Mat's Language Log Attempt

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atcprunner
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Languages: English (N), Mandarin (C1), French (B2), Spanish (B2), Russian (B1), German (B2), Old English, Latin
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=4381
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Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby atcprunner » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:05 pm

I'm here because I want to draw on the collective and become a contributor to the forum. My aim is to document what I do each day/week and be active in the forums. I'll give a bit of an intro below and an account of how I've spent today and this past week.

I'm 30 years old now. I stumbled upon the old cite when I was fifteen or sixteen. I made a lot of flashcards, and I was suddenly doing much better in my French classes. I was taking Spanish classes too, which was very unusual at my high school in the States. I tried Latin as well, but I was absent the first two days of class. Apparently the class had already learned some tables of declensions and I didn't understand the concepts. The teacher worked at two high schools and said she had no time to work on me, and she said I was confused and had to drop Latin. I tried to get on with learning Spanish faster than french, and I was applying the grammar rules I'd learned to help me understand French. I made progress, but I always found myself interested in other languages and I wavered in my commitment to French and Spanish.

Five years later I had lost a good bit of my Spanish and French, then I started to relearn them on my own. I took German at my university, and I took Russian and Mandarin Chinese with a full schedule. At no point had I ever learned how to maintain all of my languages while improving one.

Jumping to the present, I can remember that I had dropped in and out of these forums quite a bit. Following people who had started on the site, then branched out to make YouTube videos etc. I followed all of Professor Arguelles's posts and videos, among others'. I tried many different techniques rather inconsistently. I let some aspects of my life get in the way with things that really matter to me. Language learning/using is something that I need to do for my own happiness.

I moved to China to focus on Mandarin. I've lived here going on five years. Two years ago I passed the HSK 6 exam, which is the highest test of Chinese Language given by the People's Republic of China (there are problems with the test I will admit, but it is not easy to pass). I've ignored my other languages here and there throughout this whole time, but for this past month I would say that I have been spreading my mental energies out more uniformly than ever before.

Here are the languages in which I have attained some degree of use that's worth mentioning, and some goals I have for them:

English: Native
French: B2 level, daily conversation, reading novels and classical texts
Spanish: B2 level, same as above
German: B2 level, same as above
Russian: B2 level, same as above
Mandarin: C1 level, same as above

Just started learning:
Turkish: A1 level, daily conversation, reading novels
Latin: ?? level, reading historical texts
Old English: ?? level, reading historical texts
Old Norse: ?? level, reading historical texts

Have studied to A2/B1 level before, but have only passive knowledge now:
Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Dutch, Egyptian Arabic, Tagalog, Japanese, Serbo-croatian

For the past month I have been working quite diligently. I was disappointed to see how far I had let things slip. I wanted to focus on French alone, but I couldn't help myself. Last year when I was in Europe, I had bought quite a few children's books in French and Spanish. They are the Goosebumps books (Chair de poule / Pesadillas). Motivated by Professor Arguelles's speech on reading in foreign languages given at the 2015 Polyglot Gathering (I had watched it a second time a month ago), I endeavored to read through one of these books with the English book on the side. I spent about a week on that book. Dealing with 20-30 page chunks at a time. Each day, I would work on one paragraph at a time, trying to use the English to help me interpret each word. Then I would reread the chapters twice more that day. And each day I reread what I had read before. I did this for the first book for a week. It was "The Haunted Mask."
I reread the book a few more times. I moved onto a second book that was in the series. I didn't use a dictionary, and it was a bit more difficult to follow in the beginning of the story. The third book was quite easy to read, I read it in two sittings (probably the same reading speed as I had read it the first time in fourth grade). It was just 130 pages long, and rather large print as well. I'd also been taking about 3 italki classes a week for conversational practice.
I've been doing about the same in Spanish and German, just less intensively. With Turkish, I've been plodding along with a textbook called Yeni Hittite and a reading book called Türkçe Okuyorum. I've made a few videos on Youtube of some of the readings. I also have a chat partner on italki. For Latin, I've been reading Lingva Latina Per Se Illustrata. For Old English, I've been plodding along in an old book I bought years ago called "The Threshold of Anglo-Saxon." I've also made a video of a reading, hoping someone would comment on my pronunciation. With Old Norse, I've been playing around with some old texts online as I can't seem to stomach through memorizing paradigms anymore. Russian has been on the back burner a bit. I live in China, so I use Mandarin Chinese everyday, although I need to put some work into it to improve because my level is not really tested.

This post has taken quite a while to produce. I'll update it tomorrow. Thanks for reading, if you have.
9 x
SC French Books Full: 29 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 13 / 100
SC German Books Full: 36 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100

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IronMike
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby IronMike » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:05 pm

Welcome to the language log area! Keep logging and studying!
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Xenoglossomania is a serious condition, cured only by collecting more languages

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iguanamon
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby iguanamon » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:18 pm

Your language skills and experience will be a welcome addition to the forum. Welcome, Mat!
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Xenops
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby Xenops » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:32 am

Welcome! I'll be reading your progress towards maintaining multiple languages. :D
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atcprunner
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Location: Beijing
Languages: English (N), Mandarin (C1), French (B2), Spanish (B2), Russian (B1), German (B2), Old English, Latin
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=4381
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby atcprunner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:16 pm

I managed to not maintain and balance as well as I liked this past week. It was a full week of a holiday here in China. My schedule became a bit filled with things that don't normally happen everyday. I think that people who are language enthusiasts can get up to 5-7 languages accumulated over the years, but it seems that getting beyond that and maintaining them can only happen if you rigorously manage your time. Nothing quite beats focused studying. It's hard to not let things distract you. Even coming to the forum and browsing can be a distraction to language learning, even though you are reading content that is interesting and relevant. It still takes away from quality time that could be used otherwise. Overthinking about how to budget time with language learning can take away from language learning time too. The only time to overthink what you are doing would be while you are in the middle of a study plan? While you already have a system in place? What are your thoughts?

I've been really fascinated by Indo-european studies. I'd like to go to school for Indo-european studies in a few years. I'm working through a masters in Tesol right now, and I have a Trinity Diploma and a Celta for teaching English. These are quite practical, but my passion has always been language learning. Helping people with just English all the time has been a bit dull. I've been getting into teaching Mandarin, but on the whole I'd much rather go the bookish route and work at a university.

In an effort to satisfy my cravings for new languages, not start anything as exotic as Mandarin (a steep learning curve), and follow my interests in historical linguistics, I've been working on Latin, Old English and Sanskrit. I just added Sanskrit last week. I watched a YouTube video from Deka Glossai, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKoKKjOAZ2U. He suggested how to get started with Sanskrit. I've been working at it for a good 4 days, and I'm on lesson 6. I have most of the syllabary mastered. I've been using the Scriptorium technique with it (I used this a lot with Chinese.)

I've logged something. Time to step it up.
0 x
SC French Books Full: 29 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 13 / 100
SC German Books Full: 36 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100

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Brun Ugle
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:57 am

SC French Books Full: 4 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 0 / 100
SC German Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100

I figured out the problem with your progress bars. You shouldn't have a space before the number.

I think you were asking about the Twitterbot as well. You can read about it here. http://sc2016-17.language-learners.org/index.php

It isn't necessary to use it, but it is fun to see your numbers go up and to look at the graphs.
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(aka Easily Distracted Tortoise)

: 14007 / 50000 words - Output Challenge Spanish Writing 2018
: 1305 / 3000 minutes - Output Challenge Spanish Speaking 2018

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atcprunner
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Location: Beijing
Languages: English (N), Mandarin (C1), French (B2), Spanish (B2), Russian (B1), German (B2), Old English, Latin
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=4381
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby atcprunner » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:11 am

Here we go... 2 years later!

I was halfway through a post that would begin a language log all over again. I saved it, then realized that I had already done this two years ago.

Up until about two months ago, I had not been working actively on my languages. I put everything on the back burner. Fortunately I did put forth a bout of renewed energy with Spanish last year that may have lasted a month, but that was all.

What's new?

Early August I started to put energy into my German. It was my major after all. I am familiar with the "Game of Thrones" Books. I started to reread the chapters in English, then follow the audio book in German. After a few chapters, I realized I knew the language and the book well enough to just need to listen and read along with the German. I did this for several weeks before I made my way through some of the Professor's old forum posts and YouTube videos. Then I decided I'd start writing a log of some kind. I did that in my paper notebook, and I started to add the daily totals into an excel sheet.

My excel sheet was started on Sept 1, and it now totals to 200 hours that I've put into it. I have 7 languages on the list: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Old English, Russian, and Norwegian. I'm thinking that once I've really gotten some of these habits ingrained I'll be ready to add on some more languages.

Here's a brief summary of what I've been doing in each of these languages:

German:
In August I started working on this language alone. I was struggling to put in just one hour each day consistently. I got through the first 150 or so pages of "Die Herren von Winterfell," Which is part one of the "Game of Thrones" translation in German. Towards the end of August, I started using the "Harry Potter Method" which I read about on the old site. I read the chapter in English before listening and reading it in German. After book 1, and halfway through book 2, I've found that I can just listen to the audio without following along and reading. At the moment, all of my German work is listening to HP. I'm just now finishing book 4 and starting book 5. I've relistened to books 1 and 2 as well. Since September first, I've covered about 78 hours of German so far, all of which has been reading and/or listening (averaging 2 hours a day)
Note: I tried reading Harry Potter before. I read Harry Potter book 1 in French and Spanish before but it turns out that I should have read them in English first before reading in my target languages.

French:
I continued to use the HP method for French as well. Each day using the HP method for books 1, 2, and 3, were fairly similar. I'd read one or two chapters in English, then cover those in French, Spanish, and German. By the end of book 3, I got tired of listening and reading to the same HP material in all three of these languages. I am only covering new HP material in German now.
October 1 was the first day of a seven day holiday here in China. I went to the Alliance Française here in Beijng and got a library card. I took out 12 books for the holiday with the ambition to read them all within the month. Six of them were marked as being for "ages 7 and up." Each book took about an hour to read and I read them all within a day. I also took out three books from the "Mathieu Hidalf" series. I'm quite pleased about this since the author is French and I've always read translations in my target languages, such as the "Goosebumps" children's series. I read the first Mathieu Hidalf book called "Le premier défi de Mathieu Hidalf." I was able to follow the book well. It took 10 hours to read and it's about 254 pages long. I read through the French Wikipedia page under the author's name and followed the summary once I'd finished. I realized that I had actually followed the story well.
At the moment I'm reading two French books. I'm reading the second Mathieu Hidalf book called "Mathieu Hidalf et la Foudre fantôme" and another called "La Forêt des captifs" from the trilogy "Les Mondes D'Ewilan. I found this in the children's literature section of the library I mentioned earlier. I've picked up "La Forêt des captifs" because the book seems to be more action-packed as opposed to Mathieu Hidalf. Mathieu Hidalf is a funny book by the way. I've stopped reading to laugh a few times. Since September first, I've covered 65 hours, all of which has been reading and/or listening (averaging 1 hour 44 minutes a day).

Spanish:
I followed the HP method with this one two for the first three books. It was a miracle that I had lasted that long because the narrators for books 2 and 3 were exceptionally boring to listen to. After book 3, I picked up a book that I had bought when I was in Barcelona. It's called "Todas las hadas del reino" by Lauro Gellego. To be honest I chose it for it's lovely cover when I was in a supermarket. I enjoy fantasy books and if it was children's literature, I figured I'd get around to reading it one day. Sure enough, three years after purchasing it I cracked open the book. It's 470 pages long and I've covered about 260 pages so far. Since September 1st, I've done 51 hours. All of this was reading and/or listening (averaging 1 hour 12 minutes each day).

Mandarin:
I hate to admit it, but my Chinese has eroded quite a bit from 2014. My listening is quite good, but my reading and speaking have suffered a lot. Living here in China, I do not really need to use the language for anything complicated or advanced. I haven't made an effort to use it for anything outside of my normal routine. Since I've started recording in my language log (sept 1) I've logged a total of 10 hours of work. Most of this was listening and following along with an audio book. I've gotten a few books called "Graded Chinese Reader" that are at the 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, and 3000 word levels. I figured these would be good review. Years ago I went through the 5000 word list for the HSK 6 exam methodically, but I desperately need a refresher.
After years of being here in China, I feel that I've come to have hostile feelings towards the language. Speaking the language and using it like this didn't give me as much pleasure as I had hoped. It's probably because my vocabulary was more advanced than my pronunciation and speaking skills and I said strange and incomprehensible things.
I digress. I am doing a few things with Chinese. They are:
    -reading a children's book called"怪物大师," which I think is a translation from "Monster Master."
    -Reading and listening to "Graded Chinese Reader 1500 Words"
    -Shadowing along and transcribing dialogues from "Advanced Spoken Chinese II."
I started transcribing the Chinese texts because I rewatched that video of the Professor with his daily workout. Writing a lot in Chinese every day for three years or so was how I had gotten to a relatively advanced level in the language anyways.
Reading text in Mandarin is very strange now. I remember the most common thousand or so characters very well. There are a lot of characters I can remember the meaning of, but not the sound, or the other way around sometimes.
Writing in Chinese was pretty laborious. I did some yesterday and today... a grand total of 2 pages done according to the Professor's scriptorium technique. Each page was about 350 characters long and took about 40 minutes to complete.

Italian:
Years ago I studied this with the Michel Thomas course and the Pimsleur courses. I'm just using the HP method with this language now and I'm about halfway through the first HP book. I've put about 12 hours into it since the beginning of September.

Old-English:
This is a language I've been coming back to again and again over the years. I've only put about 7 hours into it since Sept 1. I have an old book called "The Threshold of Anglo-Saxon." It's nearly 100 years old and smells like it too. I've worked through two passages: "the Finding of Moses" and "the Prodigal Son." The third passage required way too much dictionary work and I gave up before finishing it. I found a copy of "The Wanderer" and a YouTube recording of it. I split the recording up into 8 one-minute recordings so that I could shadow it. The dictionary work required for this was incredible. I got through the first 3 parts of 8 (nearly 4 hours of dictionary work) and then decided I'd work through a beginners book with audio material. As of today I have the "Teach Yourself Complete Old English" book, which I will be adding to my repertoire.

Russian:
This is a language that I've really struggled with. I did the Michel Thomas course of it years ago. Then in university I convinced the professor to let me skip a semester. But she said that I had to take the first semester too at the same time. I did this and took the next two semesters over the summer. During this time I was too focused on Chinese and found myself behind when I got to third year Russian Studies. Several years ago I went on a big Anki binge and learned several thousand words out of context without doing any other Russian work. Coming back to it now, I've forgotten a lot of it and I only seem to be passively familiar with most of the grammar. I know enough vocabulary to make the beginner and intermediate speaking books too easy, and the other learning materials available too difficult.
I've tried to use my old Golosa textbooks from university, but they just have too much controlled practices. I need more comprehensible input really. Here's what I'm doing:
    -I'm using "Russian Learner's Dictionary: 10,000 words in Frequency order" to patch in gaps in my vocabulary. I'm just highlighting words that I want to review and spending about 30 minutes a day on them. I just read the examples and check to ensure I understand them. I only spend time reviewing the ones I've highlighted.
    -Since I've given up on the Golosa textbooks, I've just received a shipment of graded readers that were produced by Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press. Unfortunately these are not available for sale or export outside of China. I plan to work on these today.
For Russian, I've done about 14 hours so far since starting my log and that averages to about 22 minutes a day.

Norwegian:
I started learning Norwegian right before I began this log. I've always wanted to learn the other germanic languages, so I figured this one would be a good way to get started with the north germanic languages. I've been using "Colloquial Norwegian." I hit a low point for a few weeks where I didn't progress any further with studying because of the audio material. I needed to edit it with Audacity to cut out all of the English so that I could shadow it with just the raw/pure Norwegian. It took 3 hours of my life editing those 2 hours of audio down to 16 minutes. What a shame that there are only 16 minutes of pure Norwegian text with the book. I plan to increase Norwegian study time because I've only logged about six and a half hours so far and that averages to only 11 minutes a day. This "Norwegian Project" needs to be successful because it's a way to prove to myself that I can start a language on my own without starting in a classroom first.

Looking forward
Hopefully the next few posts will be consistent and this log will continue. I need to get some work done as the day has been dragging on and I haven't done much work!
2 x
SC French Books Full: 29 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 13 / 100
SC German Books Full: 36 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100

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atcprunner
White Belt
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:04 pm
Location: Beijing
Languages: English (N), Mandarin (C1), French (B2), Spanish (B2), Russian (B1), German (B2), Old English, Latin
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=4381
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby atcprunner » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:36 am

I've looked at the rules. Every 50 pages counts as one book? If so, then I've done quite a few already!
I'm adding up some of the books I've read recently since late August 2018:

German:
Harry Potter 1 (read twice): 2*337 = 674 pages
Harry Potter 2 (read twice): 2*353 = 706 pages
Harry Potter 3: 450 pages
total:1830 pages /50=36.6 books
total:36 books

French:
Harry Potter 1 (read twice)=2*206pages=412 pages
Harry Potter 2 (read twice)=2*211 pages=422 pages
Harry Potter 3=287 pages
Mathieu Hidfalf 1=254 pages
5 Children's books translated from the "La Cabane Magique" series=462 pages. 462/5=92 pages
total 1467 pages/50=29.34 books
total: 29 books

Spanish:
Harry Potter (read twice): 2*147 pages=294
Harry Potter 2: 167 pages
Harry Potter 3: 205 pages
total: 666 pages/50=13.32 books
total=13 books
2 x
SC French Books Full: 29 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 13 / 100
SC German Books Full: 36 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100

User avatar
atcprunner
White Belt
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:04 pm
Location: Beijing
Languages: English (N), Mandarin (C1), French (B2), Spanish (B2), Russian (B1), German (B2), Old English, Latin
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=4381
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Re: Mat's Language Log Attempt

Postby atcprunner » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Yesterday and today I spent about 9 hours of my day with languages. I've been consistent about this.

I've tried to add a snapshot of my handwritten records for the previous two days but the file says it's too large. Does anyone know what file size is optimal for pictures?

Looking around at the old site HTLAL and rereading some of the posts in Lessons in Polyglottery, I was thinking about my long term goals and how to do well in many languages in the future. Despite all of my neglect, I've been really enjoying my German, French and Spanish. My Mandarin, for all the hours I've thrown into it, is just at the stage where pure enjoyment can be reaped, but I've let it get into such a bad state that I'm aware of all I've let go to rust. Frustrating. This makes me really hesitant to add another difficult/exotic language to my list. Maybe once Russian gets going...
0 x
SC French Books Full: 29 / 100
SC Spanish Books Full: 13 / 100
SC German Books Full: 36 / 100
SC Russian Books Full: 0 / 100
SC Mandarin Books Full: 0 / 100


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