Arnaud's lazy log

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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:09 pm

Russian:
I haven't done much since my last update: read 20 pages of my novel (I'm a little fed up with it, depending on the mood), watched a few videos on YT. I've also downloaded a ton of podcasts on Radio Mayak (I've installed an app in my browser to do it automatically): I'm going to listen to them until I get accustomed to the speed, it's really my weak point. Currently I'm listening to Толковый словарь : the show is relatively easy to follow: it's about languages with the famous Полиглот Дмитрий Петров.
The plus of Mayak compared to Echo Moskvy is the audio quality, the minus is the absence of transcripts. With my poor hearing and given the fact that I often listen to things while walking (lot of ambiant noise), I prefer a good quality, the podcasts of EM are too much compressed to my taste. I've also listened to 10 lessons of "Modern russian": I make a few mistakes from time to time, but it's not a complete disaster: I can do the exercices in automatic mode: all is too easy and a little outdated. I'll try to continue MR, alternating it with the podcasts.
I've been following a few other logs by people learning russian and I'm rather admirative and astonished at how fast they learn. The question is can they read without the electronic crutch of LWT ? How do they learn all that vocab if they are at 50% of unknown words, it's an enormous quantity of vocab to memorise...
I've also watched 5 episodes of Барбоскины : between 10 and 20 unknown words by episode...always. Only the 3 first seasons are correctly subtitled, the 4th has problems, and the remaining is not subtitled at all. The episodes are 5 min long, so I watch 1 episode per day.
The only thing I now can read without a dictionary is simple children books like Девочка, с которой ничего не случится (it's a sci-fi book written by Кир Булычев : I stumbled upon that author while I was looking for one of his most famous book: Посёлок, that is currently too difficult: I've put it in my "to read in russian before I die, if I don't die in the next 100 years :lol: )
Japanese: nothing...shame on me.
Spanish: I've watched the BBC program "Mi vida loca" and read 21 lessons of Assimil (don't be surprised: they are easy, I spend 10 minutes on each). A lot of memories are coming back. I still don't like the continental accent (and more problematic, I can't imitate it) but I'll try to continue to reactivate it at a tourist level (it will be perhaps useful this summer)
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Xmmm
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Xmmm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:46 pm

Arnaud wrote:I've been following a few other logs by people learning russian and I'm rather admirative and astonished at how fast they learn. The question is can they read without the electronic crutch of LWT ? How do they learn all that vocab if they are at 50% of unknown words, it's an enormous quantity of vocab to memorise...

The only thing I now can read without a dictionary is simple children books like Девочка, с которой ничего не случится (it's a sci-fi book written by Кир Булычев : I stumbled upon that author while I was looking for one of his most famous book: Посёлок, that is currently too difficult: I've put it in my "to read in russian before I die, if I don't die in the next 100 years :lol: )


Speaking for myself, I would say yes I can read without the electronic crutch of LingQ, but not as well. I bought a paperback Russian thriller on Amazon and read 8 out of 20 chapters. I gave up, and ended up throwing the book away actually, because it was one of the worst books I've ever read and after a while I was embarrassed to even be reading it. (For example, at one point the main character -- a man -- starts explaining his marital difficulties and fantasies about real-life western supermodels to ... his sister!). I got the distinct feeling that the fantasies were actually the author's fantasies and it just creeped me out.

Having said that, my comprehension on the 8 chapters was about 80 percent. If I had uploaded it into LingQ, my comprehension would have 95% because it was not a complicated book.

The thing is ... if you don't use an electronic crutch and insist on understanding 100% of what you read, you are stuck with kid books for a long time. All I can say to that is, "no, thank you!"
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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:08 pm

Xmmm wrote:The thing is ... if you don't use an electronic crutch and insist on understanding 100% of what you read, you are stuck with kid books for a long time. All I can say to that is, "no, thank you!"

Fortunately, I've given up the idea of understanding 100% of what I read, I'm a little less obsessed with that now.
As I only read paper books, usually the only crutch I have is the paper dictionary, so I select books (easy detective or sci-fi books, for the time being) with around 5% of unknown words: I look for half of them in the dictionary and generally can guess the meaning of the remaining from the context. When it's too complicated, either I skip or cheat a little by copying/pasting the electronic version in Google Translate, not to loose the thread of the story.
I don't read kid books anymore, I've read only two of them, in fact : not an enormous quantity ;)
I also tried Harry Potter in russian: the first time it was too early and facing the difficulty I gave up quickly and the second time (a few years later) it was too easy and I gave up quickly. :mrgreen:
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Xmmm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Arnaud wrote:
Xmmm wrote:The thing is ... if you don't use an electronic crutch and insist on understanding 100% of what you read, you are stuck with kid books for a long time. All I can say to that is, "no, thank you!"

Fortunately, I've given up the idea of understanding 100% of what I read, I'm a little less obsessed with that now.
As I only read paper books, usually the only crutch I have is the paper dictionary, so I select books (easy detective or sci-fi books, for the time being) with around 5% of unknown words: I look for half of them in the dictionary and generally can guess the meaning of the remaining from the context. When it's too complicated, either I skip or cheat a little by copying/pasting the electronic version in Google Translate, not to loose the thread of the story.
I don't read kid books anymore, I've read only two of them, in fact : not an enormous quantity ;)
I also tried Harry Potter in russian: the first time it was too early and facing the difficulty I gave up quickly and the second time (a few years later) it was too easy and I gave up quickly. :mrgreen:


I stick with LingQ because:

1. It's very hard for me to get Russian paperbacks cheaply (maybe I look in the wrong places, but the lousy book I bought on Amazon was $15 or $20 with tax and shipping. I could get Russian books on kindle and use a Russian electronic dictionary, but then why not use LingQ?

2. LingQ has audio for everything. I think a few hundred hours of silent reading was a big mistake because now I read much better than I listen. I'm trying to avoid silent reading completely for now.

3. LingQ has much greater variety in its library than what I could find on my own. For instance, just this morning I found Моя Москва, a cute little series of two minute radio segments where famous residents of Moscow talk about their memories/impressions of the city. The first one I heard was Vladimir Zhirinovsky talking about taking the train to Moscow for the first time when he was fourteen and the impression it made on him, etc.
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby blaurebell » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:32 pm

Arnaud wrote:Russian:
I've been following a few other logs by people learning russian and I'm rather admirative and astonished at how fast they learn. The question is can they read without the electronic crutch of LWT ? How do they learn all that vocab if they are at 50% of unknown words, it's an enormous quantity of vocab to memorise...


LWT is great, I really like the method of early intensive reading. With French the moment I hit 87% known vs unknown terms in my database - roughly 28,000 known word forms I stopped using LWT. Anything above 85% should be fine for extensive reading. That was after roughly 5000 pages read with LWT. I can follow pretty much any novel that isn't too inventive with the language - too many invented words and I get lost. I could immediately listen to Jules Verne audiobooks, no problem at all, I understood probably 98% of the words, 100% of the story. Even with very specific stuff - e.g. cave painting - I don't lose track of what's happening and the words I don't know are usually words that I wouldn't know in any other language either. After the reading part of the SC I started watching dubbed series. After two seasons, one season with French subtitles, one without, I understood about 95%. After about 9 seasons I'm up to 98-99% and listening to France culture without any issues, even while out on the street with lots of background noise, with 99% comprehension. And I attribute all of this to LWT, it really gave me lots of vocabulary. I haven't memorised a single word, used no flashcards at all, it was all just a bit of Assimil and Duolingo at the beginning and then I started LWT after 10 days. The words just stuck along the way while reading with LWT. I ditched both courses after 50 days because I felt I was getting more out of LWT.

Russian is a bit more tough because of the lack of vocabulary overlap with my previous languages, but the words just stick after a while of seeing them repeated. I type in every item into the database - translation + infinitive or nominative - so I get lots of repetitions for every form the word might take. And with every word I try to remember what it means before I look it up. The repetition alone is enough to remember frequent words. And the more frequent words you remember the more your attention turns to less frequent ones. At the beginning I had the whole page with red unknown words. After about 90 pages I now already get some pages with about 20% red, more if there are long descriptive passages. Anything below 15% is kinda readable without a dictionary and you can follow the story even though you miss some details every now and then. So, LWT might be a crutch, but it gets me engaging with native content early on and I can use it to learn vocabulary in context without flashcards and with a story to keep me going. I'm a big fan, especially after my success with French! And I'm already seeing quite good progress with Russian too, so even for a language where I started out with the database at 45% known words (French was around 65-70%) it's still working. More slowly, but it's only a question of time now. Or actually pages! I estimate about 7000-9000 pages before I hit 85+% known vs unknown with Russian, and it will become fun after the first 300-500 pages probably.
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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:17 am

Little update:
Russian: I've listened to the first volume of Modern Russian: not very difficult except for the genitive plural: It was a good revision and I also watched the corresponding lessons on my favorite russian grammar channel.
The genitive plural is one of my weak point, and I think now I can use it more or less correctly, so MR is useful, it's not a total waste of time.
I "shadow" the exercises without pause, to make the process more automatic. Now you can ask me to translate "the students have a lot of knives", it's always very useful to be able to say that kind of things (like the famous "La souris est en dessous de la table" of Eddie Izzard) :mrgreen:
I've also reached the half of my detective book, watched a few videos of Полиглот китайский за 16 часов с нуля с полиглотом Петровым and listened to a few podcats of Radio Mayak on the russian etymology (it's a game with the listeners who have to answer questions like "the fish окунь is called like that because it has big....and you give the answer**. It's an amusing way to learn some little things on the russian etymology)

Other languages:
Reached lesson 42 of Assimil Espagnol (again): lot of interferences with french and italian, reached lesson 10 of Assimil Chinese (again) and still no Japanese...Chinese is fun, I like it more and more.

**the answer is очи plural of око=eye (if you read russian poetry, you probably know that word), so in russian the perch is the fish with big eyes
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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:32 pm

- I've reached the 50th lesson of Assimil Espagnol and will start the second wave tomorrow. I'm also listening to Language Tranfer Spanish, that I've discovered a few days ago thanks to that forum. Very similar to Michel Thomas in its approach but the student is doing far less mistakes, so it's more agreable to listen. I like a lot that approach of the language, it gives the listener the feeling of being smart :mrgreen:
- I've also reached the 14th lesson of Assimil Chinois (I'm studying 2 or 3 lessons a week, not very seriously. Last time I went to the lesson 20 and gave up, so my aim is to go further than that.)
- I've started to read Голова профессора Доуэля in russian, as I'm a little fed up with my detective book. The strange coincidence is that I ordered the book the very same day Neofight78 said he was reading it :shock: . I'm at the middle of chapter 2. The story is interesting and not too difficult, so I hope I can read it to the end.
I've also started Vol 2 of Modern Russian, and it's more difficult than the vol 1: verbs of mouvement and position, verbs with -ти endings (they are regular but different from the infinitive, so sometimes it's tricky to recognise them under their disguises), etc, that I'm suppose to know but that I don't know. For the first time, I had to open the pdf, read the lesson and listen again... :cry:
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reineke
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby reineke » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:37 pm

Arnaud wrote:Spanish: I've watched the BBC program "Mi vida loca" and read 21 lessons of Assimil (don't be surprised: they are easy, I spend 10 minutes on each). A lot of memories are coming back.


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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:30 pm

Sunny weather, blooming flowers, I'm lazier: languages wither 8-)
I gave up Modern Russian at lesson 22: the learning curve for the verbs of motion is too steep for me and I've lost the momentum (perhaps one lesson a day was a little too much). Instead, I'm going to read again "Le russe à votre rythme 3" which tackles that problem more slowly.
I'm reading a Wikipedia article about the dark matter and keep on reading The Head of Professor Dowell.
Nothing else except a few stupid russian series watched on YouTube to pretend that I'm doing something... :?
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Arnaud
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Re: Arnaud's lazy log

Postby Arnaud » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:29 am

Russian:
You want to destroy your motivation? Try to write the тотальный диктант 2017.
Complete fail. I gave up after the second paragraph because I couldn't even understand one sentence. The text is here (part 3). I find that this year, the dictation was far more difficult than last year: last year I could more or less understand the text and write it to the end (with a lot of mistakes and missing words, of course), but this year, I understood nothing.
Rendez-vous next year, perhaps I'll have progressed... :lol: (l'espoir fait vivre)
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