Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:50 pm

The lessons at Méthode de Grec are getting longer, at least regardind the audio section. They went from 3 to 6 minutes. These passages are very useful because they are graded and drilling at the same time. They are more repetitive than Language Transfer but there is still a feeling of progression.

Some Greek onomatopeias are strikingly similar to portuguese. Even the word for cricket is a direct cognate (γρύλος/grilo).

Still keeping at 7 lessons a day for Assimil Le nouveau espagnol. Lessons are getting longer but not exactly harder.

Watched a little more from a series with Estonian subtitles. It's getting better now, thanks to drilling sentences at Clozemaster.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:59 pm

Audiobooks and Norwegian
Finished Brødre i blodet, the 3rd audiobook i've only listened to in Norwegian, with no text support. Also the 3rd in the tetralogy Elling. I don't have the fourth, so now I'm doing an Italian book, to follow the rotation of languages through my audiobook-only slots (I'm already listening to a French one in my commute back). I finished the third book in the series at over 90% comprehension, what is a great progress even compared to my reading skills. I'm really happy for the way things worked out. I think I can slow down in Norwegian audio input now. I'm not watching a second series everyday as part of my fixed schedule anymore, so I'm back to my usual 1 series + 1 (audio)book efforts. On the other hand, I'm chatting more and more often, in a systematic way, getting feedback and learning new vocabulary as I look it up.

Reading in Papiamento
With Papiamento, I have been suffering with the lack of news in the sources I use. Weird how a newspaper about the whole Dutch Antilles doesn't get updated more than 2x a week. The other source, a Curaçaoan newspaper, doesn't seem to have daily news. In the end, video news have been longer and more productive later, with more vocabulary to learn from. I have 100% comprehension anyway, so these 10 minutes of listening to news videos have kept my Papiamento progressing through those years and they alone would be enough for maintenance. Since I want to keep in touch with the written word, though, I did a quick search and found blogs by natives, authentic and interesting material, even better than the news. So what was an issue became an opportunity. I had forgot about searching for such material because last time I searched for Papiamento material I didn't regard myself as a fluent reader/speaker. Now things have changed and I'm glad I have new sources, which I've already added to the 2nd post of this log. They're not everlasting but they will keep me busy for a while as well as enrich my vocabulary.

Understanding Estonian
At Estonian, today's episode had the best comprehension rate ever. Not only did I understand more, but also faster. I only had to look up a few words, and I was impressed with how quickly I was processing the Estonian sentences, following a sequence of dialogue lines I didn't have to look words up for or even pause for keeping up with the meaning.

Reading non-fiction
Finished another book from one of the authors whose biographies I'm reading alternately in English, French, Italian or German (French when available, then Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese or English if nothing else is available). Next book is available in Italian, so Italian it will be. I expect to look up a lot of words, as these will be 20 pages each day.

Wanderlust - Hebrew
I've had a look at The Routledge Introductory Course in Modern Hebrew. I like the philosophy of short lessons, but dialogues with no transliteration or translation are certainly not beginner-friendly. So, Assimil ftw.

Reading Chinese
Yabla is working. I'm actually reading Chinese intensively and I'm forcing myself to understand how the sentences are formed in Chinese when compared to English. Clozemaster might also be helping, because I've noticed sensible progress in my comprehension speed of the Chinese series I am watching. I can process longer sentences at an unique Chinese word order much more quickly now. I still get lost at some, but at most of them I can listen, read Chinese and read translation fast enough for it to be working as comprehensible input.

Russian
At Russian, I see steady progress at Kuxnya. I have the feeling I can understand more from spoken Russian there than from novels, which is normal for opaque languages since the vocabulary for a TV series is much more limited. That said, I do notice progress at the non-fiction I'm listening-reading to. The only place I don't see any progress at is Assimil Perfectionnement Russe. Each lesson seems to have an equal number of unknown words and seems more opaque than any average text. That reignites the debate on how most textbooks are articially vocabulary-rich in a way that makes them actually harder than 'natural' texts, especially for opaque languages.

'Last year' across languages
It's interesting how some languages have unique words for 'last year'. Just like we don't call yesterday 'last day', they also found too unespecific to say 'last year' and have a unique word. So far I've run into 'i fjor' (Norwegian), შარშან (sharshan - Georgian) and πέρυσι (périsi - Greek).
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Radioclare » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:30 pm

Expugnator wrote:'Last year' across languages
It's interesting how some languages have unique words for 'last year'. Just like we don't call yesterday 'last day', they also found too unespecific to say 'last year' and have a unique word. So far I've run into 'i fjor' (Norwegian), შარშან (sharshan - Georgian) and πέρυσι (périsi - Greek).


I find this really interesting too :) In Croatian they have the word 'lani' for this; the first time I heard it, it blew my mind.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:44 pm

During the weekend, I kept my Clozemaster streak. I shouldn't be so happy about that, because I'll be travelling to the countryside during the Carnival holidays and so I won't have an internet connection, and that streak will be lost. That's a minor detail, though. I'm just happy I'm starting to be a bit more consistence, because I have reasons to believe Clozemaster is helping me activate even my weaker languages.

I also completed "Che la festa comminci". I wasn't going to start another Italian novel by now, since I'm doing Italian audiobook (20 minutes) and Italian non-fiction (20 pages), but if I want my Italian to move forward I should keep myself exposed to contemporary novels with daily life vocabulary. Just for a change, I'm going to pick a book by Alessandro Baricco, which has been recommended through several logs here. Seta is a short book.

I started listening to the audiobook of Le Città Invisibili, by Italo Calvino (or should I say I'm halfway through it?). The story sounds like a metaphor, to be understood at another meaning level, but I'm not aware of it as I haven't read any criticism. The towns have names of women, so it could be interpreted of a collective of romantic affairs of the author, who knows. The audiobook is pretty clear, with high volume, so it's not that hard to understand, leaving aside the figurative aspect of the actual content.

The combined effort is doing good to my Italian. I'm learned important words that aren't exact cognates with other Romance languages - I'm actually learning to spot them with a sharp eye. It's a great feeling to be approaching proficiency in a language.

The dubbing for The Flash now seems much faster than the one for Arrow. I'm lost without subtitles.

Duolingo Swahili is on beta. Finally! Still no audio, though. Swahili is definitely well-served in terms of the most popular language courses. I wonder how it will be with native materials, though.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby blaurebell » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:31 am

Italo Calvino? I really loved his If on a winter's night a traveler! One of the most frustrating but fun books! My mum got so frustrated with it that she never finished it. In case you haven't read it yet: Every chapter is written in a different style and basically stops mid story, just when it becomes interesting. It's just great though! Reading Italo Calvino in the original, that's some super challenging stuff there, nice!
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby DaveBee » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:13 am

blaurebell wrote:Italo Calvino? I really loved his If on a winter's night a traveler! One of the most frustrating but fun books! My mum got so frustrated with it that she never finished it. In case you haven't read it yet: Every chapter is written in a different style and basically stops mid story, just when it becomes interesting. It's just great though! Reading Italo Calvino in the original, that's some super challenging stuff there, nice!
George MacDonald Fraser did something a little like that in Black Ajax, where each chapter had a different narrator. Victorian journalist giving a blow by blow account of a prize fight was my favourite one. :-)
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:36 pm

I wouldn't start a book that wasn't finished, even if that was intended. Better keep myself away from this.

As for each chapter having a different narrator, that might be even harder on an audiobook!

I'm really enjoying Le città invisibili. The language sounds quite rich. Not that hard to understand, given my Romance background. Literature follows more or less the same register across the Romance languages. I'm looking forward to doing other audiobooks next.

It's a bit hard to evaluate my progress in reading German, because I'm reading difficult subjects now. Nonetheless, I'm optimistic when I notice the German text makes more sense than the machine translation in English.

So, there is a little progress in Russian. I'm doing narrow reading, because I'm reading the second book from the same author on a tetralogy on the same subject.

The Georgian forum reading is coming to an end (at least as a set activity), and the latest posts have been less on long discussions and more on forum small talk, which does great to my Georgian.

Le nouveau espagnol sans peine is not demanding in terms of notes. Only a few, short ones per lesson. This saves time. I wonder what will happen when I get to Perfectionement (how many different texts are there by the way?). I need to find a compromise, because 1 lesson a day for the Perfectionnement will represent several months before starting native materials.

The course I was attending at Coursera is over. This means time restored for language learning. I hope I can turn it into really productive time. All this while keeping my Clozemaster streak.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:15 pm

Audiobook dilemma
FInished the audiobook Le città invisibili. What an interesting book! I really enjoy the language, the way it is written. It's by far the shortest audiobook I've listened to so far. It encouraged me to try some Italian classics, which are easier to find as audiobooks. I just have to figure out what to do with each of my three audiobook slots. So far it goes like this:

Commute - fiction (currently Italian)

Lunch - Non-fiction (mostly English)

Commute back - fiction (currently French)

Until I add German (not capable yet) or Spanish (not doing native materials yet), I'm going to have a rather short selection for the fiction slots. I would like to start a French novel now, but I'm already doing a (translated) one in my commute back. Italian is not that simple to find contemporary audiobooks for, and as for Norwegian, I tend to use audiobooks as part of my 10-page reading, so it doesn't make sense to add yet another audiobook to the commute.

I really enjoy listening to audiobooks in Italian, I don't have to repeat how wonderful the language sounds. I have a good comprehension. The problem is having access to the books I'd want to read. I don't want to be forced to pick less interesting books because they are the ones available as audiobooks. Besides, I haven't found a source for buying the audiobooks. Audible is not an option, as it is not available in Brazil yet and the Italian books might as well have audioblocks.

That said, the whole audiobooks game has to be reconsidered. I'll keep being forced to pick the not so interesting book just because it's the one available as an audiobook. On the other hand, it's much faster to listen to an audiobook 20 pages a day than to struggle to find time for reading a book 10 pages a day (currently I only read 4 pages a day in Italian from a different book than the ones I'm listening to as audiobooks). It seems audiobooks do great for the transition into native-speed voice/native series without subtitles, but once you get to a stage where you can just enjoy native materials in the language it doesn't make sense to listen to what you are not very interested into just because it's available as an audiobook. That said, Emons seems to have the most up-to-date collection.

Reading Georgian and German
Today's Georgian read was quick and interesting. I could focus on the individual words as I got over 90% of word coverage. German isn't doing that bad either. Regarding today's read from the book Acces: I agree that franchising is far from being an entrepreneurship mecca, but entrepreneurs can always learn from the licenser company and then start their own brand. That works particularly well when providing unique food for local markets, as the worldwide companies will hardly get the chance to be innovative to that point. Our polyglot meetups take place in a café that is a franchise, and not only the prices there are twice as much as in the former café, it also lacks inventivity and genuine taste. The service, though, is way better than at the previous, non-franchise café, and it's the reason why we moved. Nevertheless, that is something the licensed knows how to inspire to his employeees, so whenever he decides to start a shop with his own brand, he is likely to excel at this aspect again.

Russian and French
Medical terms in Russian can be embarassing. After ангина, i've met инсульт which means stroke. Btw, midwife is акушерка which blatantly comes from French accoucher, though French itself uses sage-femme, and accoucheuse is an archaism.

Greek aspectual verbal phrase
I learned an important aspect-related verbal phrase in Greek, κοντεύω = to be about to. It's good when such useful expressions are taught straight away, not bound to a linear progression of verbal tenses or not meant as a 'refining' after everything in terms of verbal morphology is taught. I learned it from Greekpod101 at a lower intermediate level, but Assimil is also good at anticipating the learner's needs on this matter.

Español
According to Assimil, Spaniards use "puente" just like the French use "pont" for prolonged weekends. Here we mostly say "emendar".

Extra watching
Today I switched to my normal hours and even so I managed to finish all the daily tasks rather early. So I decided to enjoy 20 minutes more from the film "Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles" and to resume the Italian series after several weeks. I just can't get enough from Italian, it seems.

I also watched the series I watch with Estonian subtitles, and did Clozemaster. I still had some minutes left, but I was too tired for writing in my TLs, so I watched 10 minutes from Westworld with Greek subtitles (pausing all the time, so it was almost like just doing more Coursera at an advanced level).
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:14 pm

More on Italian audiobooks
This morning I continued my research and managed to find a few other promising Italian audiobooks, which means I can keep enjoying this activity for a while.

Then I started "Una Goma e una Mattita", by Giorgio Faletti, which has been published only as an audiobook. The beginning was a bit hard, but I quickly got used to the voice of the reader and started to get immersed in the story. It feels really good when what you are doing in your TL is a goal came true, no longer only a means to an end.

Spanish audiobooks
I have some Spanish audiobooks lined up, mostly XX-Century classics, but I really want to read urban contemporary Spanish fiction, like Marc Lévy, Guillaume Musso, Fabio VOlo but in Spain.

Russian going anywhere but forward
Just took a look at Russian in Exercises, and it seems I can make a good use of it next. It's still a long way before I finish reviewing Assimil Perfectionnement, but then I'll go for it. I have Modern Russian Grammar lined up, but in order not to waste it I need to reach at least an A2 level in writing. I also need to purchase the workbook.

Non-fiction audiobooks
I'm done with the book Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. I'm not saying I'm going to miss it. Well, some parts were interesting, and I also heard about other books, one of them Being Wrong, by Kathryn Schulz. I've just started 'Grit' and I like it much more. It's read by the author herself, with an American English accent, and it is more involving. The bad thing with the audiobook is that it's split only into chapter, that make hours-long sound files. I have to find a sound player for Android that records where I have stopped playing a file, the way SMPlayer does for Windows. I'll go for MortPlayer Audio Books, for the time.

Dubbed Georgian and Russian
I've become used to the dubbed voices at The Flash, so now I'm almost entirely into learning mood. Dubbing voice overs are effective, no matter how cumbersome they might sound. The Georgian one is quite ok, if it weren't for the residual native audio (which doesn't exist in Brazilian or German dubbing) it would be actually good. Russian ones are monovoiced, though, even for brand new series such as The OA, but in spite of that - or maybe because of that - they are turning into a really effective tool for my Russian. Yesterday I watched 20 minutes from a The OA episode and the audio was crystal clear.

Wanderlust
These days I've been thinking about Czech. I like it over BCMS, so it might be my next Slavic language, but when? I found some audiobooks, I wonder if there are more for actual contemporary novels.

Language-learning crossovers
In the Greek manual, there are always sample sentences with Kostas (like those with Tom at Tatoeba). Türkisch für Anfänger, which I write earlier in the day, has that Greek character, Kostas. So. whenever there is a sample sentence with Kostas in the Greek manual, I think about the series, and I feel like replacing "Kostas and Maria" with "Kostas and Yagmur".

Georgian forum reading
At today's page, someone had pasted an interview with an authority on the topic I'm reading about. It was much easier to read than the ongoing posts by users. I barely had to look words up.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:10 pm

Estonian
'Beaver' in Estonian is kobras, a tricky false-friend, even grammatically, as the nominative ends in -s. I'm really looking forward to going through all those Jänku-Jussi videos (some 20 are missing), because I'll be in the mood for learning a lot from the soap opera I'm going to watch next.

Audiobooks
MortPlayer has a bit confusing layout, but it's quite comprehensive and resourceful to handle one's audiobooks on Android. Now I won't have any stress about where to play from next time. It will be actually better to stop in the middle of a track than to try and figure out which track I'm going to play next.

I'm really enjoying the book "Grit", and I can relate to much that is said, also to my lack of grit at some aspects in life. Favorite quote so far: Grit is about being satisfied being unsatisfied. I can totally relate to it. Now I've started chapter 02, Distracted by talent.

Papiamento reading
Just because I complained, the news were resumed at Ret Karibense. An important false friend: 'reto' means challenge. BEsides the news, I'm reading a blog with literary reviews, which tend to be rather long. It seems the author is a Dutch who learned Papiamento and studied literature in Papiamento in the university.

Russian listening-reading
So, progress is happening. The vocabulary starts to become familiar, fewer words are unknown in each line and I can actually do parallel reading, flipping from Russian to translation. It took me longer to reach this stage in Russian than in Georgian, which only confirms my thoughts about the difficulty of each language.

Georgian
The joy of a morphologically-rich language. Georgian expresses a concept more exactly than the original language.

"She just touched the suit and turned it into a bomb".
მან უბრალოდ შეეხო კოსტიუმის ემბლემა და ააფეთქა.

The first ა (a) in the verb ააფეთქა is a causative, and it fulfills the meaning of 'to turn something into...", it's like saying "she bombified it".

Two notes:
1) I hope I have transcribed it correctly...actually, I'm happy I actually managed to fully understand a sentence in order to spot a unique grammatical feature in it, while still following the story. That means progress!
2) It's great when a feature that seemed minor, so theoretical, even advanced in the grammar book, so morphologically sophisticated, actually shows up in the dubbed audio of a contemporary TV series. So, it's actually daily language, it's the preferred way rather than using a periphrasis that would resemble the English sentence.

Today I had a business meeting so I went just as far as Estonian reading. It was productive for the business, though.
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