"What's Poppin'?" or "All the Cool Kids are Learning Polish": A Log

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eido
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:14 pm

I realized last time I updated this that I was writing a copy of previous posts I made with slightly different words lmao

But I didn't care 'cause the emotions were different. I hope that came across.

Anyway, it's been almost a month and I'd thought I'd leave a quick update.
  • I'm doing much better with not listening to k-pop, since it was a personal goal to cut down on it. I haven't completely cut it from my musical "diet," as I like to call it, but I've replaced it with some other stuff. Unfortunately, it's in English :lol: I got tired of chasing down deep cuts and instead went back to hits my parents would recognize. Currently I'm listening to "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 (from Guardians of the Galaxy's "Awesome Mix", though I'd heard of it before :P).
  • However, I've been using the lyric videos still for k-pop songs to inform my listening comprehension. I'm both surprised and not surprised at how many I have memorized. It's just a matter of singing/rapping as fast as the natives haha
  • The DELE is in my future, I just don't know when. I think I'll aim for the B2, or with a little prep, C1. It's a thing, but it's not scheduled; so don't get excited.
  • Polish lessons this summer? Anything could happen!
That was your check-in ;) See ya whenever.
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:55 pm

Recently (within the past 3 days) I’ve been text chatting in Korean a lot. Luckily I’ve been able to make more Korean friends that would correct me if necessary, though there are misunderstandings born of language fluency and sometimes general miscommunication that occur. We do our best to resolve them, though.

I figure the only way I’ll get better with a language like Korean is to throw myself at it and see what sticks. It’s a similar method to what I used for Spanish, but less effective due to different grammar than the Western kind. Or, at least, that’s how it seems.

I hope to make more progress as time goes on. It may be slow, but it’ll hopefully work more effectively than just sitting on it and doing nothing.
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:14 pm

Two posts in a week after being gone for a month? Could I be making a comeback? :lol: We'll see.

Anyway, some of you may have noticed I updated my log's first post to reflect summertime studying. Hopefully it's brief enough.

I got started on it a bit early.

I have used a couple more Audible credits to purchase audiobooks in Spanish, and I bought a subscription to JapanesePod101. I'm starting to maneuver all my books around my house for optimal language study. Right now, due to what I chose to focus on, I don't need the Icelandic, Norwegian, or Faroese books, so I can put those away and retrieve the Hindi, Chinese, and Polish, among others.

I already began my Japanese studies this week, trying to read some with japanese.io and taking tests as well as going through dialogs on JapanesePod. I selected "beginner" as a level for my learning plan, and I got 12/14 on the first "diagnostic test" provided. In addition, I took the last test of the unit (N5/N4 Prep) and scored 16/50 which is pretty bad, but for not having fully studied all these months (or even years), I don't consider it a major loss. I did it mostly by ear rather than by learned grammar rule, so maybe that's not what the test intended. However, if I can get a decent enough score at the start, I think the tests might be a mite too easy and poorly designed.

I also used my other Pod subscriptions to study Polish and Chinese. I like getting the Word-of-the-Day emails in Polish, and I signed up for a similar mailing list in Japanese. I try to ask my parents about the word when I see it in my email.

I'm still toying with the idea of Polish lessons... but I'd really only use them for speaking, and my parents are still pretty good at evaluating pronunciation.

Therefore, I think I just need a Pole outside my family to practice a more Standard Polish than what my parents can come up with. My parents speak fine, but as they term it, their speech is, "street Polish". However, I really need to get the grammar down and a core vocabulary in my head first before I attempt to blab.

That's pretty much all I did this week. I took a Chinese test on ChineseClass at the intermediate level (the beginning) and got around 40%. I listened to about 10 minutes of Spanish in audiobook form.

That's about it ~!
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:31 am

This week so far I’ve managed to do a lot of language study.

I’ve studied
- Japanese
- Chinese
- Korean
- Spanish

... mostly grammar, but some vocabulary, as well.

In addition to getting to use some of my lesser-touched books, I got to talk with natives of Spanish and understood them quite easily. All three I spoke to were from different countries; and I should add this was a face-to-face interaction, no Skype involved. They’re consistently surprised at my ability and what I can come up with, so there’s a little bit of proving to be done, but I’m more than willing to do so. I think they appreciate this as well.

Speaking with natives and finding out more about their culture always invigorates me. I hope I can continue along this path.
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:45 pm

Today's study languages:

- Icelandic (I know, more on that in a sec)
with
  • Icelandic Online
  • Olly Richards' short stories book
- Chinese
with
  • Mandarin Corner
  • Yoyo Chinese
  • ChineseClass101
- Korean
with
  • 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! :lol:

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.
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:24 pm

Today's languages:
- Spanish
- Korean
- Icelandic
... so far

I studied 2 iyagis with TTMIK and understood about 85-90% of them without looking at the script first. I also reviewed a grammar point in one of my Ewha textbooks and on HTSK.

With Icelandic, I skipped to the high intermediate content on IO to see what it was like, and surprisingly I understood quite a lot. So I went to RUV.is and listened to a video and read an article meant for natives, and I understood about 80% there.

As for why I skipped around, it's because I got a confidence boost from Glossika placement tests last night after I posted here. I managed to pass their little quizzes up to low B2 for Korean and Icelandic, and I already have a B2 according to them for Spanish. This was back when I had a subscription.

(I peeked at Glossika for the first time in 2 years because I was looking for a language to chill with in the evening, and I remembered Manx! Their Manx course is free, so I thought I'd try it out since it is a language I want to learn at some point. I did some more work with Manx as well on the Learn Manx site, but not too much so as to overwhelm.)

In addition, I went searching for more music and vlogs on YT to curate my experience and personalize it. I found some good Spanish music... now all that remains is to find more content in more languages to create a multilingual space.

As well, I'm finding I can understand the gist of things pretty well now in a lot of languages I try to reinvigorate contact with after a prolonged period of disuse or lack of targeted practice. Gotta love the slow build-up of knowledge. It takes time, but you get there :)

And today's music is: "Nunca vas a comprender" by Rita Payes. It has a homey vibe, but the lyrics don't quite match.

A song I've been addicted to recently is: "On Ne Vit Qu'Une Fois" by Sidione. I don't think I've recommended it here before. It's just a basic love song, but the combination of the way a new-to-me-sounding language like French and the beat makes for a winning formula in the re-listening department. I like it a lot. ;)

I have a lot of French music recommended to me on my YT account, and I don't mind it. It sounds so fresh. It's how Korean music first sounded to me when I began listening to it some years ago. Could I actually be falling in love with French? Oh dear! :oops: But I won't abandon my other languages. I predict I'll be able to read in a lot of languages faster than I'll gain skills in speaking, so don't worry, I'm not taking over the world... just yet :lol:

I also found out the origins of "castellano" vs. "español" in this video:


How interesting!
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:46 pm

This morning I studied:
- Korean (over 1 hour)
- Chinese (45 minutes)
...so far

I studied with Bibimchat on TTMIK using a combination of subtitles and pure aural skills. When I focus, I'm able to understand a lot, but I'm rarely interested in the conversation unless it pertains to someone or something I care about. For instance, if me and my friend from Busan were talking, I'd have rapt attention and be looking up words throughout. But with the more cerebral topics, I lose interest.

I've been finding, though, that I can parse individual sounds in Korean much more easily. The meaning just doesn't come as fast. I can guess by context with about 75-80% accuracy, but it needs to improve at the word level. I understood a whole song this morning by reading the lyrics (granted, it was short and repetitive, but still) and I got quite a few of the sounds digested in real-time.

I spent a lot of the study time for this language listening to new tunes and reading YT comment sections in Korean. I was much better at the latter than the former.

Today's music is: "눈부신 키스" by Achtung (악퉁). It's the song I understood easily.

I also forayed into Korean hip-hop. It was surprisingly chill and not rough like I remember. I think I found a group I like.

And for Chinese, I picked up where I left off with Yoyo Chinese. Last night I studied a bit and I learned '还是' (hái shì) and '或是' (huò shì) as well as some food words. Today I learned the word for "but/however": '可是' (kě shì). This learning course can be a little simple, but it reminds me of how I used to learn Spanish, so I welcome it.

In some ways, Chinese reminds me a lot of Korean with the constructions and I usually don't mix up languages, but for some reason these two are proving difficult :roll:

I think I'll work with Spanish a little later today because it will feel like slipping back into my own skin, so to speak. It's usual, it's a habit, it's ingrained. But the other languages are just as worthy and deserve practice.
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:00 pm

Today I studied:
- Japanese (~15 minutes)
  • Read from Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication (thanks for the recommendation, @Fortheo)
  • Read from A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
- Spanish (~45 minutes)
  • Listened to MBA Personal
Today was a bit of a lazy day. I felt out of it, and my language study suffered as a result. It was only until later in the day that I truly came to bat and swung a few good hits.

I got two new books (there's so many for Japanese on Amazon [where's my drooling emoji?]!). I started reading through them using a timer, at my mom's suggestion since I can't seem to focus for longer than a few seconds on anything unless it's flashy, loud, or refuses to be ignored--maybe a combination of all three. Gen Z/Millennial problems, I guess. I had some success with this and I think I'll try to continue. It's a bit like the Pomodoro technique. My mom's really talented at managing practical matters. It sure did feel good to read again :) I love holding books in my hands. I don't like flying by the seat of my pants all the time. ;)

I knew a lot of what was being discussed in the first few pages of each book, so off to a good start. I think these two would make great study tools along with my Genki books I bought last year. Maybe if I'm feeling adventurous after summer break and I'm still working with the guy of Japanese descent who moved here at a young age, I can show him I was serious in learning when I told him I would. But I'm not sure on that, so don't quote me.

Lastly, I spent a good chunk listening to a translation of what Audible claimed was a "popular book," title translated as above. I tend to read self-help books as it at least gives me the illusion that I'm accomplishing something, even if there's a general consensus on what you should and should not do and no real progress or revolutionary discoveries... just people on soapboxes. This book is a little different in that I usually wouldn't read it. Business isn't my typical subject, and the way it's written is a bit sleazy. But I'll try to use it for improving my comprehension and speaking ability best I can. The book itself is not hard to understand really, it's just a bit one-sided.

Speaking of well, speaking... I'm starting to realize I don't have to be perfect in output unless it's for a test at school or something like the DELE or TOPIK. Communication is key. It'll improve over time. I think without the certainty of being a teacher having to have flawless language skill in all areas has taught me to slow down, and definitely for the better. I remember multiple people, the first of whom that comes to mind being @iguanamon, telling me to cool it.

Given I've only been here a few years, I think I learned fast. But I could still improve, I concede that.

Since actual interaction is what I desire, I just have to learn to put myself out there.
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Re: Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Sun May 09, 2021 6:35 pm

I haven't been doing much as far as languages go, though I've tried to fit them in where I can. Life has just been so busy!

I've been using Speakly for a variety of languages, including French and German.

I've purchased a Disney+ subscription and watched some of Toy Story 4 in Spanish, and the original High School Musical in Norwegian.

Taking the lead from @Deinonysus, I looked into chess a bit. Last year I took up an interest in it and became decent at it in a short time, but I neglected playing for some time, and thus my abilities declined. So, when I went onto Lichess I got my butt whooped like 20-3 the first day. :lol: Hopefully I'll improve, but if not, I'm not hurtin', 'cause I still have languages which are my main focus and skill.

I've been listening to Spanish-language audiobooks here and there. I also have been watching some YouTube channels recommended by my Mexican friend about science. I usually have no problems comprehending. I mostly have experience with Mexican, Iberian, and Colombian variants of the language, but I need to broaden my scope a bit. If anyone knows any YouTubers/vloggers from more diverse regions, I'd be happy to take a look at what you've got. I need some more rioplatense in my life.

Next week I hope to contact a teacher on italki that has worked with prospective DELE test takers. He specializes in the higher level tests. I believe I'm at least at B2, so with all luck, he'll be able to help me. I want to get a passing score on the C1. We'll see.

Korean study has all but halted, but not because I've wanted it to. I just find it easier to focus on... what's easier? That being Spanish for the time being and occasionally playing around with an app. But I still listen to Korean music nearly every day, though with not as much k-pop content as before. We're making progress!

Soon (starting tomorrow) I'll have a few weeks where I can focus my attention more on languages. I'm looking forward to that. :)
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Re: "What's Poppin'?" or "All the Cool Kids are Learning Polish": A Log

Postby eido » Tue May 11, 2021 12:33 am

I updated my first post in this log to reflect my current experiment, as we like to call them on this forum.

I'm learning Polish!

Tonight I took a Polish placement test, but I don't know how accurate it is. It is just to help form a baseline for what I need to expect of the next month.

According to Cactus Languages, I'm A2 in Polish. Should I believe them?
polish_cactuslang_1_051021.PNG
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