Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

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Sparverius
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Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10525
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Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Tue May 21, 2019 4:35 am

Summer is here, and I feel the urge to dive headfirst into languages now that I have enough time to properly do so.

German: The language I'm most comfortable with, but my vocabulary is not what it could be. It provides a fun diversion from "reading" (read: parsing through looking up every other word) Chinese, and I hope to spend some time on a daily basis just imbibing the language in whatever form I can. Not really as much of an active priority, but probably the biggest priority overall by virtue of being the one I would get the most personal value out of having at a fluent level.

Spanish: I... learned more than I thought I did in middle and high school, but never really enjoyed studying the language, my hope is to just get to a point where I want to be around the language more and soak it up. Reading ability is probably close to German, but I have less physical reading material, which I prefer to on a screen. Will probably read more news online, though.

Chinese: My main focus as of right now. I'm over halfway down the second page of the fourth Harry Potter book I picked up from the bookstore, as much as I want to make vocab cards and actually try to learn the words straight up and be systematic, I think the slow pace starting off would completely demotivate me, so my goal is to copy down words I don't know into a notebook, look them over and study them somewhat there, but try to make as much progress through the book as I can so I feel a sense of motion. It'll get easier over time. I also want to spend some time on calligraphy and just normal writing practice-- perhaps start a legit diary and be consistent about it?

Japanese: The language I'm toying with. Mostly just used Lingodeer so far, want to start getting into it with Genki and other materials. I think I have enough of a very basic understanding that I can get a hold on more informationally intense resources without being as overwhelmed, so that should be good. While I want to get better in Japanese, the others feel like they ought to be more of actual priorities, so this is sort of the odd language out right now.

I could add other things to this list but that'd encourage me to spend my time unwisely, so I'm calling it here.
Last edited by Sparverius on Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sparverius
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Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 am
Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10525
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Wed May 22, 2019 3:13 am

Finished the second page of HP in Chinese, read 17 pages of Kalle Blomquist in German and 5 (the preface and one page of introduction) of a biography of Rigoberta Menchú in Spanish. Going to do a bit of Japanese before bed, but not unsatisfied with the day.
Last edited by Sparverius on Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sparverius
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Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 am
Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10525
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Fri May 24, 2019 11:50 pm

Almost done with the first book in Kalle Blomquist in German, finished the first chapter of the Spanish biography, and three pages into Harry Potter now. I've also clozemastered a bit and studied some Japanese vocabulary. Trying to get myself into a bit more organized of a state.
Last edited by Sparverius on Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sparverius
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 am
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:32 pm

Been a while since I've been as generally motivated language-learning-wise. I have been quite consistent with my Mandarin Anki deck, and semi-recently started adding all new words in German rather than English. The next step if I have the time is to come up with a good solution to automate the card-making process somewhat. Since each card needs three pieces of information:

translation a
--
translation b
pinyin

I can't just do a two-way automatic input, and have been doing it entirely manually, which gets old. I'm imagining at the very least something that takes in the three bits and outputs two lists of three with the first two switched such that I can write them down as I go based on some reference, then execute a command and have a list I can c/p into Anki, but I'm hoping to explore and see if any further streamlining is possible given my unimpressive skills.

Going to be going to Germany in about four months hopefully, and one of the things I'd most like to work on before then is reading speed-- I can read most texts and understand pretty well what's going on, only having to look up the occasional word, but it takes so much more time than reading something comparable in English. Since my level is overall high enough that reading for picking things up via comprehensible input is actually quite a helpful means, this would be very useful.
Last edited by Sparverius on Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sparverius
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Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:49 pm

I wrote up a little Python script to edit a .csv file I have with new card information in the format <eng;中文;zh> to add new lines of <中文;eng;zh> in between each one-- this saves obnoxious copy-pasting and lets me write up decently large batches of cards very quickly before just importing to Anki. I can already tell the difference: before, doing it all manually, the process of adding new cards could take at least half the amount of time I wanted to spend reviewing, and that was always frustratingly disproportionate.

As mentioned in another thread, ordered an anthology of German works intended for high intermediate/advanced German readers. I'm hopeful that it'll be more artistically/intellectually stimulating than most of the material I have on hand (primarily children's books or obscure books on topics I'm not terribly invested in), and provide a good level of challenge while being designed to streamline the comprehensive input process and not require me to sit with my phone dictionary ready and waiting as I leaf through. Beyond that, it'd be healthy to make a habit of reading the news-- I should be focusing more on volume of intake than anything else, as the slow pace at which I read (albeit with quite high comprehension) is one of if not the main roadblock right now. We'll see.
Last edited by Sparverius on Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sparverius
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Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 am
Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10525
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:37 am

Just cracked open my Chinese Harry Potter again for the first time in a couple months and I can magically read it now! The 750-1000 new characters I've picked up from vocab study have made a massive impact-- names and such are still a bear, especially since they're often written in otherwise obscure characters which have been chosen arbitrarily to represent a certain sound in English-- but I understand enough to follow along and get the majority of what's going on, if a pretty small amount of the detail. This is encouraging, because due to the nature of Chinese it's nigh impossible to read material that's much beyond your level and get anything out of it at the start, unlike languages with phonetic alphabets (or even pseudo-phonetic/whatever the technical term for the way it works in English/French is). Hoping to incorporate this into my daily routine.
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Sparverius
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Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 am
Location: California, US
Languages: English (N), German (B2-), Mandarin (B1), Spanish (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10525
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Re: Sparverius' Dead Tree Trunk 2019 (de/es/zh/ja)

Postby Sparverius » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:03 pm

In the last couple weeks I've spoken both German and Mandarin in my dreams for the first time. Pretty accurate to life, as well, in situations that could totally crop up in real life and at a level identical to how I'd actually speak. It's encouraging that if nothing else I'm immersing myself enough in the languages for them to seep into my subconscious.

Reading in Mandarin is such a good payoff after almost exclusively doing vocab drills for the last half year. Don't get me wrong, it's still excruciatingly slow and I miss so much nuance, but at least I can do it and understand everything I need to understand to enjoy it.
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