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Polish: another attempt

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fredomirek
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 6775 days ago

265 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishC1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Portuguese, Japanese

 
 Message 33 of 154
19 February 2008 at 4:21pm | IP Logged 
I'm following your constant progress and it's really interesting as you know I'm using the L-R method too. If you happen to have any questions about Polish, vocabulary etc. feel free to ask (although knowingthe Troll known as:"atamagaii" you probably don't need me hehe :-) )

Good luck with Polish!
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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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 Message 34 of 154
19 February 2008 at 5:36pm | IP Logged 
fredomirek wrote:
I'm following your constant progress and it's really interesting as you know I'm using the L-R method too. If you happen to have any questions about Polish, vocabulary etc. feel free to ask (although knowingthe Troll known as:"atamagaii" you probably don't need me hehe :-) )

Good luck with Polish!


Thank you! Having more people to ask is always nice; I may well take you up on it. :-) Doubly so as I don't want to bother atama-ga-ii all the time; s/he's already been incredibly helpful. Also, I wish you the best of luck with your L-R as well.

For the moment, I'm focusing on resolving my questions through input, along with referring to grammars (though I've only done that once so far, this time around; although I'm intending to do so again within the next few days). Next time I see something that really throws me, I'll post on it though; I've done so a couple of times for Polish.

I strongly suspect that it would be going better if I could do more hours/day; but between my work schedule, tweaking my sleep schedule, and various other projects and obligations, my time and energy have been annoyingly limited.

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 6308 days ago

4474 posts - 6726 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 35 of 154
19 February 2008 at 5:48pm | IP Logged 
Day 10:

I did an hour and a half of Polish L-R today. Nothing particularly exceptional to report; I learned some words, some structures became more familiar, and I didn't find anything that I'd thought I'd learned but was mistaken about (some days I find a few such things, but never very many, probably because I'm fairly conservative about drawing inferences/inferring meanings).

The pleasant surprise of the day was reading the Pimsleur Polish transcript that was posted on this site. There were only a small handful of words/phrases I didn't instantly understand; the large majority was entirely comprehensible. This was a very nice contrast to my last attempt to L-R Polish, after which I came up blank when a friend asked (in written form) 'how are you'. This was especially pleasant for two reasons. First: I once tried Pimsleur Czech, and had a terrible time with it (unlike the other Pimsleur courses I've tried), as nothing stuck in my head. Polish and Czech are not entirely dissimilar, and both are somewhat difficult phonetically for English speakers, so I consider it likely that I would have had similar problems if I'd ever tried Pimsleur Polish. Second: I know that I know a -lot- of words (prosaic ones, like 'said', 'head', and 'morning'), and structures, which weren't covered in that lesson; having a confirmation that I'd picked up as much of the really basic stuff as solidly as I have (passively) was very welcome.

Lastly: Repeated listening to music is amazingly inefficient at this stage. I do it, for lack of a better way to hear Polish during my commute, breaks and/or in the background at work, etc, but it's barely even supplementing L-R, as far as I can tell. It's too far from being comprehensible input still, I guess - even with Italian, listening to music isn't a particularly fast way for me to learn, but I've managed to pick up more grammatical points of Italian than Polish via music so far (though, to be fair, I have listened to much more Italian music, both in terms of number of songs and time per song).

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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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4474 posts - 6726 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 36 of 154
20 February 2008 at 5:22pm | IP Logged 
Day 11:
45 minutes. I was extremely tired and low-energy today, and I don't think I absorbed much.

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CaitO'Ceallaigh
Triglot
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United States
katiekelly.wordpress
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Speaks: English*, Spanish, Russian
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 Message 37 of 154
20 February 2008 at 5:48pm | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
Finally: atama-ga-ii has been banned again, and decided to leave the forum. I consider this to be very sad, and the forum to be impoverished by his/her absence. I also consider the administrator's auto-replacement of his/her nick, so that when I merely type his/her nick without the dashes: atama-ga-ii becomes ' the Troll known asthe Troll known as:"atamagaii"', to be very childish and unnecessarily spiteful -- a trolling below most of those of atama-ga-ii, frankly.


I had gathered that s/he was banned, but I thought the administrator was above trolling behavior. Very disappointing.

I learned a lot from atama-ga-ii's posts, and I'm enjoying reading about your progress as you put his or her tips to use. I'm about to start Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog." I actually started, briefly, about a week ago, and found the process to be enjoyable. I'm just in the midst of reading a gripping novel in my own language (The Da Vinci Code -- corny at times, but I can't put it down!) that's taken up most of my free time. That might be a fun novel to work with as well, in the future.

Polish is a beautiful language. I do not speak it myself, but after about a week in Poland, I found myself picking it up a bit, from what Czech and Russian I knew at the time.

I forgot to ask, or maybe you answered or explained already here, if you are using parallel texts on the computer screen or from a hardcopy book?
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 6308 days ago

4474 posts - 6726 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 38 of 154
21 February 2008 at 6:19am | IP Logged 
CaitO'Ceallaigh wrote:
Volte wrote:
Finally: atama-ga-ii has been banned again, and decided to leave the forum. I consider this to be very sad, and the forum to be impoverished by his/her absence. I also consider the administrator's auto-replacement of his/her nick, so that when I merely type his/her nick without the dashes: atama-ga-ii becomes ' the Troll known asthe Troll known as:"atamagaii"', to be very childish and unnecessarily spiteful -- a trolling below most of those of atama-ga-ii, frankly.


I had gathered that s/he was banned, but I thought the administrator was above trolling behavior. Very disappointing.


Agreed. It's also making a mess of the free audiobook thread, among others, as I edit the main post. However, the administrator refuses to reconsider and closed the thread asking him to do so.

CaitO'Ceallaigh wrote:

I learned a lot from atama-ga-ii's posts, and I'm enjoying reading about your progress as you put his or her tips to use. I'm about to start Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog." I actually started, briefly, about a week ago, and found the process to be enjoyable. I'm just in the midst of reading a gripping novel in my own language (The Da Vinci Code -- corny at times, but I can't put it down!) that's taken up most of my free time. That might be a fun novel to work with as well, in the future.


Good luck with both! I haven't read anything by Bulgakov (which language are you going to use it for - Russian?) I read "The Da Vinci Code"; unfortunately, while it was gripping, I didn't particularly like it over the course of an afternoon (I think it's weaker near the end), and the thought of using it for L-R doesn't appeal.

I'm still trying to find a balance with L-R material. Most novels don't take me more than 2-3 hours in English ('literary' ones aside), and slowing down to go through them at audiobook speed can be frustrating unless I -really- like them; so far, the only book I've found in this category is "The Little Prince". On the other hand, I'm fairly unaccustomed to reading more literary novels, such as "The Master and Margarita" or "The name of the Rose" (which you might like; it has some pages of pretentious run-on nonsense, and I'm not really a fan of medieval theology, even when it's being subtly mocked, but for the most part, it's quite good, and similar to 'The Da Vinci Code' in several ways).

Edit: Roald Dahl books are also fairly decent; I used "Charlie and the chocolate factory" and "Matilda" for Dutch.


CaitO'Ceallaigh wrote:

Polish is a beautiful language. I do not speak it myself, but after about a week in Poland, I found myself picking it up a bit, from what Czech and Russian I knew at the time.


The Slavic languages are some of the most major ones that I have/had almost no notion of, which is one reason why I'm determined to get the hang of Polish (and I agree with you; it is a beautiful language). I'd love to speak Czech and Russian, for genealogy and literature respectively.

CaitO'Ceallaigh wrote:

I forgot to ask, or maybe you answered or explained already here, if you are using parallel texts on the computer screen or from a hardcopy book?


On my computer screen. I've been reading full novels on my computer for years, and strangely enough, it doesn't bother me. It's actually a bit funny - many/most people seem to be able to watch significant amounts of TV/movies but not like to read on-screen, but I find that the former gives me a headache, yet don't generally have problems with the latter.

In theory, I could print everything (either by myself, or from a print-on-demand service), but in practice, I see no reason to, personally.


Edited by Volte on 21 February 2008 at 3:20pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 39 of 154
21 February 2008 at 3:18pm | IP Logged 
Day 12: just short of 2.5 hours. I finished my first complete pass through "The Master and Margarita". This puts me at 18.5 hours of L-R in this second experiment.

I had a couple of minor breakthroughs today. The best was when I managed, after reading/glancing at the English, to follow along with a couple of paragraphs in a row, feeling like none of the words or structures were entirely unknown. It's an extremely nice feeling, and starts to approach how doing L-R in German/Dutch/Spanish felt to me (languages which weren't particularly foreign to me, in either vocabulary or grammar); I consider this a very good sign. I'm fairly positive I wouldn't have been able to read those paragraphs without referencing English yet though.

On a sadder note, the last 8 minutes of my recording were corrupt. Trying to see if using different software would help, I skimmed through around a dozen samplings from about 13-18 minutes into the recording (which is where it cut off). The good news was that I managed to identify what each was saying - I could understand it, knew where it was in the text, etc. This is a fairly limited result - after all, it was audio I'd just listened to - but I'm almost positive I wouldn't have been able to do it at the start of this experiment, and perhaps not even a few days or a week ago.

Vocabulary continues to become more familiar. A large number of decidedly Slavic words still evade me (they're the hardest to recognize and remember; cognates tend to stick rather quickly, even if they've diverged in meaning), but nonetheless, I recognize a significant percent of the (as far as I know) purely Slavic vocabulary at this point. The spelling and consonant clusters -usually- don't make me do a double take at this point.

The case system still largely evades me. I have notions of it, but am not confident with it even purely passively yet. The noun declension table and pronoun declensions may give an idea as to why. There are quite a lot of forms, some of which share endings, 2 endings for some forms, some irregularities, etc. What this all adds up to is less exposure to even the more common forms. It definitely wasn't clear to me with the first experiment that 'on', 'jego', 'go', 'niego', 'jemu', 'mu', 'niemu', and 'nim' were all forms of 'he' (and all of them can also mean 'it', except for 'on', which becomes 'ono'...and 'jego', 'go', 'niego' mean either in the genitive, but in the accusative, mean 'he', while 'je' and 'nie' are used for 'it') in various cases. The resemblances from one case to another are less than obvious. To add more fun, 'nie' is also an extremely common word for negation. These kinds of varieties and overlaps can easily make guesses as to meaning go wrong, and/or be wrongly falsified as hypotheses, at least for me. Fortunately, most of the language isn't like this.

Beyond that, I probably really ought to isolate 'w' and 'z' for repeated listening. I can only sometimes hear them; it almost sounds as if they're barely said at times. I'm less than confident about my ability to differentiate between 'za' and 'zza' as well.

Overall, I'm pleased with the way the experiment is going, -especially- as I'm not doing really long L-R sessions; if this is less effective than doing it as-recommended, which I have no reason to doubt, my hat really must go off to atama-ga-ii. The second most effective method I've found for gaining passive understanding is Assimil, but after significantly more time invested for Persian, I learned less than I did of Polish even in my first, more limited, L-R experiment. I don't think I've ever learned this many words (albeit passively) this quickly before either.

What I plan to do next:
Primarily: L-R "The Master and Margarita" a second time.
Secondarily:
- isolate 'w', 'z', and contrast 'za' with 'zza' (native Polish speakers: how different do 'za' and 'zza' sound to you?).
- spend more time looking at grammars.
- decide what to L-R next.
- finally check out some of the music suggestions that people have kindly made.

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fredomirek
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 6775 days ago

265 posts - 264 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishC1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Portuguese, Japanese

 
 Message 40 of 154
21 February 2008 at 3:58pm | IP Logged 
Congratulations on finishing the first book! Please, keep the journal updated, it's extremely interesting (and motivating as well!).


Volte wrote:
Beyond that, I probably really ought to isolate 'w' and 'z' for repeated listening. I can only sometimes hear them; it almost sounds as if they're barely said at times.


You might know it already, but it might be helpful if you don't. Quite often, the w [w] and z [z] become respectively w [f] and z [s] before a voiceless consonant. It probably makes them even harder to hear. Like in these examples: "z tobÄ…" (with you) "z" is pronounced like an "s", and similarly "w powietrzu" (in the air) "w" is pronounced like an "f". Hope it helps.

Volte wrote:
contrast 'za' with 'zza' (native Polish speakers: how different do 'za' and 'zza' sound to you?).


It's a hard question, I must say :-). They do actually sound different unless used in a very fast speech. They take different cases though, zza (genitive), za (instrumental).


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