Coldrainwater's German Log

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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:02 am

I migrated via automobile to Colorado in mid-December and simply haven't returned. Consequently, it is understandable that I spent New Year's Day hiking to the summit of Twin Sisters Peak near Estes Park. What is interesting about this hike is that in 2013, the area, including the lodge where I am staying, was devastated by a landslide. The landslide ripped a path right across the hiking trail, taking out the switchbacks and creating consternation and several of the views you see below. The Dao House Lodge where I am staying can be seen from the first photo below. Google Fit times are from one of the longest hikes I did on 12/31/2020, shown with German localization of course. I met a lady on that hike who had a complete knee replacement after having been forcibly blown off Long's Peak. It is amazing and she was ecstatic to be back hiking already at 72 years old. She is just getting started after all. I definitely would like to meet more women like her.

Photos - Twin Sisters Peak - January 1, 2021

Image Image ImageImageImage

Alltrails - Twin Sisters Peak

I will work on cleaning up 2020 albums and will share the other 250 or so photos that I have taken recently as well.

I have been hiking so much that I have actually made decent progress listening to the history of German podcast by Travis Dow that I discovered only a couple of days ago. It turns out that Travis has an interesting language and cultural history since he grew up spending 10 years in Munich, 10 years in Oregon and 10 years in Prague, with a few additional years not currently accounted for. The podcast is very much made as a parallel audio. Travis recorded first in English, then translated the cast himself into German by playing back his English version and translating on the fly. Pretty cool from a language learning perspective. He also has several other projects, one of which, Die Geheime Kabinett, he has taken upon himself to translate from its original German (different narrator - Der Buddler) into English. Together, it makes for quite a bit of parallel audio from a single source.

With respect to my own experience, I can say confidently that listening to the English first provides a very noticeable comprehension boost, comparable to parallel text. Travis is very much interested in content and teaching and I find it helpful as the student to listen twice. What I miss in English, I am quite likely to pick up in German on round two.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:50 pm

This weekend, I finished reading my first wikisource book entitled An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language (1891) by Friedrich Kluge. According to the Wikipedia link, it was used as the source for etymology books in several other languages (Dutch, Old Norse, Swedish, English and Danish). Both Kluge and the translator John Francis Davis led interesting lives, the latter as sinologist and second governor of Hong Kong.

For my own edification, I went letter by letter and took text notes that amount to over 1000 lines. I have in mind for the work to serve as a bridge to studying older related languages should the desire strike and have already noticed that it adds a great deal of richness and important word associations/linkages to my existing vocabulary. I find Kluge's level of scholarship impressive and consistent and am glad to see etymology included spanning so many languages, many active and current.

While I am thinking micro-linguistics, I should mention for completeness that I read sometime in Q4 of 2020 PMP - Pronouns and Prepositions. I recall it being helpful, but in terms of content, that may be the extent of my recollection. I have more in mind for grammar, but what is in my mind doesn't always translate perfectly into German.

To conclude and add a bit of colour and scenery to the update, I promised to share the rest of my hiking photos from December 2020 and early January 2021, so below are several hundred in album format. I made the drive from Colorado back to Texas earlier in January. It took me about 18 hours via car. Definitely worth it to me and something I will likely do again.

Berg Olymp
Gem Lake
Haiyaha-See/umliegende Gebiet
Berg Lily
Smaragdsee Aussichtspunkt (Just before the snow squall)
Brynwood Hütte
Ypsilon Lake Trail
Glacier Gorge (Mills Lake, Alberta Falls)
Finch Lake from Wild Basin
Deer Mountain (Elk pics)
Lily Ridge
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MorkTheFiddle
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Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:53 pm

Good pictures all. Thanks for posting them. Will hang on to the links to look at next summer while sitting in a bathtub of ice. :)
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:01 pm

Vernunft und Gefühl

I decided on a whim to finish a mini-project this week that makes use of the free text download offered by dict.cc. Of the myriad options and use cases available, I decided to keep things simple by sorting my SQL Server data randomly and then importing the first 20k records directly into Anki (EN front, DE back, planning to set aside cards that I find interesting and delete the rest once seen). What this accomplished for me is that I now have a bilingual list of words, available wherever my smartphone goes and a wordlist that won't run out (set has more than one million records IIRC).

Exploration DWDS

After that first small success, I decided to go for more and see if I could manage anything similar with DWDS.de. It turns out that it was doable with a few more steps. To wit, I navigated to their DWDS.de/sitemap and made (old-school style, via copy/paste) a wordlist in notepad directly from that map, letter by letter. That process was quick and easy. I then inserted the data into SQL and came up with 223k records in total (I have used that dictionary often and kind of wondered how many they had). I randomized the DWDS list as well and next constructed valid URLs each pointing back to DWDS.de. It may be worth mentioning for anyone interested in doing similar work that I made appropriate substitutions for umlaut characters using the table below. Otherwise, I made the URL with normal string concatenation. By example:

ä %C3%A4
ö %C3%B6
ü %C3%BC
Ä %C3%84
Ö %C3%96
Ü %C3%9C
ß %C3%9F

e.g. you can have:

https://www.dwds.de/wb/Ausrotter
as the URL for der Ausrotter

or

https://www.dwds.de/wb/gef%C3%BCgig
as the URL for gefügig

At the moment I am not bothering with frequency data since I am just taking the randomized list using the Multi-Links Chrome extension to open 50+ tabs at once (or as many words as I wish to look at in one click), then learning right off Chrome on a big screen. For those interested in more, their API will return frequency information by word, which would be my long-term default/easy option. As a second alternative, I went ahead and downloaded the Lexikalische Datenbanken since it provides such a large corpus and have fiddled modestly with it in SQLLite database format.

Hammer!

Also and separately, I managed to read a bit of Hammer's Grammar and Usage without abandoning it this time. The scheme I devised encourages continued reading of the self-same text. What I did is notice that the hard copy is about the size and dimensions of a mousepad (the one I use to be exact), so I stuck the book right under the pad and now at every click, I have Hammer support, so to speak. Based on the mangled and bent pages, I am now about 135 pages into the madness and have finally reached an area that I have not wrinkled prior, so there is potential for new territory. I have other updates separate from micro-linguistics but will share them in separate posts later on since this one is pretty long already.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:54 am

Today I listened to Rick's LR presentation from PGO 2020 that he posted in his log and very much enjoyed it. Toward the end, someone asked about the Die Birkenbihl Methode, so I found and read the full description of it in German as reading practice. Since I am quite familiar with the original LR documents posted on HTLAL, I found the Birkenbihl interlinear framework quite complementary and the description of it well-written. I can see how components of it would easily fit into a comprehensive language program, so in that capacity, I have added it to my toolbox.

I also went down the rabbit hole a bit and read about similar methods:
Locke's System of Classical Instruction - Google Source Doc
History, Principles, Practice, and Results of the Hamiltonian System - Archive Source Doc
Hamiltonian Method - HTLAL

The Birkenbihl Method (in English) has been mentioned several times on the forum (two examples below). Based on having given likes to the poster, I must have perused the threads earlier but somehow failed to dive into the method mentioned. Part of the reason for my post today is that I feel others may have taken the same path and, out of common interest mainly, it is worth bringing attention to it. The history aspect alone is intriguing.

New Interlinear Text Creation-Software (Free) - LLORG
Questions on Bidirectional Translation - LLORG

As I was reading the document in German, I had the Transover chrome extenion active and couldn't help but notice the methodological similarities, especially with respect to using interlinear ideas on only those parts of the text where they are needed. The passive ''wave'' also felt very familiar having listened to (now thousands) of hours of podcasts.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:56 pm

Mediathek-Update

I am using the Super Challenge as a means of adding visual media to my routine. To date, I have watched more than 75 hours of qualifying film content, so I am about halfway to the 150-hour mark. Much of it has been in Doku format (ZDF.de, ARD), but I found some additional material below that I think is worth specific mention. ZDF, ARD and ARTE are not particularly reliable for me as go-to options since the vast majority of content is geo-blocked by default. Youtube has been a superior all-around alternative.

Urknall, Weltall und das Leben - I have an undergraduate background in theoretical physics and this channel by Harald Lesch and Josef M. Gaßner offers good quality content. The presenters both give quite clear explanations, aimed at general audiences and make very good use of hand gestures and other visual aids. I can follow it without subtitles but find that the auto-generated subs are good and helpful. I remember this type of material was one of the first types I could understand and follow in Spanish and this month, I first noticed the same pattern with German (better late than never).

Bibliothek der Sachgeschichten - This channel is decent, but I think more important is to note that the genre is a thing and offers good overall language content accessible at lower levels.

SWR Handwerkskunst - Offers a good amount of video content seeing craft in action. I enjoy watching and learning masters at their craft such as Wie man ein Buch bindet. I have this bookmarked for future SC material.

Zeitungsartikel

I am finding it useful to also track how much I am reading from general web info and articles. To date, that has been mostly from Die Zeit, but I am now branching out and capturing general data so long as the content is of decent quality and language value. This month, I have read close to 150 pages worth of article content. That is not much, but it is helpful for me to get a feel for what it amounts to and even more so for motivational purposes.

Zeit Online - I took advantage of their four-week free premium offer as an experiment and overall, I was very impressed. The quality of the writing and articles definitely lived up to and perhaps exceeded expectations. The Zeit Audio is worth a special mention. They provide a decent quantity of audio material matched perfectly to article content, which permitted me to play around with reading and listening at once. I read very slowly but was able to read articles from the paper without exceptional difficulty and was also able to follow along with the audio provided I stayed attentive. It was surprising to me to be able to read/listen decently since I am not yet at that point with audiobooks generally and Die Zeit has a reputation for being harder than the average paper (I am more or less calling that into question and saying to go ahead and give it a try rather than dismiss it as too hard). Current and prior issues can be downloaded in PDF format as well as sent via email and delivered directly to Kindle. I am not keeping the premium subscription since I find the cost too high, but I definitely recommend the trial. Cancellation works via email and they provide ein Formular, which helped make it look like I could write in German.

I plan to continue reading Die Zeit periodically as a litmus test, dipping from their free content.

Edit: I just noticed that Zeit Audio has a provision on its Android app to purchase a single issue for $2.49. To me, that seems like the most painless way to enjoy listening to it from time to time.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:55 am

It has been some time since I felt as fortunate to be sitting in a semi-quiet, intact building reading about rather than living through the times of In Stahlgewittern von Ernst Jünger. I learned about this book courtesy of DaveAgain's excellent log 10,000 Pages of German and via the helpful emphasis from cjareck. In case Dave happens to read this, Jünger did offer one quick mention of his passion for insects, but it is very easy to miss. There is plenty of dry humour and apparently his love for insects doesn't extend to times when he is directly accosted by them:
Der rötlich-weiße Fels wimmelte von Fossilien. Jedesmal, wenn ich den Graben durchschritt, kam ich mit Taschen voll Muscheln, Seesternen und Ammonshörnern in den Unterstand zurück. Mein Stollen war tief und tropfig. Er hatte eine Eigenschaft, die mir wenig Freude machte, trotzdem ich sonst leidenschaftlicher Entomologe bin. Es kamen nämlich in dieser Gegend statt der üblichen Läuse die viel beweglicheren Verwandten vor. Diese beiden Arten stehen anscheinend in demselben feindschaftlichen Verhältnis zueinander wie Wander- und Hausratte...Der zur Verzweiflung getriebene Schläfer riß endlich seine Decken heraus und konnte mit Mephisto sprechen...
On at least two occassions, Jünger mentions Simplicius, weaving together two eras, centuries apart through...lice of all creatures and things. In any event, I was happy to have read the two works recently in order to understand the metaphors.

In Stahlgewittern is compiled from his own diary entries throughout WWI, a format that I really enjoyed despite and perhaps because there wasn't much dialogue. It is and definitely should be compared with Im Westen nicht Neues, a book I read in English decades ago and still recall from its strongly anti-war message.

I read the text with significant help from google translate and was able to rely on it less and less as time marched on toward the end of the work (and end of the war). At over 200 pages, it is not overlong and was action-packed throughout. I never felt like I had to conjure up extra motivation to read it from trench to trench. I definitely recommend it both from a historical perspective and language-learning context.

Edit: It almost feels unfair to be able to take so much from a work in exchange for such a small investment.
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Chmury
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby Chmury » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:09 pm

coldrainwater wrote:Mediathek-Update

SWR Handwerkskunst - Offers a good amount of video content seeing craft in action. I enjoy watching and learning masters at their craft such as Wie man ein Buch bindet. I have this bookmarked for future SC material.


Sehr Dankeschön für all die Empfehlungen coldrainwater, insbesondere die Kanal oben. Sie ist großartig und ich liebe die Art Sachen auch. Ich bin ein der Menschen, der manchmal ASMR kriegen kann wenn ich jemanden, den etwas mit viel Konzentration mache, angucke, also ich frage mich, ob ich vielleicht dieses Kribbeln fühlen werde, wenn ich eine ganze Folge anschauen. Aber das gehört nicht zur Sache (ich lasse mich immer hinreißen immer wenn ich schreibe.. Entschuldigung!), da ich dir nur für die tolle Empfehlungen danken wollte.

coldrainwater wrote:Zeitungsartikel

Zeit Online - I took advantage of their four-week free premium offer as an experiment and overall, I was very impressed. The quality of the writing and articles definitely lived up to and perhaps exceeded expectations. The Zeit Audio is worth a special mention. They provide a decent quantity of audio material matched perfectly to article content, which permitted me to play around with reading and listening at once. I read very slowly but was able to read articles from the paper without exceptional difficulty and was also able to follow along with the audio provided I stayed attentive. It was surprising to me to be able to read/listen decently since I am not yet at that point with audiobooks generally and Die Zeit has a reputation for being harder than the average paper (I am more or less calling that into question and saying to go ahead and give it a try rather than dismiss it as too hard). Current and prior issues can be downloaded in PDF format as well as sent via email and delivered directly to Kindle. I am not keeping the premium subscription since I find the cost too high, but I definitely recommend the trial. Cancellation works via email and they provide ein Formular, which helped make it look like I could write in German.


Ja ich empfinde auch, dass die Zeit hochwertige Beiträge anbieten. Aber wie du, fand ich den monatlichen Geldbetrag zu viel um Teilnehmer zu werden. Aber nach dem, was du geschrieben hast, ich denke, ich muss wieder nachgucken, weil es toll und sehr hilfreich für mein Deutsch wäre, wenn ich die Zeit lesen könnte.

Vielen Dank nochmals für die Empfehlungen und deine großartige Einträge!
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:30 am

Chmury,

Thanks for taking the time to respond and I am glad you are enjoying the Handwerkskunst channel. Your log is always very inspirational to read and I like that you share so many of your experiences there with us.

Grammatik

Tonight I celebrate a small victory in that I finished my first reading of Hammer's Grammar. I am sure I only absorbed a fraction of the material this time and am therefore strongly considering making a second pass through it. I can't think of anything negative to say about it as a reference grammar. 10/10 and recommended. I believe it hits about the right depth given such a wide and inclusive scope and there are even supporting texts by the same author for additional followup including practice exercises. Without a doubt, the chapters most useful to me fell at the very end of the text: Valency, conjunctions and subordination, word order, word formation and prepositions.

I felt like I did a good job reading all the examples in German, but did not always link that reading to the grammar point(s) illustrated. The idea I am pursuing is to build grammar knowledge slowly and through gradual exposure in a variety of formats and from a variety of sources, with grammar trailing rather than leading other language components. Even if it arrives late as a support vehicle, I know it will help and unlock new language features.

As an aside, I mainly owe finishing the book to the unseasonably pleasant and cool weather that hit Houston this week. We had some actual snow on the ground that stuck for a day or two even though temperatures barely dipped below freezing. We lost power and water on multiple occasions, both of which positively impacted my studies. Turns out there are quite a few degrees to isolation and having one more apparently boosted concentration enough for me to plough through the last 200 pages or so.
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