Tarvos' новый лог

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tarvos
Brown Belt
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Location: Hollandiában
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Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:22 pm

I liked Yellow Arrow's satire but I find it is low on exposition. This makes it a bit hard to follow what is going on. Then again it is a short story, so you can't expect too much context.

I haven't finished Kundera yet. It's slow right now.
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:01 pm

Yesterday I managed to get a little further with Kundera and study some Mandarin, today I've studied some Spanish and more Mandarin. And tomorrow there will be more Spanish, Czech, and Mandarin.

Such study. Much improvement.
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:01 pm

Yesterday I managed to get a little further with Kundera and study some Mandarin, today I've studied some Spanish and more Mandarin. And tomorrow there will be more Spanish, Czech, and Mandarin.

Such study. Much improvement.
0 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:08 pm

Today I finished Kundera's Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí. In the wake of this success, I'd like to make a few remarks on the improvement of my Czech after having read this book.

1. It took me longer than usual to read this book - that is mostly because I would compare the speed to say, Dutch or English, in which I'd read a book this size much quicker, or even compared to Swedish or Spanish which I speak and read much better than I do Czech. That said, I still finished it faster than I expected it to, mostly because the language use is fairly modern and I did not find Kundera that hard to understand, despite all the silly philosophical tangents he goes on.

2. The fact that I can read Czech literature without too much trouble is a victory in and of itself. Not that this is the first time I've done it, mind, but this time it went much faster, much smoother, and much more quickly - of course Karel Capek is a little harder to follow than Kundera.

3. It shows that my basic knowledge of Slavic languages is very acceptable nowadays and that based on my Russian and Czech, I could probably consider adding further Slavic languages to the list now without any risk of confusion. That next Slavic language would be one of the following three: Bulgarian, Polish, or Serbo-Croatian. I've done some of the basics of all three but got furthest in Bulgarian. And hopefully, in ten years, it would mean that I can handle myself in three large language families: Germanic, Romance, and Slavic. (I don't have the requisite levels in Mandarin or any of my other languages to state such a thing).

4. It also shows in my speaking, because in my Czech lessons my pronunciation is holistically a lot, lot better than it was before and I'm much less reliant on Russianisms. I sound and speak much better than I did before, which means that we can consider my Czech mission (improve to B2-ish fluency before my trip to Bratislava) A SUCCESS.


The conclusion is now that I shouldn't give up on my Czech, of course - but it will get a trot out this year and I won't need to hugely bolster it apart from some more reading and listening. I can quietly lower the intensity of my Czech, and return to some more pressing matters that require my attention: Mandarin and Spanish.

Spanish because I am still preparing for the C2 DELE exam (which I'm going to need with an eye on my future plans) and Mandarin because that's now the big target language to improve.

Out of these two, Spanish is by far the easier and more manageable task. Mandarin's still a slow, rough, long slog through the jungles of Hainan. I'd rank my Spanish among the top 5 of my languages - above things like Esperanto, Mandarin or Romanian, perhaps even above things like French, but Mandarin is not there yet by far, despite my conversation ability. However, I am noticing that my vocabulary is slowly improving.

Hell, was that necessary.

And now, to troll myself, I've started reading Françoise Giroud's Histoire d'une femme libre - because I still have to maintain all my other languages, and French really needs a bit of maintenance because I don't speak that language too often anymore.
4 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

the1whoknocks
Yellow Belt
Posts: 73
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Languages: English (N), Spanish (Intermediate)

Probably 'gonna' be next: Portuguese
Mayby one day: French & Japanese
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5253
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby the1whoknocks » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:56 am

Hey Tarvos. I couldn't help but notice something you said on another thread, and I was hoping you'd indulge my curiosity for a moment:

tarvos wrote:[...] I usually have extended sessions with iTalki teachers focused on improving my writing, such as for Czech, French, Spanish and Russian. I've also done it for Romanian but not for many of the others.


Would you mind sharing what these sessions, in particular, might look like for you? I'm looking to start working with a tutor again sometime soon in order to improve my writing, and it would be helpful to know what a more experienced learner might expect from such a session. Is there anything in particular you tend to look for from someone who is helping you improve your writing? Any particular format/ routine you follow?

I would have asked you in the original thread, but didn't want to risk hijacking it. Thanks for your time!

--------------------------
--------------------------

Also, since I'm asking, I thought I'd at least mention a bit of what my writing sessions have looked like:

- Before our next session, my tutor reviews my writing, but without making any corrections. Using a pre-determined color scheme, they mark things to indicate that they are either plain wrong, awkwardly phrased or otherwise unclear. I correct it on my own, and together, we talk about what I wrote.

- Before out next session, mytutor will still review what I wrote but we will talk through my thought process and how to say things better/ differently during the session.

- If the focus of the session isn’t on writing, but I wrote something anyway, we’ll just run through the piece quickly with them correcting it on a shared screen, and me asking interrupting if I have any questions.

- Sometimes my tutor will just correct what I wrote and e-mail it back to me, eventually.

Edit: typo's
Last edited by the1whoknocks on Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
0 x
"Wax on, wax off" - Mr. Myagi

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:29 am

the1whoknocks wrote:Hey Tarvos. I couldn't help but notice something you said on another thread, and I was hoping you'd indulge my curiosity for a moment:

tarvos wrote:[...] I usually have extended sessions with iTalki teachers focused on improving my writing, such as for Czech, French, Spanish and Russian. I've also done it for Romanian but not for many of the others.


Would you mind sharing what these sessions, in particular, might look like for you? I'm looking to start working with a tutor again sometime soon in order to improve my writing, and it would be helpful to know what a more experienced learner might expect from such a session. Is there anything in particular you tend to look for from someone who is helping you improve your writing? Any particular format/ routine you follow?

I would have asked you in the original thread, but didn't want to risk hijacking it. Thanks for your time!

--------------------------
--------------------------

Also, since I'm asking, I thought I'd at least mention a bit of what my writing sessions have looked like:

- Before our next session, my tutor reviews my writing, but without making any corrections. Using a pre-determined color scheme, they mark things to indicate that they are either plain wrong, awkwardly phrased or otherwise unclear. I correct it on my own, and together, we talk about what I wrote.

- Before out next session, mytutor will still review what I wrote but we will talk through my thought process and how to say things better/ differently during the session.

- If the focus of the session isn’t on writing, but I wrote something anyway, we’ll just run through the piece quickly with them correcting it on a shared screen, and me asking interrupting if I have any questions.

- Sometimes my tutor just correct what I wrote and e-mail it back to me, eventually.


All of these things can happen. It depends on the tutor and also on what you ask them to do. It also hugely depends on your level.

What is most important for me is not that I get corrected, but that I get the appropriate type of corrections - depending on my level. You see, I'm not always at the same level and for example in Spanish I can usually second-guess any corrections that I get because my level is high enough that errors are few and usually more a mark of sloppiness than inability.

The important criteria for a writing tutor and dedicated sessions are the following:

1. The choice of tutor is critical. You want them to catch every last detail. They should never go easy on you and they shouldn't let you off the hook. I love it when my tutors don't compliment me but push me harder. That's the way forward. And eventually you'll get compliments just because your level has become so impressive there's very little to correct.

2. At lower levels you may need explanations. If you're at C1 or C2, often you won't need them - then having the corrections being marked and thinking about them yourself will really help. You can see improvement within just a couple sessions this way - I went from quite convoluted writing in Czech to very well-structured sentences in a few months.

3. You should pick subjects that challenge you a bit to use vocabulary out of your way, or set a goal that you're not allowed to look up words in a dictionary. I tend to write my articles in the space of an hour or so (yes! sometimes even less!) and I rarely if at all look up words, just so I know that my production is automatically correct. I don't make my articles too long either, so when I write, they're about a page A4 each, and they usually have the following structure:

one paragraph introduction

2-4 paragraphs content/argument

one paragraph conclusion.

In this way I can also ensure that I am writing a coherent text. Usually my texts tend to be argumentative and not descriptive, but I've experimented with more informative texts in order to change style (because register can also be an issue).

4. If the language you speak is Romance, you want to practice texts with a lot of subjective value judgements because it will force you to practice the very necessary subjunctive tense. And if you're working with French the format of texts is quite convoluted and standardized, so you want to pay extra attention there.

5. Writing is a skill, and what really helps is knowing all the linking words that allow you to enumerate, express cause and effect, and also know 50 different ways of saying each of those things so you don't repeat yourself over and over again. The first language I learned to do this in was English, but think of it this way: if you're speaking Spanish, can you think of five ways of expressing contrast without using "pero"?

6. I use a spellchecker to get rid of stupid errors with diacritics and such. We live in the 21st century - let's use technology to our advantage. If you'd use it in an office situation you can use it here. You should be able to use dictionaries unless you're preparing for the exam situations. I sometimes don't just to check whether I can come up with a good article without needing them. (I usually can!)
3 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

the1whoknocks
Yellow Belt
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:55 am
Location: USA
Languages: English (N), Spanish (Intermediate)

Probably 'gonna' be next: Portuguese
Mayby one day: French & Japanese
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5253
x 119

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby the1whoknocks » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:56 am

Thanks for the quick and detailed response!

I took a lot from what you wrote, but in particular, I’m going to pay more attention to expressing ‘subjective value judgments’ and writing more argumentative pieces. Also, the first point you made regarding your criteria for a writing tutor stikes me as one that is critically important as well.

Another follow-up question: do you tend to write on one subject for many weeks, or do you tend to change topics week to week?
0 x
"Wax on, wax off" - Mr. Myagi

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:37 am

I tend to choose a different argument but the overarching themes are usually the same. Here's the thing - I wrote most of my articles for my blog (they were later published there). This means the following - they follow themes that I want to write about on the blog.

In my case, that involves religion/atheism, trans rights, literature I've read, and then it can be anything - politics, things I've seen in the news... there have been some science-related ones as well and I even wrote a guide on how to apply for a Chinese tourist visa in Russian once.

My Romanian articles, for example, chronicle my volunteer work there.
2 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

the1whoknocks
Yellow Belt
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:55 am
Location: USA
Languages: English (N), Spanish (Intermediate)

Probably 'gonna' be next: Portuguese
Mayby one day: French & Japanese
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5253
x 119

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby the1whoknocks » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:13 pm

Writing for your blog also means that you're probably constantly challenging yourself to express complex thoughts on things that are relevant to you. Something I'll keep in mind. Thanks again for your response!
0 x
"Wax on, wax off" - Mr. Myagi

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1894
Contact:

Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:30 pm

By the way, you can find the blog at http://likeapolyglot.wordpress.com
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.


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