Page 13 of 15

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:40 am
by eido
languist wrote:This may seem formulaic - because it is! But not because I’ve created a system for approaching “foreigners”, but rather it’s part of the network of interactions you ‘master’ in customer service. But anyway, like I said, I think the best way to approach a person is to be open, warm, and complimentary, and I’m Irish, we talk to everyone. So I’ve made friends on the bus too like this haha.

So don't be a weaboo of the general type, in other words don't go after people just 'cause they're foreign. I don't think I do that, but I am hyper-sensitive to other languages being spoke around me. I don't ever ask anyone what language they're speaking or where their accent is from, but I do get curious. "Is this Indian person a Gujarati speaker? I should probably learn more about what accent matches what language in English." Then it's over. But I don't particularly go looking for "foreign" people. However, as a somewhat past weaboo, I get concerned with how I value people and cultures.

Thanks for the tips!

And thanks to everyone else who contributed.

So I guess I'll try to find some free and legal audio books to shadow over the next few months in a bit of relation to what David said. I hate my pronunciation. I know what it's supposed to sound like in my head and if I really get going with intentional speaking, I can pronounce things decently, but still not well. My vowels are terrible, especially. Forget the 'v/b' sound, it doesn't exist in my own idiolect. I can hear my 'e' sound tending toward the diphthong 'ei.' It's some kind of bastardized middling version that I consciously catch myself trying to correct. But it's ugly. When I listen to the heritage speakers on the bus, it's so pure. I can't get any of my words to sound like that, and it's mostly vowels and prosody. At least, in my view.

Oh well, here we go.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 5:53 pm
by eido
How do people manage even two languages at once?

I think I'm at high enough a level to handle two languages at once, but I can never seem to re-create the magic of Spanish. I always thought classroom learning helped, but I know a lot of Korean grammar now just by reading lessons in it.

Is Spanish the only language I'll ever learn? Am I really not all that interested in languages, or at least not as much as I thought?

I seem to bounce from language to language, picking up bits and pieces. It's been this way since I was a teenager. There's nothing to make me focus.

Sigh.

I want to speak at least three other languages besides my native one, but that seems a long time coming. Like 20 years from at least intermediate level.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:41 pm
by James.A.
eido wrote:
I seem to bounce from language to language, picking up bits and pieces. It's been this way since I was a teenager. There's nothing to make me focus.

Sigh.

I want to speak at least three other languages besides my native one, but that seems a long time coming. Like 20 years from at least intermediate level.


Sometimes I feel like that too, my friend. I think that at the end of the day what matters is not how many languages you can speak fluently, but how much experience and joy you gained learning them. So, at least for me, I think it is normal just picking up bits and pieces. And then you realise that these small bits and these tiny pieces, have just made you a more or less intermediate user of the language. And that's wonderful. We always underestimate our abilities, after all. Just the other day I had a quite lengthy conversation in Russian with a native Russian speaker without any problems. So the "bits and pieces" method really works, in my opinion. It's helpful to take a break and occupy yourself with another language, too. So don't worry. Languages are our hobby, after all. So our main goal is enjoyment. Let's enjoy it, then!

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:49 pm
by David1917
Bouncing around and exploring is fine, and great, actually.

Am I really not all that interested in languages
I seem to bounce from language to language


These contradict each other. You're so interested in languages that you want to learn all of them! My current rule is that I cannot play around with/explore other languages until my daily tasks in the main ones are completed. You might want to create rituals based either on time or location.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 2:16 am
by eido
I had success today.

I understood a multi-party conversation between Hispanic high schoolers today (actually 80%). Mostly it was 'pinche,' 'wey,' and a lot of inappropriate content I was too afraid to step in on because I couldn't figure out how to make myself understood and be taken seriously. Win, I guess?

And I noticed that lately I'm a lot better at explaining my native language to others. It may be in relative terms and still too vague for some, but at least I can explain my subjective and highly variable choices to learners.

Also, an English learner shared his story with me today and although it contained a lot of mistakes it was a valiant effort and I congratulated him for it. It warmed my heart to see that he trusted me to read his story, and didn't hate me like I thought.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:06 am
by eido
Today I spoke with one of those students very briefly, to inform him he was breaking an unspoken rule. I messed up, which may have caused the sudden switch to English, but I had to think fast.

Native speaker contact in a slightly hostile situation = check! Speedy reply with no errors to prove my worth = uncheck

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 10:20 am
by Cavesa
eido wrote:Today I spoke with one of those students very briefly, to inform him he was breaking an unspoken rule. I messed up, which may have caused the sudden switch to English, but I had to think fast.

Native speaker contact in a slightly hostile situation = check! Speedy reply with no errors to prove my worth = uncheck


This type of situations can be tricky! Congratulations on handling it well!
You were not perfect, ok, but you got the job done and you'll further improve over time. You're great!

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 6:57 pm
by eido
Cavesa wrote:This type of situations can be tricky! Congratulations on handling it well!
You were not perfect, ok, but you got the job done and you'll further improve over time. You're great!

Thanks, Cavesa. You are always the cheerleader, and I appreciate it :)

This week I've had two Spanish lessons and I aim to find at least three tutors that I click with, for variety. I've read about multiple people on this forum picking different people to study with so they don't always talk about the same thing, or use the same methods, so I'm trying the same approach. However, I've only found one guy that seems to work for me. He's usually very serious with a sharp wit, and that's perfect. I've had three lessons with him over about a month.

All the other tutors do things that subtly bother me, like filling in answers to quizzes on screen-share before I can produce them, or not sticking reliably to their own policies and having a quietly snappish attitude. I don't know what to do at this point because it takes a substantial amount of time to pick out a good tutor from the mounds available on italki, and I have to save time to do so. I seem to have the worst luck, or at least little street sense in these matters.

But the consensus from all three tutors I've tried in the past month is that I have an advanced level of Spanish, good pronunciation and light accent, and need confidence. One tutor suggested I try to read aloud to myself every day to form a good native-like accent and improve fluency, which was the first actual tip I received regarding what I could do to improve my lackluster skills in that area. He noticed what I noticed, which is that I strangle my vowels and don't pop my consonants. He said I try to speak Spanish with English sounds, or at least articulation and mouth shape. Ah! :oops: He also said I spoke too slowly for a professional situation. Another tutor suggested that I could be on the cusp of C1. I mostly speak slow because I can't allow an error to slip past. The tutor I spoke with today said I only made two during the whole conversation. Haha! I don't know if being slow ultimately wins out... Probably not.

I guess I could try my shadowing or reading aloud, but something's gotta give... I'll try reading aloud first because then I could actually read Harry Potter or something and send in my pronunciation for feedback from various sources. Then if something little needs some intense work, I guess I could try the former. Shadowing never seems to work for me. To me, reading aloud is more active because it's like a performance and you're actually contributing something -- a treat for the listener. Shadowing is for the performer only.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 1:20 pm
by Axon
Sounds like you've got some great feedback! I definitely think reading aloud is a great strategy, and it's pretty much all the speaking I do for some languages these days.

Re: Water-logged

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm
by eido
I only read aloud once this week, and I did it to get feedback on my accent. I read a bit from HP, and sent the recording to both my tutors. One hasn't responded but the one who did said it was very good except a few minor errors in pronunciation, which he didn't define but I suppose I can ask him.

I have a different accent when I speak for communication as opposed to for performance. If you saw my videos, especially older ones from one or two years ago, I'm always trying to translate in my head. As I speak. And I know where to put my tongue at the basic level to get the effect, but it doesn't produce a convincing accent.

Then I read to myself, and it gets better. Not a whole lot, mind you, but better. You can hear a sample here. (NOTE: The link expires after 40 views.) This recording is much better than the ones I made before and were posted in my writing thread. And yes, I know there's mispronunciation there.

It's a strange situation. I'd be even slower if I tried to enact correct pronunciation while I spoke, so yes, clearly I need to do focused work.

I speak a lot to myself and try to get my mouth to move the right way, but it never seems to want to. I sit there repeating the sound over and over but the pronunciation doesn't stick. It could be overkill. I don't know.

My tutor also said I wrote like a native speaker at times 'cause I sent him those excerpts I wrote to correct, and I think that's only because they had been corrected before... I don't know.

Now he's encouraged me to write essays in Spanish, and I'm not sure how to write an essay because I haven't written an essay in a while. So it's not going to be good from a form aspect.

I also had a dream the other night that I was defending my ELL student's English skills when a deaf girl and her interpreter were making fun of him as he tried to talk to them and the girl couldn't understand because he was mispronouncing stuff (the girl was trying to read his lips). I heard like a two-minute stream of Spanish in my dream or more, and I think it actually made sense, or would have to other people. I'm not sure though.

That's your report!