Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:22 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
Morgana wrote:My thing with tv is that even when something is riveting, I will eventually get tired of it and feel compelled to stop watching and go do something else. A lot of tv in my TLs is mentally draining. I get mentally tired watching.

The same thing happens to me even in my native language. With very few exceptions, I never last past the 3rd season of a TV show. The characters just start to bore me, I guess.
Modern Icelandic was something I tried about ten years ago, but I quit long before getting to the point that you have reached. I saw no future for me in it: not enough books, or TV or movies.
I went to Modern Icelandic after spending a few years with Old Norse. That was ten years ago, and since then I have not read anything in Old Norse. I did try just a few years ago to learn Norwegian, and to my surprise Old Norse provided a few cognates to help my understanding. But Norwegian just did not appeal to me, so I let it drop.
Anyway, good luck whichever way you decide to go.
MorkTheFiddle, that was a really nice post. Thank you for taking the time to share those experiences. It’s small, but it’s very encouraging to hear that others had the same trouble with Icelandic. I start to blame myself for not being determined enough sometimes, so thank you.

zjones wrote:
Morgana wrote:Finally, I'm still working through Harry Potter och fången från Azkaban. Chapter 15 I think. This book feels like it's lasting forever. It's not boring me, it's just taking a long time. I'm up to chapter 27 of the Röta audiobook, but since I'm focusing a bit more on tv I might not get back to it for a bit.


Just wait until you get to book 4... and then book 5. The Harry Potter books are great, especially the first three books, but I find that they slow down considerably later on. I think it's because J. K. Rowling had to explain the magic system and include more world-building (what the fans wanted, essentially), but a lot of it feels unnecessary. The beginning of each book is always the worst, because everything has to be explained all over again and with each book the explanations get longer and slower. This is probably fine for Potterheads but not for the average person. I think it was rdearman who said that he'd rather stab his eyes out with a fork than read Harry Potter again, and I'm starting to understand why. :lol:
zjones, I appreciate the commiseration on Harry Potter! I found the series very readable in English, even re-readable, but I think what makes it more “challenging” to get through in a not-solidly-established second language is that one is forced to read it relatively slowly, and then all the things you mentioned become that much more boring.

—————

Things are done with Icelandic. There's no future for me there, I simply am not excited about any of the books, media, etc. available, now or in the future.

I spent a few days not doing anything language-wise. Didn't feel like it. And then today I realized I only had four chapters left in Harry Potter och fången från Azkaban so I feel all invigorated to get that darn book done! As of writing I have only three chapters left. I think I'll be leaving the HP series for a while after that. In fact I may make a rule going ahead that I'm not reading any books in Swedish that I've already read in English.

I did not finish any of the Swedish miniseries I mentioned last post. I wasn't feeling it.

It's been an informative process, all the time waffling with Icelandic. There's what you want and then there's what's possible. I sort of knew from learning Swedish that having somewhat limited choice in media is a motivation killer, but of course Swedish is a smorgasbord smörgåsbord compared to Icelandic. I just had never thought it out before vis-à-vis Icelandic. I hadn't really considered it in general: I knew I wanted only to listen and read in any target language and not do anything active, but I hadn't gone the next step further and considered what's on offer by a target language. Anyway. That'll be all the musing about Icelandic from me anymore :D I haven't touched IS since the date of my last update and I feel good about that, finally.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:00 am

That’s something I’m really starting to consider carefully before starting a new language. Learning a new language is really hard work for me, so I want there to be some kind of reward for all that, and also without some use for the language, I’m either going to have to keep studying it forever or forget it. So, now if I’m planning to go beyond light dabbling, it’s got to be in a language where I can find plenty of enjoyable literature and TV series, or I know lots of people I can talk to. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work for nothing.
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby zjones » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm

Morgana, congratulations on the decision about Icelandic. I know it wasn't easy to let it go. What are your plans for languages going forward?

The lack of resources and native materials for certain languages can be disheartening. Reading about your experience with Icelandic has taught me to look at what's available in a specific language before choosing to learn it. I think that's one of the main reasons I stopped learning Modern Greek, and something that would really bother me if I decided to learn a language like Swahili. I like my introvert activities so I need to have access to lots of media!
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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:24 am

Brun Ugle wrote:That’s something I’m really starting to consider carefully before starting a new language. Learning a new language is really hard work for me, so I want there to be some kind of reward for all that, and also without some use for the language, I’m either going to have to keep studying it forever or forget it. So, now if I’m planning to go beyond light dabbling, it’s got to be in a language where I can find plenty of enjoyable literature and TV series, or I know lots of people I can talk to. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work for nothing.
I have nothing to add to this. You said it perfectly.

zjones wrote:Morgana, congratulations on the decision about Icelandic. I know it wasn't easy to let it go. What are your plans for languages going forward?
For now my lips are sealed. Announcing my plans is the surest way to make me change my mind :D

zjones wrote:The lack of resources and native materials for certain languages can be disheartening. Reading about your experience with Icelandic has taught me to look at what's available in a specific language before choosing to learn it. I think that's one of the main reasons I stopped learning Modern Greek, and something that would really bother me if I decided to learn a language like Swahili. I like my introvert activities so I need to have access to lots of media!
I was actually partially encouraged toward my decision by one of your recent posts where you talked about Greek, and what you might pursue in the future. It's no joke how much more difficult category IV languages are, so: 1) it better be worth all the effort, and 2) there's no shame in realizing this wasn't quite what I expected when starting. I think as well that it's not just about how much material is available, but how easy it is to access that material (legally), too. For example, Japanese is a "big" language but apparently you have to jump through some grey-area hoops to access most of the ebooks that Amazon sells via Amazon.co.jp, because the .com selection is rather limited. And if you go the paper book route with such a language, shipping is crazy expensive. (As an aside, I'm not sure if the same content on Amazon.co.jp is available via any other digital retailers in Japan, but it didn't seem like it given how many threads were on Reddit about getting around the restrictions.) So that's all playing a role in what decisions I make about any future learning. How much media is there? Am I interested in any of it? How easy is it for me to get access to? How expensive is it? (Sometimes these are difficult to answer in advance of learning the language.)
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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:39 am



The above video was posted by MCK74 over in this thread. I do not generally watch Youtube videos but for whatever reason tonight I was like "hey let's see how to learn German."

The relevant bit for me came at 0:55:
... and second they contain a complete English translation parallel to the German text. In general, whenever you are picking materials for beginning a language, you want to make sure that each course has either a complete facing translation or a complete answer key. You gain nothing from trying to guess at what a text means on your own and you substantially slow down your progress. If you ever have a doubt about the meaning of anything, you want to be able to find the answer immediately and not fumble around in dictionaries and grammar books. This is simply the most efficient way to learn on your own.
For anyone considering Colloquial Icelandic as their main coursebook for Icelandic, this is one of the serious flaws of the book. After unit 4 or 5 there are no more English translations for the dialogues. The readings, of which there are fewer, still have English translations that can be found at the back of the book (ie. not conveniently located directly following the Icelandic text). As for the dialogues lacking English translations, it is indeed a serious time drain trying to work out the meaning of everything for oneself. Even with the limited vocabulary lists, which do not cover all of the new vocabulary in each dialogue, there is still a great deal of work left to the student who has barely had a start in Icelandic. So though this book is likely one of the best print resources easily available out there for the student of Icelandic, the fact that it has this major flaw just goes to show how lacking the resources are for learning this language:
  • Icelandic Online is a free, online resource but it is 100% in Icelandic.
  • Hippocrene Beginner's has audio dialogues, and I haven't used it myself so I cannot comment on how good it is, but I have read that it does not cover the past tense.
  • I do own Einarsson's Icelandic Grammar, Texts, Glossary but haven't used it. However it was first published in 1945 and there have been spelling reforms since that time (for example, Icelandic no longer uses the letter 'z'.) It is probably very dated in general. And no audio!
  • There are free web resources apart from Icelandic Online. One is Viltu læra íslensku, but there again you have no English translations, just the video with subtitles as well as a transcript in Icelandic. It will take serious time working through the transcript and translating to one's native language if you're a beginner.
  • Another free web resource is Íslenska fyrir alla. I haven't used this one either but it appears to be entirely in Icelandic as well.
I know some people like using monolingual materials but for me it's daunting to plunge into a more opaque language without any kind of guide. I also agree with the producer of the above video in that it is a poor use of one's time to have to be referring to multiple dictionaries and grammars to work out instructional material. I'm somewhat of the opinion after this experience that if one is going to use learning material like that, one could just as well start right into native materials for all the struggle and time spent not understanding. At least with a book in the target language you might actually be interested in and enjoying the content, unlike the scripted dialogues intended for tourists.

But hey, if you like monolingual learning material, no one's stopping you.

Ok well got that out of my system :lol: I can't figure out what to do next re: languages. With Swedish I'm one chapter away from the end of ... och fången från Azkaban which is great, and I got back into the audiobook for Röta today too. But I'm not finding myself interested in looking for tv to watch so I'm just sort of ignoring that part of things. I'm sure in a few months I can feel renewed frustration that I'm not better at it even though I put zero time into it lol. You know how it is.

Outside of Swedish, I can't make up my mind. There are all kinds of options I guess, I'm just kinda meh about them all. I can see the merits of going in any particular direction, but I also see the boredom. Why not pick no language and focus on Swedish? Well. Let me tell you why :lol: Swedish got comfortable. It's not amazing, I'm still reading YA books and could "get the gist" of the little tv I cared to watch, so... great! What's the rush? But having a second language around that's less stable or whatever makes me feel anxious about keeping at it everyday and making sure I think and analyze and progress, and that rubbed off on my Swedish learning. I mean, yeah, I procrastinate and take days off but it was still this thing reminding me I can't just stop for a month and hope to come back without losing progress. With only Swedish... well... I'm a little worried I might start letting things slide because improvement is so slow and things feel somewhat stable. I could make a joke about the tired stereotype of comfortable longterm relationships but I'll resist.

On the other hand I'm watching a Turkish series on Netflix at the moment and I've learned a small handful of words. I'm not trying to learn anything but I find my brain just kind of does this now. Anyone else relate? (You don't have to answer haha.) Like while learning Swedish I made myself try to learn things from entertainment and now I can't turn it off when watching foreign-language tv and movies.
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zjones
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby zjones » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:23 pm

Morgana wrote:Outside of Swedish, I can't make up my mind. There are all kinds of options I guess, I'm just kinda meh about them all. I can see the merits of going in any particular direction, but I also see the boredom. Why not pick no language and focus on Swedish? Well. Let me tell you why :lol: Swedish got comfortable. It's not amazing, I'm still reading YA books and could "get the gist" of the little tv I cared to watch, so... great! What's the rush? But having a second language around that's less stable or whatever makes me feel anxious about keeping at it everyday and making sure I think and analyze and progress, and that rubbed off on my Swedish learning. I mean, yeah, I procrastinate and take days off but it was still this thing reminding me I can't just stop for a month and hope to come back without losing progress. With only Swedish... well... I'm a little worried I might start letting things slide because improvement is so slow and things feel somewhat stable. I could make a joke about the tired stereotype of comfortable longterm relationships but I'll resist.


I know nothing about the availability of official Swedish language tests, but have you considered taking one? Studying for the DELF really pushed me to increase my abilities in French, as my learning had really slowed down after hitting B1. Of course, I'm studying for a B1 exam, but just the preparation and study have increased my abilities well beyond B1.

Are there any advanced Swedish courses that you can use to get that "romantic spark" back?
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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:16 pm

zjones wrote:
Morgana wrote:Outside of Swedish, I can't make up my mind. There are all kinds of options I guess, I'm just kinda meh about them all. I can see the merits of going in any particular direction, but I also see the boredom. Why not pick no language and focus on Swedish? Well. Let me tell you why :lol: Swedish got comfortable. It's not amazing, I'm still reading YA books and could "get the gist" of the little tv I cared to watch, so... great! What's the rush? But having a second language around that's less stable or whatever makes me feel anxious about keeping at it everyday and making sure I think and analyze and progress, and that rubbed off on my Swedish learning. I mean, yeah, I procrastinate and take days off but it was still this thing reminding me I can't just stop for a month and hope to come back without losing progress. With only Swedish... well... I'm a little worried I might start letting things slide because improvement is so slow and things feel somewhat stable. I could make a joke about the tired stereotype of comfortable longterm relationships but I'll resist.


I know nothing about the availability of official Swedish language tests, but have you considered taking one? Studying for the DELF really pushed me to increase my abilities in French, as my learning had really slowed down after hitting B1. Of course, I'm studying for a B1 exam, but just the preparation and study have increased my abilities well beyond B1.

Are there any advanced Swedish courses that you can use to get that "romantic spark" back?

There are official tests actually! I can't imagine they offer testing anywhere even remotely near where I live however :lol: But more to the point, I'm just not ambitious, tests are too stressful, this is a "fun" hobby that if I start doing things I hate (tests) that require me to do other things I don't enjoy (speaking and writing, reading the news or other test-prep-type things) then the hobby is not going to last very long. Sorry, I don't mean to shut down the idea because it'd be a good one for just about everyone else. For me though testing would turn something I hope to enjoy into something I dread.

I'll figure this one out eventually :) There are some motivations or reasons for the course of action I prefer to take (a second language) that I don't want to bring up on the log. Sometimes writing a post about what I'm trying to work on helps me work out a solution.
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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:39 am

This was a surprisingly inspiring post over on r/languagelearning:

Have you ever learned to speak a language just to prove that you can?

And this one was just a good laugh:

What word in your target language have you been using wrong this whole time? (there are curse words and whatnot so only click if you're ok with coarse language)

Highlight for me was the one who was trying to say she/he fell in the shower, in Russian, but failed.
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Morgana
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:14 am

Quick Swedish update:

I'm watching tv again. I started a new series titled Eagles, episodes are about 20 minutes each and it is very obviously geared towards teenagers. My comprehension is all over the place. Episodes one and two were pretty rough, episode three felt much better, episode four was closer to the first two. I've been watching an episode or two at a time without subtitles, and then at some later point I'll watch them with Swedish subs to catch what I missed.

Feeling bad after barely understanding anything of the first two Eagles episodes, I decided to check out an installment of Lilla Aktuellt (news for kids, basically), and comprehension was 95%+ easily. I will pat myself on the back for having the comprehension abilities of a 12-year-old tyvm :D

I also started the third season of Bonusfamiljen. This one's going to be heavy. I plan to do an episode without subs then same episode with Swedish subs. So far I've watched the first episode once and comprehension was pretty good (70-100%). If comprehension was that good, why bother with a second viewing with subtitles? I care that much about what's happening. When it's compelling, people go the extra mile, who knew! /s They did a time jump and undid a thing or two that happened at the end of season 2, heh heh.

I finished Harry Potter och fången från Azkaban and am many chapters into Harry Potter och den flammande bägaren. I wasn't going to do more Harry Potter immediately after book 3 but then... I did. I'm trying to keep the unexpected momentum going.

Haven't budged from where I last left off with the Röta audiobook (chapter 28).

I've got my 'next' language narrowed down to Spanish or Russian. I'll make up my mind at some point. The reason for those two is that they're "big" languages, especially Spanish (there is soooooo much Spanish content on Netflix, I wouldn't need to look anywhere else for a very long time and by that time there would probably be sooooo much more new content on Netflix anyway). A second reason for Spanish is that it would feel nice after trying to tackle Icelandic. A second reason for Russian is how "different" it is, ie. not as familiar as Germanic or Romance languages but without leaving the Indo-European tree altogether. I did eye Turkish for about two minutes but I don't think it's a 'right now' language but a 'maybe if I'm still looking for some variety and/or a challenge in a few years' language. It's got the whole agglutinating thing going for it (against it?) like Finnish, except unlike Finnish there's a ton of television. A ton. I know Xmmm's gone on about how much tv there is for Turkish, but I had never actually checked before. On Netflix alone... so much tv.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Insert Log Title Here (Swedish)

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:09 am

I had been going to suggest Spanish or Turkish, but it looks like you’ve already been through the same thought process. Both have tons of highly addictive TV shows that are easy to find online and both are big enough to have lots of literature and people to talk to, if you enjoy that kind of thing.
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