Languages vs Time

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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:23 pm

I'm getting to the point with French where I wish I could just fast track the amount of grammar I know. Thankfully I'm at least finding learning French grammar pretty easy so it's really just impatience regarding the sheer amount of energy or lack thereof that I have. The only thing I've really had trouble with so far is irregular verbs. That could change when I start learning more prepositions...

As of now I'm a little over half way through half way through the grammar book. One of the reasons I've been able to work through it so quickly is because it don't have to focus on it really intently. That is to say, I can watch TV or hang out at my favorite coffee shop (which typically involves chatting with the staff) and do the exercises. I'd like to get another 3 or 4 chapters done today. Two is probably doable, 4 is a stretch bot potentially doable. Note that I don't do all of the exercises in the chapters that are on a grammar topic that I've already been introduced to. The ones that I want to finish today are all stuff that I've already learned but need to firm up my knowledge on.

I went to Powell's (the downtown location) this afternoon and ended up buying a memoir written by an Iraqi journalist about his time in Baghdad after the US invasion. It'll likely be a rather intense but interesting. This will definitely be a good exercise in extensive reading. I also looked for children's books but their children's section for foreign languages in general (save for Spanish) is miniscule at the moment - or at least for books aimed at children 10 and up. They moved all of the foreign language children's books to the children's book room (logical enough) and I wasn't willing to spend time looking at the early reader books. Mind you, I will likely end up buying my friends' 5 year old some French books as she's starting kindergarten at a French immersion school and I'll be taking care of her every other Friday starting in September or October. Said 5 year old (as well as her younger brother) is all about having adults read to her at the moment, which is great, so I see a lot of French early readers in my future.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:29 am

https://www.ecoledesmax.com/

Recommendations for French kids books, plus free kids audiobooks. (The audiobooks are meant for listening with the picture book, but still an interesting resource.)
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an onyme
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby an onyme » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:42 am

aokoye wrote:I went to Powell's (the downtown location) this afternoon and ended up buying a memoir written by an Iraqi journalist about his time in Baghdad after the US invasion. It'll likely be a rather intense but interesting. This will definitely be a good exercise in extensive reading.

Does this have anything à voir avec this animated memoir by an Iraqi-born journalist about his time in Baghdad after the US invasion? I found it rather intense, interesting, and a good exercise in extensive listening.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:44 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:https://www.ecoledesmax.com/

Recommendations for French kids books, plus free kids audiobooks. (The audiobooks are meant for listening with the picture book, but still an interesting resource.)

Thanks for this! I will send that to my friends. Assuming the school ends up being a good fit, their son will likely also end up there and both of the kids love books.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:53 am

an onyme wrote:
aokoye wrote:I went to Powell's (the downtown location) this afternoon and ended up buying a memoir written by an Iraqi journalist about his time in Baghdad after the US invasion. It'll likely be a rather intense but interesting. This will definitely be a good exercise in extensive reading.

Does this have anything à voir avec this animated memoir by an Iraqi-born journalist about his time in Baghdad after the US invasion? I found it rather intense, interesting, and a good exercise in extensive listening.

I don't think it does. The book is Dis au tueur qu'il sera tué by Waleed Yahyia Saadoun (a pseudonym). Thank you for the link though, I watched a few minutes of it and it looks really interesting (and intense). It's on my to watch list.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:40 am

Summer French course: done!
BA Diploma: apparently in the mail - they mail them out a month after students actually graduate

I am very glad the French course is done. It wasn't a total waste of time in part because the writing that we did was actually really useful and I finally started actually feeling comfortable talking. Those were the two good parts - everything else was a bit of a wash. I did, however, write a nearly 400 word fictional story about gentrification in Portland, so that was encouraging with regards to my ability to write in French.

I had a meeting with one of my previous professors, who I still do work with, today and he thinks my plan for testing into 3rd year French is a good one and realistic, so that's encouraging. I also had a 1 hour Skype conversation with a speaking partner from iTalki which went pretty well all things considered.

This weekend I'd like to finish the third chapter of Édito, though I'm not sure how realistic that is. That and watch a few episodes of French TV shows.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 am

My diploma is in hand! The envelope it came in looks like it was ran over and/or got stuck in a dirty malfunctioning mail sorter but the diploma came out unskathed. I also got my grade for the French class that ended last Friday - 98%

As of right now I'm half way through the 4th chapter in Édito (including the workbook) and will probably finish it out by the end of Wednesday. The grammar is easy and/or stuff I've already gone over and the vocabulary for the chapter involves a lot of cognates. While I haven't watched any French stuff today, I watched an episode of the baking show that I like on Saturday and thought about but decided against watching an episode in favour of watching sports (rowing and Tour de France) and napping (this was after rowing in the morning and grabbing something to eat for brunch).

While I think I mentioned earlier this month that I don't need any A2ish level books, Amazon Prime day(s) happened and I had a $10 credit. I ended up finding a "almost new" used copy of Vocabulaire essentiel du français niveau A2 for $3.50 and Amazon.com is selling Français Langue Étrangère Vocabulaire Niveau Intermédiaire for $6.32. It was too good to pass up. It also looks like the last book was priced to sell as it was the last one stateside and I just checked now and it's currently selling for $19.99. Again - I don't exactly need either of these books, but I can likely sell them to Powell's when I'm done using them.

Goals for this week:
Finish chapter 4 of Édito
Do at least 4 chapters in the grammar book
Watch 4 episodes of the baking show (one of which I will watch after I finish this post)
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:06 am

Mid-week check-in (with all of the hyphens to go along with my typical overuse of parentheses ;) )
Image
I got both books in the mail this afternoon, while I was making pita actually, which made for a great distraction in the "I need to let the oven come back to temperature" sort of way. The whole the oven being at 555F (which is as hot as it goes last I checked).

The book by Borelli is smaller than I thought it would be but that isn't exactly a bad thing. Thumbing through it, it reminds me of Klett's Wörter zur Wahl both in size and content, except that the vocab is easier (Wörter zur Wahl is meant for levels B1-C1 or something like that and this is A2-B1) and there are listening exercises with the MP3 files available for free (to anyone) on their website. I'm not sure how much I'll like it, but I can't really complain, I got it for "free". Yes I had to spend $10 at Whole Foods to get said credit, but said $10 was spent on hazelnuts, some of which were then used to make chocolate hazelnut butter. I can't complain.

On the other hand, the book published by Didier looks like it'll be a bit better than I thought. It'll be easy for me, but I think it'll be useful for reinforcing vocabulary. There are some words that I don't know in it, and it's not as easy as the preview made it seem. It has a multilingual glossary in the back of the book which is really nice and there's also an audio component. Both books also have answers to all of the exercises. In addition to all of that, there are chapter tests at the end of the book (the same is true of the grammar book that I'm using). I suspect I'll try to quickly go through it after I finish Édito.

In non-new book news, I did end up finishing the 4th chapter of Édito A2 this afternoon. I'm starting some of the vocabulary for the 5th chapter (of 12 chapters) today as well though I can't imagine I'll actually get around to reading anything until tomorrow. This is what happens when your bedtime is 9:30pm because you typically wake up at 4:15am for rowing on the weekdays. That and I would like to actually finish a chapter from the grammar book today. I also had my weekly conversation practice which didn't go as well as last week, I think because I was just physically tired. It was very good practice though.

I also played around with DuoLingo today for Hebrew, Japanese, and Mandarin. I would like to get through the first chunk of the Hebrew tree to see if it gets ok. If I can use that to semi painlessly study hebrew before going onto more comprehensive methods I would be pleased.
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:26 am

After a week and a half or two of a lack of motivation and minimal daily progress, I think I'm starting to get back into the thing of things. Right now I'm in Seattle for the weekend. I have a regatta all day tomorrow and need to be at the lake at 7 something in the morning, thus I got an AirBnB and drove up today. Outside of rowing stuff, my the stuff I bought includes my laptop, and the French textbooks I'm using right now.

I spent most of this afternoon in the university district and managed to stick to my self-imposed limit of three books (and one pen - University of Washington's bookstore has a shockingly good fountain pen selection). I bought Entre Nous 3 (B1) which UW uses for their 2nd year French courses (which is great - it also looks like they go through both A1 and A2 in a year for Finnish...), an interesting looking intermediate reader called Galerie de Portraits Contemporains by Lucette Rollet Kenan which was $5 used, and the most recent edition of The First Hebrew Primer which was also used.

As I mentioned, I've been a bit low energy in some ways as of late. I finally finished the 5th of 12 chapters in Édito and I'm slowly making my way through the grammar book. Looking forward to chapter 6, it's essentially review. I have done almost all of the grammar before (and the thing I haven't I just looked at and am not challenged by) and the topic is food. I could probably get through this by Sunday evening if I worked on it both this evening and tomorrow evening. Hopefully the ease will help me get over this hump of inactivity and the B1 book will act as a carrot.

In non-French news, I have started doing the Duolingo Hebrew course which is...not the most ideal thing in the world. It's just exceedingly poorly designed. I had started it when it just came out but the poor design drove me away. This time around, I managed to get over the worst of the beginning and am now just plugging along. I will say, the Memrise/Decks "course" that someone made is brilliant. I'm, more or less, trying to use this as a means to making learning Biblical Hebrew easier. I also suspect that the Memrise/Decks thing would be a great thing to do before or along with the Hebrew from Scratch textbooks just because the audio is fantastic.

Goal(s) for now-Wednesday:
Don't stop trying
Don't buy any more language related books (or books in general...), with the one exception being the answer book to the Hebrew book that I bought today
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aokoye
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Re: Languages vs Time

Postby aokoye » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:35 am

I made a fair amount of progress this week. I finished chapters 6 and 7 in Édito A2, watched 3 plus hours of French TV shows, had my weekly French skype session, did lots of stuff on Duolingo, and have gone through the vocabulary in chapter 8 of Édito. I also started The First Hebrew Primer.

French:
So it appears I'm moving towards getting over my hump with regards to studying French. I'm arguably not doing as much studying as I did earlier, or at least not the variety, but things are going well. My tentative plan is to get through Édito, finish the grammar book (while also doing more reading and maybe some of the vocab book), then move on to the B1 book. I really just want to push through.
I'm very pleased that the 6 week challenge bot is working again as tracking my studying through that is typically helpful. The 6 week challenge is probably my favorite of the popular challenges because of how short, concentrated, and flexible it is.

Hebrew:
I ended up setting down the mess that is Duolingo's Hebrew course and picked up the First Hebrew Primer. I'm using Anki for vocab reviews, in part because all of the vocabulary are available in txt files that are easy to import. The book isn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but it is very time consuming. Only around 14 words are introduced each chapter, but there are typically 6-10 lengthy exercises at the end. I'm only on chapter 6 right now (I skipped the first 3 chapters as they were all about the alphabet), but the exercises seem to only get lengthier. I do like that they don't shy away from reading (logical I suppose - given it's Biblical Hebrew). They start introducing children's stories that are translated into Biblical Hebrew in chapter 8 and sections of a simplified version of the Book of Ruth get introduced in chapter 10. In Chapter 24 (out of 30), they stop simplifying The Book of Ruth and in chapter 11 they start introducing quotes directly from the bible.

The book only introduces about 385 words, but like I said, there are a lot of exercises and they seem to actually be useful. I will need to buy the answer book at some point relatively soon though. I'm probably going to get through a chapter every 3-7 days. If I wasn't working on French I'd be able to do it faster, but I am, and thus... It feels like a bit of a slog, but slow is not bad and I know that this will make High Holiday services more engaging. I mean not having to rely on transliteration makes services more engaging, being able to understand things without looking at the translation...that'll be a bit mind blowing. Ok, I'll have to use the translation for most things, but still.

Goals for Wednesday:
Get through Chapter 8 in Édito
Keep watching French TV
Finish Chapter 6 in the Hebrew textbook and start chapter 7
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