Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's JP, ESP, RU log: Looking for a better title to this log

Postby kelvin921019 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:44 am

Update on N2 NKZM
Since I don't have time to do the reading and listening practice, I decided to give up the NKZM reading and listening book. It has always been a very difficult decision to give up books (especially exam prep) I have purchased since I don't want to waste any money spent.

My original schedule is to slowly work through the "500Qs" book and then work on 2-3 practice papers before exam. As it turns out that there is only little content for the 500Q book and it only takes me 15 mins to finish 2 day portion of questions, I decided to speed run the book and instead work on 8 practice papers which will serve as reading and listening exercise as well. [Luckily NKZM reading and listening book isn't that expensive. I bought them along with other books so that Amazon waived the shipping charge]

JP: What am I watching / listening now?
There are a few channels I'm now following:-
Usual news outlets (useful for listening to very formal language), I usually pick 2-3 segments which I'm interested
TBS news: https://www.youtube.com/user/tbsnewsi
日テレNEWS: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuTAXTexrhetbOe3zgskJBQ
ANNnews: https://www.youtube.com/user/ANNnewsCH

Other channels:
Dogen - american who can speak super fluent japanese: https://www.youtube.com/user/Dogen
A channel explaining the solution to maths problems: https://www.youtube.com/c/Stardy/featured

Japanese usually made their own subtitles / headline for videos, which are very very useful for training my listening skills.

Next update: Update on RU (Spoiler alert - I have finished Pimsleur level 2)
5 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's JP, ESP, RU log: Looking for a better title to this log

Postby kelvin921019 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:16 pm

Japanese: Preparing N2 exam papers
Spanish: Reviewing B2 materials
Russian: NPRC


I am now taking some rest after receiving the jab, so I decide to take this chance to update my log.

Japanese: N2 final sprint
I'm going to have my JLPT exam next Sunday. My plan is to do 1 past exam paper (I got them from my friends) each day starting from coming Sunday (I need time to recover from the side effects of the jab). Anyhow, I did one yesterday and I compare the result with the attempt before starting the study.
Vocab: 19/32 -> 27/30
This part I can see most improvements because I have spent quite a lot of time just to memorize words (through the help of Anki). I am not surprised that I can achieve better here. Most questions are quite straight forward and no guessing work in needed. It's either you know it or you don't. Of course, there are still words I have never met since there's no "official syllabus" for the exam. I could have worked on 1 more vocab book I think there's no need to be too perfect in view of the upcoming exam
Preparation(s)
- going through the N2 2500 word book
- doing the N2 500Qs book
- picking some new words in NKZM N2 book and
- Quickly go through Soumatome N2

Grammar: 14/22 -> 16/22
For some reason there are quite a lot of new items I have never seen from NKZM and Soumatome. So it still involves quite a lot of guessing work in achieving this. My observation is that NKZM + Soumatome are only enough to get you to a pass but not even close to perfect. The actual amount of N2 items should be way more than that. Next time when I prepare for N1, I should study further beyond the books.

Reading: 18/21 -> 19/20
Overall it takes me less effort to read the articles. My comprehension rate should be like around 90% thanks to the larger vocab size. Apart from that reading isn't a big problem cos I read a lot and I have the "Kanji advantage"

Listening: 25/30 -> 26/30
Apparently I'm handicapped without the "Kanji advantage". There are tracks which I can understand almost nothing because I can't associate the sound with the word instantly. What frustrates me the most is that sometimes the keyword is the only word I don't know and my brain kept looking for the meaning of the word and then I got distracted. The only solution to this is "more listening"

I don't think I will fail the exam but when I can get high marks or not really depends on luck.

In the meantime, I'm letting my Anki deck to "cool down" so I won't add any new words for the time being until the daily review amount drops to say 100 cards per day. I have also cut the sentence translation deck.

Spanish
I'm now focusing on 2 accents only (Spanish + Rioplatense) and trying to push my comprehension rate to close to max in these accents first. So far I am listening to quite a lot of Argentinian and Spanish podcasts but I still can't get over the "native speech" barrier. I tried to listen to Ricardo Darin's movies but it takes me thousand times to understand only the "gist". It's still a long way.

Russian
I have finished Pimsleur 2 and honestly it's very helpful for constructing very simple sentences. Yet, I'm not going to Pimsleur 3. I need to take a short break in Russian in order to give way to my Japanese exam preparation.

I only manage to reach Chapter 17 of the NPRC, so I have covered all 6 cases and some tenses. However, I have not learnt anything about verb of motion, prefix, conditional. I hope they wont be too demanding.

I won't start Assimil right after JLPT but may be wait a week or so for "cooling down" the anki decks first. In the meantime, I will start a bit of Chapter 18 to learn some useful adjectives or just quickly overview Chapter 19 to 21 to get a rough idea of some grammatical items.

The first 7 lessons of Assimil won't be very demanding so I treat them as a way of "rest" also. My current plan is to adopt the Spanish Assimil method:
- enter all sentence RU -> EN into anki when doing the lesson
- Bidirectional translation on a 4-day gap and put the reverse translation into Anki as review

I have been searching an intermediate textbook for me to work on after Assimil. Perhaps I shouldn't focus on textbook because I have LingQ, which can serve as a large database of native materials. I think I will instead go for LingQ.
5 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's JP, ESP, RU log: Looking for a better title to this log

Postby kelvin921019 » Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:49 pm

JLPT exam
I had my JLPT exam today. I finished 6 past papers and got an average of 85% during the week before exam. The more important part is to get myself prepared for the exam format (the truth is that this is something that help me score more in the exam) and to develop the appropriate strategy for the exam.

Anyway, the performance is as expected cos the paper was pretty much in line with the past format and difficulties. I am expecting a safe pass in the exam. Having said that, it doesn't mean that my Japanese is anywhere near satisfactory.

Japanese for the rest of 2021
After all the dry, stressful and hardcore studying of vocabularies and grammar books, I will now turn my focus to something more casual. Of course I'll keep doing Anki but I won't add much words into it so as to "cool the deck down". My main focus will be
- speak more. I recently joined a group of local people who do regular voice chat online and some of them are extremely native-like. The first chat they assessed me to be somewhere like a normal N2 student in terms of speaking ability. I know that it will take me loads of speaking practice to reach a satisfactory level
- Read more. I haven't really started / completed a real book except some YOASOBI fiction. The next one will be
https://ahamo.com/special/yoasobi/novel/
I also plan to read a book called 学びを結果に変える アウトプット大全, which is a non-fiction. Probably I will move on to a fiction after that.

I should limit my input amount into anki for the time being.

Japanese N1?
Tho I'm eager to push myself further to N1, I will give my priority to my third language (Russian) now. Just like Spanish, I need to set some milestones / pre-requisite to start N1 preparation:-
- finish 2 novels + 2 non-novels
- do enough chats
- finish 1-2 drama without subs
Then I will go back to the dull, stressful and hardcore preparation for N1. No rush, I may take 1-2 years before considering doing N1.

Spanish C1?
The next step to Spanish is to get to C1. The pre-requisites are:-
- finish 2 novels
- do enough chat
- finish 1 grammar book
- finish revising on B2 materials
One thing I have to overcome / work on is the "listening stress". For native language, English and Japanese, I can sit back and relax while watching their contents. Yet for Spanish, I need to be very focused when listening to the videos in order to understand 80-90% of the dialogues. The result is that I become very stressed out and drowsy after 5-6 mins of listening. I think reaching a "comfortable listening mode" (Understanding Spanish content without paying 100% attention) would be a big pre-requisition for me to consider taking C1 exam.

Russian
The next focus will be Russian. The coming week I will finish Chpt 17 and start a bit of Chpt 18 of NPRC. I also changed my anki approach (click okay instead of hard for okay cards). Next week or 2 weeks after depending on my work and personal schedule I'll start Assimil Russian. In the meantime I'll doing some lingQ and get myself to the listen-reading-learning mode for Russian.

I am also finding Russian pop songs and good learner channels. Of course I will consume all 6 Russian shows on Netflix (The volume of Russian content in Netflix is pathetically low...I have no choice but to watch all of them regardless of the quality).
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 6:38 am

Russian
I decided to take the easy way out - instead of delay 1 week to quickly go through Chpt 18 of NPRC, I took a few days of rest and start Assimil. My first impression of Assimil is - I was right to do 17 chapters of NPRC, dealing with all cases, understanding the numbers, getting myself familiarize with the sound of the language through Pimsleur.

The first few chapters proceed slowly, but still contains quite a number of contents which, but for my preparation, I would be so puzzled.
(That's why I really want to do a challenge on "Assimil only" in the future for french)

One more thing is that I start watching "Better Than Us" the netflix show (with Eng sub) as an introduction of the sound language.

Japanese
I recently start doing more and more reading and casual chatting in Japanese without adding too many cards into Anki. I manage to "cool down" the review to 120 cards per day but I think I need further cooling down.

At this moment I focus more on "output" rather than input since I am still in the course of internalizing the N2 materials (even after the exam).
3 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:27 am

As time goes time, I have a much stronger urge to "solidify" my existing languages instead of plunge into the next one once I have finished my hardcore Russian studies.
Russian
I have been extremely busy with work and can barely squeeze out sometime to do studies but I still manage to catch up to the schedule. With all the benefit from NCPR the first 3 weeks isn't much problematic and cause me almost no problem exact the following sentences:
- The accusative used alone
"Таня, тебя к телефону, слышишь" (Tanya, you are wanted on the phone, do you listen?)
"Купе, нижнюю полку, если можно" (coupé, lower bunk, if possible)
I don't see any explanation on the internet but I presume it's that there is a "хочу / хотят" omitted so that it implies accusative here. Am I right here?

"может быть, вам до москвы?" (Perhaps, you [go to] Moscow?)
I am guessing the dative case is something like "for you". So I am understanding it's something like "perhaps, for you, to-go-to Moscow"

My knowledge in Spanish is extremely helpful in understanding Russian on a lot of grammatical matters different from English (e.g. the position of object before the verb, reflexive verb, the impersonal construction, the "me gusta" like construction (мне нравится)) and the vocabulary. I think it's because there are quite a lot of word of french origin in Russian such as
"прогноз" (forecast) = el pronóstico
"мебель" (furniture) = el mueble

Of course, I am full aware that the difficulty of Assimil will go up like Bezos rocket, basically it keeps accelerating until lesson 100. I should take the first 21 lessons as the calm before the storm.

Japanese and Spanish
Nothing much to update here. I'm still reading books and doing voice chat / conversation lessons. For Japanese, I'm inserting the grammatical items starting from N3 into my unified vocab decks, so that I won't forget them before I start N1 stuff in the future.

As to "Corazon tan blanco", I only manage to go thru 1-2 pages whenever I have time to read it but it contains so much new words that I have to look up the dictionary every now and then. Since it's a novel, it contains quite a lot of "useless" words (for my daily conversation) but anyhow they are still impeding me from understanding the plot. I think I would need to read 1-2 novels (and rework on a B2 book) before I can start C1 materials.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:18 am

short update on why there's not much update
I have not been updating this log for one single reason - I can't find anything new to update.

For Japanese and Spanish, I'm just going through the listening / re-listening / reading + speaking exercise loop to reinforce what I've learnt and to expand my vocabulary. Yesterday I started one podcast in LingQ. I think 6-7 months before I can't understand a single word without the script (because their accent is pretty thick) and now I can understand 80% of the dialogue if I'm concentrated.

This shows that there are unnoticeable changes in my listening skills and my comprehension level. These are the tiny little thing I can't notice in a very short period of time. I'm still sticking to my plan to grind through podcasts / books before advancing to the advance level in Spanish and Japanese (C1 and N1 respectively).

As to Russian, I know it well that the process will take much longer to reach the first base camp in language (i.e. the B2 zone - or I call it, the podcast / youtube zone).
3 x

golyplot
Blue Belt
Posts: 999
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:41 pm
Languages: Am. English (N), German, French, ASL (abandoned), Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Japanese
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12230
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Re: Kelvin's JP, ESP, RU log: Looking for a better title to this log

Postby golyplot » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:42 pm

kelvin921019 wrote:Reading: 18/21 -> 19/20
Overall it takes me less effort to read the articles. My comprehension rate should be like around 90% thanks to the larger vocab size. Apart from that reading isn't a big problem cos I read a lot and I have the "Kanji advantage"

Listening: 25/30 -> 26/30
Apparently I'm handicapped without the "Kanji advantage". There are tracks which I can understand almost nothing because I can't associate the sound with the word instantly. What frustrates me the most is that sometimes the keyword is the only word I don't know and my brain kept looking for the meaning of the word and then I got distracted. The only solution to this is "more listening"


It's interesting because I've mostly been focusing on extensive listening, and thus have the opposite problem. I tend to associate words with sounds rather than kanji, which makes reading anything without furigana a huge pain.
1 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
x 815

Re: Kelvin's JP, ESP, RU log: Looking for a better title to this log

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Aug 16, 2021 7:32 am

golyplot wrote:
kelvin921019 wrote:Reading: 18/21 -> 19/20
Overall it takes me less effort to read the articles. My comprehension rate should be like around 90% thanks to the larger vocab size. Apart from that reading isn't a big problem cos I read a lot and I have the "Kanji advantage"

Listening: 25/30 -> 26/30
Apparently I'm handicapped without the "Kanji advantage". There are tracks which I can understand almost nothing because I can't associate the sound with the word instantly. What frustrates me the most is that sometimes the keyword is the only word I don't know and my brain kept looking for the meaning of the word and then I got distracted. The only solution to this is "more listening"


It's interesting because I've mostly been focusing on extensive listening, and thus have the opposite problem. I tend to associate words with sounds rather than kanji, which makes reading anything without furigana a huge pain.


I think it's one of the advantage I have as a native Chinese. I don't even need to know the pronunciation of a Kanji in order to read them (despite the false friends, which account for a minor portion of them).

Another problem with listening is that I often "zone out" when listening, but that's more of a personal problem instead of a language learning problem. :lol: :lol:
1 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
x 815

Re: Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:27 am

Russian: Progress check
Today I'm doing chpt 36 of Assimil and the progress is...fine
I did an online test (https://mgu-russian.com/en/learn/test-online/ ) and scored 28/30 on "Elementary" level. However, I am still looking for more reliable test(s) on A1 level (for reading and listening) to test my progress before I can conclude that I have reached A1.

Thanks to my experience in Spanish, I have a rough idea of what phase in Assimil I'm in (basically now it's the stage slowly introducing us vocabularies categorically). Now my estimation would be that I will reach a mid to high A2 by the end of Assimil and will reach the front door to B1 by the end of NPCR (est. end of 2021).

One thing I plan to do is to take a 1 week break by the end of Lesson 49 and Lesson 77 for rest (get myself prepared for more intensive materials). Experience from Assimil Spanish.
2 x

kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Sun Aug 22, 2021 9:11 am

Spanish: Back to Assimil
When I'm looking for some breakthrough in Spanish (Coranzon tan blanco still going slowly but really slowly), a crazy idea came to me: let's see if I can now read Assimil lessons "with ease". Then I found the older version of Assimil and went through all the text one by one. The answer is a big no-no, I still found quite a lot of new words and a lot of "almost forgotten" sentence structure.

So I am now going through an old Assimil at a rate of 7 lessons per day. I once bumped into a zone (near lesson 30 to 40) where I had to break the 7-lessons into 2 days of material since there are quite a lot of new words for me. This time I'm adding all the new words / expressions into Anki and shockingly I can add 20+ new words everyday.

Possibly after the old assimil I will go back to the Assimil I used and go through all the lesson texts again (should take even less time) and add the "new words" into Anki.

After that, Using Spanish? I don't know

Japanese
I'm a bit focusing more on revising older material and now I'm adding the Grammatical items into the Anki cards. In the meantime, I'm reading the "output" book slowly. Nothing much happens, my focus now is to get in touch with day to day Japanese and do a lot of practice in output since apparently, it takes a lot of time to digest and internalize all those grammatically items and vocab even when I can answer those multiple choice JLPT questions.
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