Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

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Phantom Kat
White Belt
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: China
Languages: Spanish (N) English (N) Finnish (A2?) Mandarin (Learning) French (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10127
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Re: Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

Postby Phantom Kat » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:15 am

Virtual learning sucks, but I'm trying to focus on what I can do through a screen rather than what I cannot. Let's just say that when I'm there in person, those kiddos are going through a Behavior in the Classroom boot camp.

Oh yeah, it's my birthday. :) Since I can't actually go out to eat safely I'll buy myself something nice instead. (And this time it won't be an Assimil course! Although it's tempting.)

Finnish

No conversation practice this past week because getting used to teaching until 2:30am (or more if there are meetings) is tough enough. But I did find a community tutor that is basically available in the odd hours between when I wake up and when I teach. I'll sign up for a trial course and see if we jive.

(I also want to write up something and send it off for corrections. Time to pick a topic!)

But good news,everyone! I finished Suomen Mestari 1! This is actually the first textbook I've completed from start to fin(n)ish! It took me roughly around 45 hours to complete and 65 1/2 pages in my notebook. Fun fact: I don't write in any of my textbooks, so I write down all unknown vocab and write down all my exercises in a notebook. And when I mean all, I mean pretty much everything except the directions. It takes a lot longer, but there's no harm in getting extra practice writing dialogues and questions.

(I'm also going through and adding vocabulary from Suome Mestari 1 to Anki. I'm horrible about doing that in a timely manner. Probably the most tedious part of language learning I've come across.)

I went through all the corrections I made on my exercises and wrote up a reflection of what material I need to review from this book:

+ review words ending in -n in all cases studied so far
+ work with telling time and time expressions
+ memorize and use post positions (and p.p. with movement) in writing and dialogue
+ review words ending with -s in all cases studied so far
+ review consonant gradation for consonant clusters (nt --> nn, mp --> mm, etc.); not a big deal, but I still make mistakes
+ a little more practice with words ending in -nen and -e
+ review partitive with words ending in a consonant
+ heavily review partitive plural with words ending in a consonant and long words

And here are Chapters and exercises from Finnish for Foreigners that can help with me that list:

+ Chapter 21: Partitive Plural
+ Chapter 14 and 16: Partitive Singular
+ Chapter 30: Post Positions (includes work with imperative)
+ Chapter 20 and 23: Time

I'm being very careful to not slip into doing the entire book. That's a path that leads to madness. I think I'll keep Finnish for Foreigners to review stuff from Suomen Mestari.

I'm using the rest of the notebook's pages for review, and I already started with practicing the partitive plural and writing sentences with them. I'm going through Suomen Mestari 1 and writing down nouns and adjectives to practice with. All of those rules? It's starting to click. I'm getting there. Slowly, painfully, but that's the Finnish way.

Also, favorite new word: hella (collq. for oven). Seriously, I can't stop saying it and making sentences with it.

Mandarin

So uhh, not much on this front. I reviewed Lessons 1-7 in Assimil and did Lesson 8. I'm liking the dialogues. So far they are on par with the "funny enough that I actually like going back and reviewing" expectations I had already set up. There's also a good chunk of useful vocabulary to use that is relevant to my life (though I'm going to have to restart my tea drinking habit).

I'm going to put Pimsleur to the side. I'm just not jiving with the content, even if it will improve my accent in the long run. I'm trying to get better at telling myself that it's okay to stop using a course when you're not feeling it. Plus, Mandarin is not my main focus right now. I'm just trying to get into a schedule/habit that I can continue when I eventually get to China. Also, having fun.

French

I... uhh, sent funny memes in French to my sister. I also read an article about the mask policies for schools in France on 1Jour1Actu. I paired that up with a French discussion on Reddit about how some people blatantly take off their mask to cough. So that's my uhh, progress?

No, but seriously.

I want to read more in French and make a new Anki deck with vocab words I come across or a grammar structure that confuses me. The articles on 1Jour1Actu are short and interesting enough to make it enjoyable. It's also at a level where if I don't understand something grammar wise I still understand the meaning through the context.
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DaveAgain
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Languages: Eng (n)
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Re: Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:42 am

Phantom Kat wrote:Oh yeah, it's my birthday. :) Since I can't actually go out to eat safely I'll buy myself something nice instead. (And this time it won't be an Assimil course! Although it's tempting.)
Happy Birthday! :-)
2 x

Phantom Kat
White Belt
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: China
Languages: Spanish (N) English (N) Finnish (A2?) Mandarin (Learning) French (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10127
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Re: Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

Postby Phantom Kat » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:19 am

DaveAgain wrote:
Phantom Kat wrote:Oh yeah, it's my birthday. :) Since I can't actually go out to eat safely I'll buy myself something nice instead. (And this time it won't be an Assimil course! Although it's tempting.)
Happy Birthday! :-)


Thank you! :)
1 x

Phantom Kat
White Belt
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: China
Languages: Spanish (N) English (N) Finnish (A2?) Mandarin (Learning) French (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10127
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Re: Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

Postby Phantom Kat » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:42 am

My school is in the process of booking my flight to China! Visa is supposed to arrive the first of October, and I have to get a COVID test before I get on the plane, but things are finally coming together. Too bad that means I actually have to finish packing. (Packing everything, since my parents are moving houses.)

Finnish

I had a second italki conversation last week! I talked in more detail about my school, my students, and what I teach. There was more vocabulary I had to talk my way around or just outright ask about, but any speaking practice is good practice.

So, taking a look at the review goals I set myself up last time:

(1) review partitive pl. with small words; and (2) review partitive pl. with long words

I practiced this a lot. Last year when I was studying Finnish, I found the partitive pl. confusing and kind of impossible to memorize, so I knew I had to give it my all this time. I did the Chapter 21 exercises from Finnish for Foreigners with only around 2 or 3 mistakes. I made around five lists of nouns and adjectives and practiced going from partitive singular to plural, and I did around four pages of writing practice using those words. I've gotten to the point that I can write the partitive forms of the nouns and adjectives with a lot more accuracy than before. Nouns/adjectives that end with two vowels or long words with ending like -ri still trip me up sometimes. However, it's a huge improvement from where I was when I finished Suomen Mestari 1.

(3) review words with -n endings, and; (4) review words with -s endings

I made a list for each type of word and practiced the Genitive, T-Plural, Partitive Singular, and Partitive Pl. for each of them. For words ending in -us/ys, -as, and -is I just used different colored highlighters. I did around two pages of writing practice with them. I can also fold the lists in half to cover the word forms and just look at the word and practice declining them, then checking my answers. I gotta say, the rules weren't as daunting as I was expecting. (But after dealing with all the rules in the partitive pl. I was just expecting the worst!)

What really helped me is memorizing the forms for words I was already super familiar with (like puhelin, eläin, kaunis) and applying them to the new words.

(5)memorize post positions and use them in dialogue

I practiced them with writing, but I have a habit of using the same ones over and over again (like keskellä, edessä, vieressä). I also haven't practiced them a lot in the "mistä?" context. I'm going to make more of an effort to use the ones I tend to neglect (like ympärillä and ääressä). I might take a page out of Suomen Mestari and look up pictures with objects and people on Google and use that to make practice sentences.

(6)review consonant gradation for consonant clusters like nt-->nn, mp-->mm, etc.

These still get me. I'll be practicing with conjugating a new verb (or declining a new noun/adjective), too focused on the rule, then I find out I forgot about the consonant gradation. More practice!

(7) work with telling time and time expression

I admit I totally put this one to the side and haven't worked on. I don't know, but it just seems tedious to me. I need to dedicate some serious time (ha!) into this. I need to put my nose to the grindstone. (And you may ring the bell of shame for me. :oops: )

(8)a little more practice with words ending in -nen and -e

Did that!

Okay, other things I have done are:

Work with the clitics -pa/pä and -han/hän

I think this is one of the things about Finnish that just had me stump for a long while. They would pop up in Assimil without a clear explanation (as well as -kaan/kään attached to verbs, but I'll tackle that some other time). So yesterday I practiced -pa/-pä in the context of being surprised by something and softening orders and -han/-hän in the context of talking about shared knowledge. Using them made me realize that I'm now on the path to being more expressive in Finnish, rather than just robotically communicating what I did or what happened. It's definitely going to take some practice using them in an actual conversation with someone.

Work with -ton words and the imperfect tense

I threw in some -ton words because the only one I knew was onneton. I also practiced with the imperfect tense because I began Suomen Mestari 2. I'm trying to use the Imperfect Tense, as well as the Negative Imperfect Tense, more in my writing.

Mandarin

Currently on Lesson 12 in Assimil. I practice the dialogues until I feel comfortable saying them aloud and getting the meaning before moving to the next lesson. I try to coincide my thirty minutes of practice with my students' Chinese class (which is one of the times I turn off my camera and mic and have time for myself). It makes me feel like I'm obligated to study Chinese at that time, too. :lol:

I actually picked up when their Chinese teacher asked "whose paper is this?", or at least a couple of words along with the gesture. Progress, as slow as it may be, is always motivating!

French

Okay, so, sometime last week I remembered I have the entirety of the Goosebumps books in French as digital PDFs. So I started reading "La Malédiction de la Momie" with the goal of inputting 10 unknown words from each chapter into Anki. I'm about to start Chapter 3.

I really needed to take a day to review the different tenses. I don't want to settle with "good enough" when I'm reading.
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Phantom Kat
White Belt
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: China
Languages: Spanish (N) English (N) Finnish (A2?) Mandarin (Learning) French (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10127
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Re: Kat's Finnish Log (with a dash of French and a pinch of Mandarin)

Postby Phantom Kat » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:36 pm

I'm alive! It's been a month since I've gotten out of quarantine here in China, and I've been slowly getting back on my feet in terms of work (in my actual classroom :D ), living situation, and just an entirely different culture. I've been slowly getting back into a language learning routine, so this update is more of a summary than anything else.

Finnish

While in my two weeks of quarantine, I worked on Suomen Mestari 2 and Chapter 1. I realized that I wasn't really motivated in doing the exercises and using the vocabulary, so instead, I switched to just studying the grammar points in each chapter instead and picking vocabulary from the chapters I want to work with. So far, I've gotten to Chapter 3. I just write sentences in my notebook and crosscheck what I read in the chapter with the articles on Uusi Kielemme. I do plan on going back and working through Suomen Mestari 2 eventually. Probably during the winter break because it's not like I'm going anywhere!

I've gone back to Assimil: Le Finnois and began to review lessons. Right now, I'm on Lesson 56. For vocabulary practice, I wrote down all the verbs from Lessons 1-35 (there are roughly 63 verbs) and started writing a little story with all of them. I'm surprised by how many verbs I just automatically know. I just need 15 more to check them all off. So far in the short story, my TA and I were searching for her missing keys, then heading home until we heard a mysterious noise in the hallway... What will happen next?!

So moving on to Anki, I haven't done any reps in quite a while. My relationship with Anki is really love-hate. I feel I'm putting too much vocabulary from Suomen Mestari and not the necessary vocab. Another part of me feels I would get more enjoyment from just going down the vocab lists and writing a story with the vocab. It's certainly a lot more enjoyable!

As for speaking practice, with the super bad hotel WiFi and me being without WiFi for the first two weeks in my apartment I haven't done any iTalki lessons. Now with working WiFi there's no excuse... Time to look at available times!

To date, my Forest app shows I've done 76 hours and 15 minutes of Finnish study this year. In the words of the Kool-Aid Man: Oh yeah!

Mandarin

It's humbling to be dropped in country where you understand nothing. Once I got out of my quarantine hotel and could move about, it was clear just how lost I felt when I didn't know Mandarin. It really is a push to learn the language, though. I can't imagine still feeling this lost in a year's time.

I've studied up to Lesson 16 on Assimil: Le Chinois, but I want to up this to one lesson a day. So my daily plan, for now, is an hour of Finnish with half an hour of Mandarin.

I actually can't believe that I've had the guts to even utter Mandarin with the very, very little I know. I successfully managed to tell a taxi driver to take me to a hotel, asked a cashier for a shopping bag, and told my DiDi driver very (very!) roughly where I am so he could pick me up. With so little English, I'm lucky I have plenty of opportunities to speak Mandarin.

Also, one of student's parents ordered me a "100 most common words in Chinese book" for me after she asked me if I was studying Mandarin.

Lastly, my next step will be to find Anki decks of the most common characters because while I need to speak Mandarin, being illiterate is pretty freaking annoying.
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