Tarvos' новый лог

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:03 pm

I'm getting a little tired of my Czechathon, also because I can now handle more complex material. So I've decided to finish this package and then stop doing Czech for a little while and move on to improving my Chinese reading for the Polyglot Gathering.

Which means a huge effort on recognising the characters, a Herculean effort for someone who's only managed a couple hundred thus far. Le Sigh.
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To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

outcast
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby outcast » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:16 pm

I'll be honest with you, and I hope you don't take this as me trying to discourage you, but I've seen many people during my time in China ignore the characters for a long time, to concentrate on speaking or because of the effort involved, and then when they feel the urge to balance their skills go on a 'character binge', trying to catch up in a short time. Normally what ends up happening is they grow to truly hate the characters and Chinese writing and eventually makes it harder for them to learn them, or they burn out and forget most characters anyway. I don't think cramming works for characters sincerely. Now it's ok to do very intensive studying though AS LONG as you do keep your feet on the ground and understand there will be no miracles.

Also learning the characters in isolation or even learning them as part of words (I actually believe both are necessary, but if you must choose one choose learning through words), you need to see the characters in context and in texts. Chinese scan when they read more than westerners generally do, and to scan one has to be quite familiar with how characters generally appear in texts surrounded by other characters. Only then will reading fluency improve.

Your history of language learning speaks for itself and no one would doubt your determination, but just don't aim the bar too high and congratulate yourself on the progress you do make!
1 x
"I can speak wonderfully and clearly in zero languages, and can also fluently embarrass myself in half a dozen others."

The Trek to 2000 Korean words - B1: 1000 / 2000

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:41 pm

I haven't completely ignored the characters, but they were always secondary to me because I needed the spoken language more than the written one. I can recognise a fair amount of characters, actually - I'd say I would recognise upwards of 500 easily, perhaps somewhere between 600-800. What I'm going to do is learn the characters that I need for HSK4 - 1200 would be a nice goal to aim for that isn't too high and too much in one go. I can actually compose text in Chinese as long as I'm doing the writing and as long as I get to look up a couple words every once in a while - I have a pretty good intuition of what the characters should look like, but when someone else composes text they always end up using words I have never heard before. I'm working with a tutor on this one so there will be guidance in the usage of the words.

The problem with reading texts is (and I've actually attempted this and I got better as I went, but then I dropped Chinese for a number of reasons) that I am at that cumbersome stage where I need to look up characters often enough that it becomes a chore. That is the real issue because I know all the basic ones and the grammatical particles and such.

Keep in mind that my Chinese is more than good enough socially and that I don't have trouble interacting with people in Mandarin - I actually do have a very good vocabulary. Doubling the amount of characters I know in two months should be a very viable goal. (I also know that I am pretty iron-willed so even goals that seem lofty for most people tend to be manageable in my case). I haven't spoken Mandarin much for a long time and I'm still able to keep up in conversation so I think the basics are there.

The idea is to take my Mandarin up a notch before the Gathering and make sure the machine is oiled and raring to go. I don't need it to be perfect. Mandarin is one of those languages where you need to be in for the long haul and I haven't been in China for over 18 months now.
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To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:39 pm

Finished Válka s Mloky, read a little bit of Chinese for my next class and started on Accident Nocturne by Patrick Modiano.

All that in a weekend's worth, someone bring me a medal.
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To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:44 pm

OK, I've already finished Accident Nocturne by Modiano as it's an incredibly short book, I've also reviewed a few Chinese characters, and started on a new book, Ensaio sobre a Ceguiera, which obviously is in Portuguese (from Portugal). I don't find it that hard to read, I would just struggle coming up with those types of sentences in Portuguese, and even harder understanding or pronouncing them. But it's good to practice languages such as Portuguese every once in a while.

And now I'm switching to my Spanish homework.
0 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:14 am

I've realised these Chinese characters are going to be one hell of a chore. I'm having a such hard time remembering them that I've got to find a way around this, and clearly practice way more Chinese than I'm used to doing. Fortunately I was planning to phase out my Czech because it's gotten to a quite comfortable level.

But this Mandarin thing is going to be a bitch to work around and I am not looking forward to this initial hurdle. That said, I've noticed a lot of my problems are with particular words because I know all the basic characters, so this character work should really up my comprehension a notch, even though it will be slow going.

And my Portuguese reading is going just fine - 25% of the book read already, and Portuguese is so close to Spanish in writing that it doesn't present a lot of trouble. Speaking Portuguese, of course, is another story, but we can tackle the speaking and listening another time.
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:54 pm

Czech out more of my Czech.

http://wp.me/p52UBG-hJ
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

Nathan_Canada
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby Nathan_Canada » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:32 pm

Just wanted to comment and say that I enjoy your log and have been following it for a while now. I am currently reading through your log on the old forum, very impressive work how fast you picked up some of your languages! You are an inspiration, keep it up!
1 x

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:27 pm

Funny thing is, I just see terrible Russian when I look at my old log.
1 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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tarvos
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Re: Tarvos' новый лог

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:29 pm

The past few days have been very productive for my languages. In the past week I have finished an entire book in Portuguese, I've covered 7 pages or so of my Spanish textbook, something similar in Mandarin (and with much less emphasis on reading pinyin), received compliments on my Czech writing skill which has improved a lot over the past three months, and written messages in Russian, Mandarin, Greek, Esperanto, Portuguese and English.

I'm going to take a break from the linguistic madness that is my life and read another book now, but it's the Origin of Species, in English. I've heard it's hard to wade through, but as it's a work of English non-fiction, I think I can handle it... what about you?

And the next article I'm going to write will be in Mandarin... so please help me Invisible Pink Unicorn.
0 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.


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