimsleur complete audio course
Vocabulearn level I
NHK Basic Japanese
NHK Brush up your Japanese
Japancast mp3 podcasts 1-47
Breaking into Japanese Literature: audiobooks (7 short stories)

Other textbooks, courses etc: I'll mention them when I actually get to them.


Two computers hooked to 2 TVs, a 400 DVD changer, one 1TB external hard disk drive, one Zen Creative Vision M (or whatever) 30GB player, Sennheiser wireless earphones that I will most likely tape to the back of my skull for the duration of the challenge. I'd like to hear from others regarding their use of hardware in language learning. Hopefully I will not prove that fancy gadgets do not a language learner make.

Saturday, April 14

Pimsleur Japanese lesson 1

Pronounce it Perfectly in Japanese 1st lesson aiueo
Wrote some sentences and vocabulary
Brain struggling to find familiar roots
Read a little about the writing system

Learned that "banzai" means "ten thousand years". Hmmm, I think I might remove this from the title of my personal challenge.

Sunday, April 15

Pimsleur lesson 2
Reviewed the first lesson of "Pronounce it"
Barron's Master the Basics Read the chapter on word order. Wrote down all the sentences.
Tried learning some kana through Genki I and Tuttle. Pain. Tried doing both hiragana and katakana together. Bad idea.

Monday April 16
Pimsleur lesson 3
Pronounce it 1 review
Master the Basics review. Read on parts of speech. Made notes, copied sentences.
Vocabulearn track 1
Heisig: Remembering the Kana: done first 9 hiragana out of 46

Apparently Barron's "Master the basics" is the same thing as Barron's Japanese Grammar. The second one does have a few useful additions and the first one some questionnaires but otherwise wasted $$.

Tuesday, April 17
Vocabulearn track 1
Pimsleur 4
Master the basics review. Read the chapter on pronouns. Few explanations.
Reviewed some hiragana.
Goofed off.
Made hiragana flashcards.

Wednesday, April 18
Hiragana review
Pimsleur review (all 4)
Played with the dictionary most of the day. Wrote half a notebook worth of vocabulary.

Thursday, April 19
Pimsleur review - lesson 4 only
Dictionary - finishing up with my notebook. I intend to read through my notes several times.

Friday, April 20
Dictionary notes almost finished.
Moving towards Pimsleur and Takeoff in Japanese
Hiragana flashcards review

Saturday, April 21
Overdid it with the dictionary thing a little bit -
I have a notebook with some 3800 entries, but I learned a lot.
Pimsleur 5
Hiragana flashcards
Vocabulearn track 1

Edited by reineke on 01 December 2012 at 11:14pm

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 2 of 40
22 April 2007 at 6:22pm | IP Logged 
New week

Sunday, April 22
Vocabulearn track 1
Pimsleur 5
Takeoff in Japanese 1
Pronounce it 1 review
Master the basics review
Hiragana flashcards review
dictionary notes - review
I will need to put some order in my notes.

I've been reading on the 10,000 sentence method. I'll need to read some more before I try to incorporate it in a modified form. I will most likely start collecting interesting sentences from the two grammar books.

I've bought some new materials today. Walking around the mall with Pimsleur on is not very beneficial. Yesterday I fell asleep with headphones on. Not on purpose, and no, it didn't turn me into a Japanese speaker. My head buzzed for an hour afterwards. Pimsleur's rather boring but I do find it useful. Takeoff is very lively. They seem to have employed real voice actors. A lot of new vocabulary right from the start. I think the two courses complement each other nicely.

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 3 of 40
06 May 2007 at 4:31pm | IP Logged 
May 06 I think I worked a couple of days after my last post but after that my computer crashed along with my course.

Back in action. Reineke's crash(ed) course in Japanese continues.

May 07 Pimsleur 1-3
May 08 Pimsleur 4-6
This is so boring that it's an incentive to study every day - so I don't have to redo the course again.
Vocabulearn track 1
Takeoff in Japanese lesson 1

Edited by reineke on 08 May 2007 at 1:29pm

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 4 of 40
19 May 2007 at 1:08pm | IP Logged 
Crashed soon after takeoff. I will have to redo everything. I have peeked in other people's logs and took some comfort :) Resurrecting my efforts.

June 18, 2007

A short update, a very busy weekend (not necessarily language-wise). I managed to do 6 lessons of Japanese, 3 of Russian (Pimsleur), I did a fairly decent amount of reading in German (which felt exhausting), I saw some documentaries in German as well, and I spent some time on Italian message boards. I received a couple of rather indirect and therefore very pleasing compliments. One was in the form of a question - whether I was an Italian studying in the US on the Erasmus program. That felt good, although I'm afraid I abused my Italian too much lately. I feel guilty about my French as well. Am I doing the right thing in tackling Japanese right now? Maybe I should devote my attention to other languages first and reward myself with Japanese last. I didn't get to do any French :(

June 23 2007

Installed Screamer Internet radio tuner. It comes with a whole lot of preset stations - especially for European languages but you can also find things like Persian pop and "dance party". It's worth checking out. I love it so far as it's simple and does not come with any bloatware. Another one is XStream radio but this one is mostly music and it does not come with so many stations. Incidentally, while adding stations to my favorites list (a rather long process) I discovered a Russian audiobook station. My willingness to learn the language instantly jumped 30%.

Installed foobar2000 player. Very efficient and plays anything you throw at it.

Installed the Korean KMPlayer. Very sleek and efficient. The default setting was in Korean and that was a shock initially. Gasp!

Installed Mnemosyne. Still trying to figure out the best approach to organize my learning through that little program.

Bought even more language materials. Wife was so glad. During the past few months she has been glued to Chinese TV. Daughter has been watching Chinese cartoons and listening to Chinese music. They have soundly trounced me in the number of hours "studied".

Organizing and planning my study course. From next week on I will have a lot of free time and I intend to use it.

The past few days were not very productive. I listened to Italian radio a little and I worked a little on my (still) painful German reading. I also listened to some French. French and German feel a little squeaky. Italian does not. It will be interesting to see what's the best way to brush up on these languages.

I have done a lot of reading on Krashen. His initial idea on the silent period was some 10-12 hours. Certain proponents of this method now talk about 600-800 hours. FSI can bring a student up to level III proficiency in a level I difficulty language in about 600 hours. Now, how best to structure a "silent" 600 hour period? How well would this compare to FSI's 600 hours? I'd like to find out if Krashen changed his mind in the meantime. I also read about a study where a group of students exposed to comprehensible input for 20 hours had better comprehension than students who studied for 100 hours using other methods. This means that comprehensible input is very useful even if used for short learning stretches and one does not need to be exposed to megadoses of input to start seeing results.

A few things I cannot get out of my thick head. One is that you do not need grammar books. I did learn Italian this way, and I am a "believer" but later I also found formal grammar study rather beneficial. Krashen maintains that one can use grammar books as an ordinary course material - it does not hurt or help according to him and if it's beneficial it's more of a placebo effect. I will use grammar books in several ways. I will come back to that later.

The din effect. Krashen's din. I like the phrase and I think I know exactly what it means but I want to read on it a little bit more.

Now, my specific problem is how to costruct an enjoyable (or tollerable) and efficient course based on some the elements of comprehensible input method and a few of my own ideas. Efficient is the key word here as I can certainly mimic how I learned Italian and (to some extent) English but I'm afraid that would put the final nail in the coffin of my dreams of polyglottery. I first need to understand Krashen and his critics better as I have yawned through all my classes on the theory and methodics of teaching foreign languages. Yawn.

Before I forget - again I'd like to thank Talairan for helping me with the missing two lessons of Takeoff in Japanese. It has helped me appreciate this site and its users much better.

June 30, 2007

Listened to most of Takeoff in German in one sitting. Yawn. Bought it on impulse a while back together with Rosenberg's German, How to speak and write it thinking that I "must" finish some sort of a formal course. Boy, was that boring and it's one of the more interesting courses out there. I like the Japanese version better. I also like Rosenberg's book and all the illustrations.

Finished with Takeoff, listened to the last cd several times while shopping. That was not a very wise purchase. At least I have an idea about the course as I have an identical one for Japanese. Way to go, leaving us hanging about Susanne und Hubert! Bought some new books:

La telarana de Carlota
Harry Potter y la Orden del Fenix
Las Cronicas de Narnia
El libro de la Selva
Mi vida de Bill Clinton (don't ask)
Don Quijote de la Mancha

I already have a couple of Potter books in German.

July 1st 2007

Changed whatever I was able to easily change to Spanish on my computer and the "Zen" (let's call it ipod from now on). A few settings did not go into effect. I'm not gonna spend half a day trying to figure it out. Changed the homepage to Spanish Wikipedia. Doing a little more "soulsearching" (see the "Global competitiveness" thread). Listening to Pimsleur and queing up a lot of Spanish DVDs.


Taking a deep, zen breath.


Pimsleur Spanish 1-10 in one sitting.
Oxford wordpack 1-5
Topcat in Spanish (a few episodes)
Spongebob Squarepants

Some 8 hours of Spanish today.

July 3, 2007

For yesterday:

Pimsleur Spanish 11-20
I had to restart no. 20 several times. Not because it was difficult, but because I had totally zoned out. I'll add more variety.
Some vocabulary work.
Maybe some 6 hours of Spanish.
I think I'm finally in the learning mode.

I'm glad I had to dig deep for my learning log. I'm happy so many people are writing log entries as well.

Edited by reineke on 05 August 2007 at 9:37pm

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 5 of 40
14 July 2007 at 10:16pm | IP Logged 
This week was uneventful. I spent a lot of the time soulsearching and experimenting. I watched cartoons in Spanish every day with my daughter. One day I will write an essay why I think cartoons are such great tools for adult language learning. I also listened to the Russian audiobook channel. I actually understood a thing or two. In reality my comprehension was rather disappointing. Anyway, hopefully next week I will get out of my Russian dilemma (more of a gridlock) and finally settle on my future language lineup. I do not intend to drop anything I "officially" adopt. Spanish is in, that's why I added it to my profile.

As for Japanese, has it been almost two months that I did not touch it? How sad.

I am pretty much a virgin learner once again. I'll redo Pimsleur, and continue with it at moderate pace. I also intend to rely heavily on Vocabulearn and word lists in the beginning. Now on to digging up my old notes...

Edited by reineke on 05 August 2007 at 9:30pm

United States
Joined 4072 days ago

77 posts - 2 votes
Studies: Portuguese, English*, French
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese

 Message 6 of 40
16 July 2007 at 2:53pm | IP Logged 
I don't want to interrupt your log but I think you have to slow down in the beginning since Japanese can play with your head in the beginning, plus it is easier to progress at a fast pace once you have some knowledge of the course.

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4155 days ago

851 posts - 168 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 7 of 40
16 July 2007 at 9:53pm | IP Logged 
I do appreciate helpful comments. I have been huffing and puffin' today and I decided to tackle Heisig. No putting it off until some rosy future date when I know more words/grammar etc. Right here and right now, dude! You're going down! I'm plugging in vocabulearn too, 24/7.

United States
Joined 4072 days ago

77 posts - 2 votes
Studies: Portuguese, English*, French
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese

 Message 8 of 40
16 July 2007 at 10:50pm | IP Logged 
sorry, by course I meant language, but hey it's not race, I just started Japanese 2 weeks ago and maybe after I've progessed far enough I will try to talk with you in Japanese. Also, try using Assimil, I think it is a really good course.

This discussion contains 40 messages over 5 pages: 2 3 4 5  Next >>

Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum

This page was generated in 6.0938 seconds.

DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2018 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.