Your Language Learning Weaknesses

General discussion about learning languages
Cainntear
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby Cainntear » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:59 pm

kulaputra wrote:On the contrary I think watching stuff with low comprehension is precisely what's meant by "slow and steady." Not understanding something is the first step to understanding something. None of those hours were "wasted" even if you don't see the results overnight.

I really don’t believe that listening to something you don’t understand is of much use at an early stage.
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kulaputra
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby kulaputra » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:55 pm

Cainntear wrote:
kulaputra wrote:On the contrary I think watching stuff with low comprehension is precisely what's meant by "slow and steady." Not understanding something is the first step to understanding something. None of those hours were "wasted" even if you don't see the results overnight.

I really don’t believe that listening to something you don’t understand is of much use at an early stage.


Not understanding is a necessary prerequisite for understanding. You'll never understand something without first not understanding it.
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Iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ.

--Heart Sutra

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Cainntear
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby Cainntear » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:18 pm

kulaputra wrote:Not understanding is a necessary prerequisite for understanding. You'll never understand something without first not understanding it.
I'm sorry, but I find that a totally incomprehensible statement.

Naturally I don't understand anything in a language I've never studied, but I don't need to listen to something to not understand it. I find not listening far more efficient than listening, because when I'm listening, I'm only not understanding one thing, but when I'm not listening, I'm not understanding everything.
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kulaputra
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby kulaputra » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:39 pm

Cainntear wrote:
kulaputra wrote:Not understanding is a necessary prerequisite for understanding. You'll never understand something without first not understanding it.
I'm sorry, but I find that a totally incomprehensible statement.

Naturally I don't understand anything in a language I've never studied, but I don't need to listen to something to not understand it. I find not listening far more efficient than listening, because when I'm listening, I'm only not understanding one thing, but when I'm not listening, I'm not understanding everything.


My point is that you do not understand by not listening, you understand by listening. If you already understood, then we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place. It is because you don't understand that you should listen. I suppose if you've never actually tried this, it might sound weird, but I and I'm sure others can attest that they have gone from not understanding to understanding by listening. I also believe extensive listening is essential for accent formation, again, even if you don't understand the semantic content.

Regarding your second paragrapgh: when you aren't listening, you're neither understanding nor not understanding anything, because you're not actually listening to something to be understood. Understanding cannot be applied to the absence of sound, any more then you can describe the hair color of a bald man.
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Iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ.

--Heart Sutra

Please correct any of my non-native languages, if needed!

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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby Ani » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:04 pm

kulaputra wrote:. I suppose if you've never actually tried this, it might sound weird, but I and I'm sure others can attest that they have gone from not understanding to understanding by listening.


Nope. I'm with Cainntear. Attempts at listening to nearly incomprehensible material have gotten me no where and never did become comprehensible.
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Cainntear
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby Cainntear » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:27 pm

kulaputra wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
kulaputra wrote:Not understanding is a necessary prerequisite for understanding. You'll never understand something without first not understanding it.
I'm sorry, but I find that a totally incomprehensible statement.

Naturally I don't understand anything in a language I've never studied, but I don't need to listen to something to not understand it. I find not listening far more efficient than listening, because when I'm listening, I'm only not understanding one thing, but when I'm not listening, I'm not understanding everything.


My point is that you do not understand by not listening, you understand by listening. If you already understood, then we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place. It is because you don't understand that you should listen. I suppose if you've never actually tried this, it might sound weird, but I and I'm sure others can attest that they have gone from not understanding to understanding by listening. I also believe extensive listening is essential for accent formation, again, even if you don't understand the semantic content.

In principle, I agree with this. The problem is that you started by talking about "low comprehension". I'm not a fan of Krashen, but even he points out that you're not going to learn anything new if you don't understand most of what you're hearing.

For example, I learned the construction "volver a hacer" in Spanish (meaning to do something again) while watching Águila Roja. I understood all the underlying vocabulary items and the grammar, but not the idiom. I worked out what it meant because of the context -- he was in confession in a church and said "hé vuelto a matar". This couldn't have meant "I have returned in order to kill" because you don't confess your future intentions, only your past acts, and of course he'd killed someone shortly before the scene in question.

Listen with incomplete comprehension is one thing, but low comprehension won't get you anywhere.
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kulaputra
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby kulaputra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:04 am

Ani wrote:
kulaputra wrote:. I suppose if you've never actually tried this, it might sound weird, but I and I'm sure others can attest that they have gone from not understanding to understanding by listening.


Nope. I'm with Cainntear. Attempts at listening to nearly incomprehensible material have gotten me no where and never did become comprehensible.


You're free to disagree. All I know is that I started listening to the first Lord of the Rings audio book in French with near zero comprehension and by the 14th hour of the book (the whole book is about 20 hours) I had around 60+% comprehension. I looked nothing up. It didn't cost me much effort either, as I did it while showering, brushing, cooking, or driving. In the meanwhile, the only other thing I did was run through the first 20 lessons of Pimsleur, listen to a few hours of Around the World in 80 Days and Harry Potter in the same way (starting at near zero comprehension), and watch one season of a French TV show, again, starting with zero comprehension.
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Iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ.

--Heart Sutra

Please correct any of my non-native languages, if needed!

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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby aaleks » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:10 am

Basing on my experience I can tell that learning by listening to low comprehensible material is doable but I do look up unknown words.
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kulaputra
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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby kulaputra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:19 am

Ultimately it's about opportunity cost. Sure, intensive study and/or L+1 material might be more efficient, but listening with much lower comprehension can be done where intensive listening can't, e.g. while showering or driving, and thus the former bears a comparative advantage over the latter.
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Iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ.

--Heart Sutra

Please correct any of my non-native languages, if needed!

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Re: Your Language Learning Weaknesses

Postby NoManches » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:08 pm

kulaputra wrote:
Ani wrote:
kulaputra wrote:. I suppose if you've never actually tried this, it might sound weird, but I and I'm sure others can attest that they have gone from not understanding to understanding by listening.


Nope. I'm with Cainntear. Attempts at listening to nearly incomprehensible material have gotten me no where and never did become comprehensible.


You're free to disagree. All I know is that I started listening to the first Lord of the Rings audio book in French with near zero comprehension and by the 14th hour of the book (the whole book is about 20 hours) I had around 60+% comprehension. I looked nothing up. It didn't cost me much effort either, as I did it while showering, brushing, cooking, or driving. In the meanwhile, the only other thing I did was run through the first 20 lessons of Pimsleur, listen to a few hours of Around the World in 80 Days and Harry Potter in the same way (starting at near zero comprehension), and watch one season of a French TV show, again, starting with zero comprehension.



Do you think you would have reached 60% comprehension quicker if you had started with an audiobook that you could comprehend at 40% from the beginning?
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