Today's study languages:
- Icelandic (I know, more on that in a sec)
- Icelandic Online
- Olly Richards' short stories book
- Mandarin Corner
- Yoyo Chinese
- Korean Stories For Language Learners
... so far
I spent a good two hours on the first two today because I had some extra time on my hands.
For Icelandic, I worked with Icelandic Online again and I found several things while exploring the content. I noticed the level may be just a tad too easy for me because I can guess a lot from context. I'd like to say I'm smart, but we know where that leads! Arrogance doesn't look good on anybody. I'm currently on the Beginner's level, a few units in. Bálkur #3. My progress got restarted a little bit, but that's alright. I might've remembered stuff from last time, but I don't remember when last time was (maybe about 6 months ago?) and I also tested myself to make sure I was coming up with original material (i.e. new iterations of language) to make sure I wasn't just remembering previous things I'd translated.
I practiced listening to the full dialogue without transcripts first, and I also practiced with line-by-line audio. It's a bit like the Pod101 courses that way, and it's for free (at the moment), so even better! I read aloud the dialogue before listening to it to test my comprehension that way, because for some reason that helps me specifically. If learning styles do exist, I'm a hybrid, it seems, of visual and auditory and I can lean quite heavily on the latter at times.
I've been using this site since its early days when I was younger, but I'm only just now starting to make use of it and it does help even if it can be a bit easy to guess meaning at times. Then again, that could just be me. It's a really cute site, though. Well-designed visually. I'll still be evaluating the content as it pertains to my personal needs with the language.
I also read a paragraph of Olly Richards' book, and for but a sentence understood it all.
As for Chinese, it feels like I did a mountain of study with this one. This week I've been working on the perennial "sentence starters" that I've been at for quite some time, learning slowly. I added "medical phrases" in context (I retrofitted it) and listened to a short story in slow Mandarin to test my comprehension. Let's see... I also played with one dialogue on ChineseClass and learned some sports-related words, but none of them stuck completely. I don't expect them to as it's my first pass and my learning style has changed since high school. Then I listened to some rather boring, but perhaps quite requisite lessons on Chinese pronunciation (finals and tones), as well as a more fun video that was so lame you'd have to love it. This included greetings and pleasantries, and came from Yoyo Chinese.
I understood about 75-80% of the 10-minute story mentioned above. What I try to do is guess what the story will be about, given context clues, or sometimes none, as well as my familiarity with the language. I'm much more comfortable with the other languages on my study list from today; there I can focus on hyper-learning new words. It wouldn't be hard to do since grammar and pronunciation in listening don't serve as barriers.
The particular story I listened to was about the site owner's job at one point in her life, and I guessed she'd talk about the long hours and the lack of money. I was right, and I even guessed the right areas in which she talked about them as I listened. It's hard to describe a process like this, because it relies a lot on intuition. But it's basically extensive listening, just repackaged. See our new label? Same great product!
It might be something you'd discredit, but I think it does help at certain stages of learning.
And finally Korean! I read two stories from an easy reader I've mentioned in the past. This time the stories were about farts (no kidding) and the origin of the sun and moon. I understood about 98% of these.
I seem to be starting to favor extensive reading and listening these days. I'm not an expert on any of my languages, but sprinting fast yet lackadaisically through things makes me feel empowered to continue because I possess an increased sense of momentum and motivation.
I look forward to an evening wherein my nose is in either a book or absorbed in a course. Language study is such a relaxing activity.