Not all those who wander are lost

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tractor
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby tractor » Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:28 pm

Happy birthday!
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sfuqua
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French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu Apr 28, 2022 4:21 am

Well...
I decided not to do the Super Challenge. I don't want to follow the rules, which excludes some types of input I might like to use, and I don't think that I would be able to settle down on one of my languages (that I could actually do a super challenge with) for long enough to get a challenge done.

I am going through some soul searching about Russian. Do I really want to put in the effort to push this language high enough to actually be able to read in it and consume media in it? Russian is very attractive. It has a challenging alphabet. It has some of the greatest literature the world has ever seen. Reading material in Russian seems to be readily available, including novels, and translated novels. I have the three most recent Assimil Russian courses available in anki decks. I have memrise and duolingo available in the form of anki decks.. Google voice services have voices for it, which simplifies adding sound to the anki cards. There is a ton of history and media to learn about. I have barely scratched the surface of learning about Russia...

However Russian is a beast of a language. Maybe not Chinese or Arabic, but plenty hard enough for me. If the reason that I want to study Russian is so that I can do things with Russian, well, there will be a lot of time and effort before I see a payoff.

But if I'm doing it for the enjoyment of the path to get there...?

I figured out long ago that, for me at least, the goal is much less important than the road to get there.

I think I'll keep pushing Russian, until it isn't fun any more, then I'll do something else...

I'm doing Pimsleur Spanish, keeping ahead of my wife. I am getting a bunch of practice with sentences that are too simple for me.

French... I don't know. It just isn't as attractive to me as Russian or Spanish. However it is the gateway to literature and media that I would love to see. What do I have against French people? I've mentioned the French student in my high school that I had a crush on and was afraid to talk to. I still remember the Tahitian women in the Mt. Vaea club in Apia, Samoa, who were so mysterious and beautiful speaking French. They seemingly were amused at all the attention they were getting... I say seemingly, because the Samoan guys and I couldn't speak French. I mean French certainly seemed attractive then.

I probably just need to make a French friend.
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sfuqua
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Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English: native
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Spanish: read
French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu May 05, 2022 4:32 am

Well, I've had an interesting experience with Pimsleur Spanish. I have been doing the course, trying to stay a day ahead of my wife, who had a semester of Spanish long ago, and who hears a lot of Spanish in the community, just like everybody else in San Jose. Anyway she is a machine, and I am up to 45 minutes a day just to stay ahead of her. She is very interested in things and is asking all the right questions. She is paying attention to Spanish on TV, and well, I have to move to stay ahead. :D
There is absolutely nothing new about the Spanish in Pimsleur. The only challenge is remembering the "Pimsleur Spanish'' way to say things. When I find a card that's messed up, I go to her profile and fix it for her; I made the deck, so it was slapped together fast. Anyway, I have been doing a lot of very easy Spanish cards, and I found my Spanish has improved in the usual, short little conversations that I have around town.
If this is improving my spoken Spanish, I should keep it up for a while. I really think that the "input only" folks may be barking up the wrong tree, at least if their mind works like mine. I realise that over the past couple of years I have been getting worse at talking while I have been getting better at reading.

So, I started paying more attention to Spanish. I basically have forgotten how good I am at reading Spanish. I started out on an absolute beast of a book,El otoño del patriarca by García-Márquez. I've always enjoyed GGM, whenever I push myself to read him. I've read most of him in translation, and I did a pretty thorough L-R of Cien años de soledad a few years ago. Anyway, I decided to start out reading GGM again with the book written next after Cien años. patriarca seems to be a fever dream of vocabulary and strange images. I know that GGM has said that smoking pot just drifting along with a story is the opposite of his writing process, but these mad dreams of his make me sounding like a stoned idiot, "My God, man, the colours, the colours..." the vocabulary in patriarca is thick and comes at you fast, and I use the popup dictionary all the time, and that I reread. I've got to think that I'm learning something by doing close reading of the book, with rereading until I can read it quickly and smoothly with pretty much complete understanding. I have heard that this is Gabo's "hardest" book in terms of surface understanding, so I hope that reading this will make the rest of his books easier. I'll loop back to Cien años eventually, and see what I have learned.

Everything I do with any of my languages is done at the same time that I watch an hour or so of Tagalog teleserye every day. My favourite teleserye of all time "Viral Scandal" on TFC has 6 more episodes to go, so it will be done next week. This show has avoided many of the clichés of more Filipino teleserye. A young woman gets drunk and date raped, and their is no even a hint, that she was somehow guilty of bringing it on herself. The raped woman used a "morning after" pill to prevent pregnancy without even a mention of church opinions and moral handwringing. A wife is unfaithful, and actually is forgiven and heroic. We still have to see if she survives the show; there is a week left. There has been a lot of dialogue which must be pretty hard for the old patriarchy to listen to, about the way that people look at men and women. A man who has a lot of sexual partners is a "player" a woman is a slut. One of the most sympathetic characters has a past as a sex worker when she was young. Sometimes the Philippines can be very hypocritical about this aspect of society.

None of this is shocking stuff, even for the Philippines, but it is pretty shocking for a teleserye. Above all else, the show attempts to demonstrate how an evil act, in this case a rape, has bad effects on more people than just the rapist and victim. Viral scandal has a great team of actors too. I have to mention Charlie Dizon, who plays the main character in the show. She has portrayed the brave, but badly traumatized rape victim pretty much perfectly. I have only seen her in one other limited series, Sunset Girl, which was a striking show, but not up to Viral Scandal levels.

I wonder what she'll do next...
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Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, and Old Glossika
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French100 : 1281 / 100000 100000 reps

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zenmonkey
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby zenmonkey » Thu May 05, 2022 6:48 am

If you’re learning Spanish and you’re in San Jose you should hop over the mountain and join us in the Mountain Language meetup (Felton or Santa Cruz). I know it’s a bit far, but check it out. I’m out of country for 6 weeks, but it’s a fun group. There is also a Palo Alto Polyglot group but I have not been there in years.
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sfuqua
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Spanish: read
French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu May 12, 2022 4:16 am

I've shifted a bit on what I'm doing. As always. :D

I continue to work through Pimsleur Spanish in anki, Trying to stay a day ahead of my wife. This is mostly a challenge of keeping my answers to "pimsleur spanish" and not using stuff they haven't introduced yet. It is not completely useless. My wife's questions and errors (when I listen to her) remind me of some pretty basic stuff.. It makes me think about words like bien and bueno, which I understand, but haven’t thought about them for years. I’ve had to change a bunch of her cards to make the differences clear, since these are all L1->L2 cards. :o
The Pimsleur is a drag to get through, but I’m keeping it up, and I am 1350 cards into it. I have added a French Pimsleur deck to the mix, and it is very easy, but I make plenty of errors too. My wife is sticking to Spanish for now. :D
It is ridiculous that I have never pushed my French through the intermediate plateau. Pushing French to a higher level is by far the fastest way to get another language into my life. I have mentioned before that I had a hard time getting excited about French. I think I have figured out what I don’t like about France and French and it has nothing to do with France or French, it has to do with America. :lol:
French is a very common foreign language to learn and France is a very common place for Americans to visit. A set of ideas has built up around France and French culture, and many of these ideas are stupid and boring. I keep getting sucked into material that is trying to teach me unsurprising things like, “French is a different language, so it sounds different.”, “the French have a different culture, so they act differently”, and even, “the French are naughty”(said the prudish, hypocritical American). :shock:
I need to approach French from my own perspective. I need to find out what interests me about France. I am a fairly weird guy, and I need to do what I find fun.
“Emily in Paris'' is not a good way to approach French culture. Endless crap about WWII is not the way to learn about French history. French is a huge language with worldwide reach, and however weird I am, I should be able to find a way into it. I need to find the "strange" and exotic in France and French history and I don't mean the standard tourist path. As I said, it is a huge language and there must be a ton of interesting things to read and watch, once I get off the beaten track. Hunting for it should be fun too. :D
BDs, historical fiction, and who knows what is what I will start off with.
And I am not going to count pages read or minutes watched. I’m just going to do what’s fun for as long as it is fun, while I complete Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, and Assimil in anki, whether it is fun or not. :D

I haven't spoken of my wife’s condition for a while, but she is making a strong recovery from her heart troubles. Things are good on the home front.

I am blessed. There isn't smiley to show how nice it is to see my princess gardening and doing what she loves. :D

I edited it to try to make it coherent :lol:
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Elsa Maria
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby Elsa Maria » Fri May 13, 2022 2:13 pm

It is great to read such good news about your wife’s health!

And I can really relate to your dilemma about French. I didn’t have any plans to learn French until a loved one asked me to be a study buddy. That was reason enough to get started, but I am still working to find the aspects of the history and the culture that really motivate me. I love ballet so I’m using that. The idea of being able to read untranslated literature from Africa and the Caribbean is really appealing. I think if I spend more time exploring French history and culture, I’ll find the interests that will increase the motivation. Like you said, finding that way in is part of the fun! I look forward to seeing what you come up with :)
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sfuqua
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Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English: native
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Tagalog: imperfect, but use all the time
Spanish: read
French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat May 14, 2022 2:27 am

I guess what bugs me about French is the way that the good points of France and French are portrayed. Paris? It's a big city. Falling in love in Paris? Uh, I'm not a participant. 40 years ago, I am sure I would have pursued French girls, and French wine, but today; I'm a little past that. Great museums and culture? Uh, maybe, but not yet. Nice little cafés? Ok, maybe, but I'm not too excited about them. Great food? Kind of hard to do over the Internet, but I always like to eat. Maybe there is an approach... Bandes dessinées? Hmmn, very interesting. I have always thought that comics never get the respect they deserve in American culture. And books... I'm still hunting for books that I can fall in love with. I could read translated stuff, but I'd like to get into France.
Doing anki cards reminds me of how much my spoken French sucks. My languages tend to be like buildings built from the 3rd floor up. I rush through beginning materials as fast as I can to get to where I can start using the language. For my first two L2's, Samoan and Tagalog, I lived in the countries where they are used, so pushing myself into using the language "too soon" was really OK. I reviewed the fundamentals by living in the language. I learned Spanish and French away from where they are commonly used. I've pounded at Spanish enough to get to and advanced level in most ways, but most of my ability in French is just semantic processing of familiar words, with a superficial understanding of grammar, except as it is similar to Spanish
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Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, and Old Glossika
Spanish : 9664 / 100000 100000 reps
French100 : 1281 / 100000 100000 reps

DaveAgain
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby DaveAgain » Sat May 14, 2022 7:51 am

sfuqua wrote:I guess what bugs me about French is the way that the good points of France and French are portrayed. Paris? It's a big city. Falling in love in Paris? Uh, I'm not a participant. 40 years ago, I am sure I would have pursued French girls, and French wine, but today; I'm a little past that. Great museums and culture? Uh, maybe, but not yet. Nice little cafés? Ok, maybe, but I'm not too excited about them. Great food? Kind of hard to do over the Internet, but I always like to eat. Maybe there is an approach... Bandes dessinées? Hmmn, very interesting. I have always thought that comics never get the respect they deserve in American culture. And books... I'm still hunting for books that I can fall in love with. I could read translated stuff, but I'd like to get into France.
One of the first French films I remember understanding was La loi, c'est la loi, this introduced me to le français de ma vie ... Fernandel! :-)
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sfuqua
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Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English: native
Samoan: speak, but rusty
Tagalog: imperfect, but use all the time
Spanish: read
French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun May 15, 2022 4:59 am

I have been studying an interesting language recently. It belongs to a tribe which lives in a territory between Germany and Spain. They are an ancient tribe, and they seem to be interesting. The territory is called France, and the tribe is called the French. I'm not sure if there is any connection to this tribe, but at least two things in American English are named after them -- French fries and French kissing. Both of these are enjoyable; I wonder if they were invented by this tribe. I wonder what other enjoyable things they do in this territory. :D

I want to learn more about this tribe. :D

It was slow with the PImsleur French and Spanish. I kept it up; I will keep it up. I can understand everything, but it can be hard to figure out the "right" answer for each card. My wife is continuing through her deck at full speed, so I am staying ahead and fixing things in Spanish, but French, well I`m learning things in the French deck. I continue to push...

I
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Pimsleur, Michel Thomas, and Old Glossika
Spanish : 9664 / 100000 100000 reps
French100 : 1281 / 100000 100000 reps


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