To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Language Rendezvous)

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Re: Eine kleine Nachtmusik: A Sound Garden (Musically Exploring Language)

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:05 pm

DaveAgain wrote:The ubiquity of mobile phones is something I notice in new TV programmes. I realise screen writers can't ignore their existence, but I don't think they improve storytelling.


That's probably why I'm a big fan of series like Twin Peaks and Seinfeld - not many characters walk around with mobile phones there. The technology of the time is why the series work.
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Re: Eine kleine Nachtmusik: A Sound Garden (Musically Exploring Language)

Postby Iversen » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:26 pm

The newspaper in Harry Potter had moving pictures, but was still printed on paper. Now we have moving pictures on a screen. So the real world has passed the witchcraft in fiction on at least one point.
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Re: Eine kleine Nachtmusik: A Sound Garden (Musically Exploring Language)

Postby eido » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:26 am

Tandems are hard to keep up because people are inconsistent. But I'm thinking low language level is a factor in it, too.

I've been studying Japanese, Icelandic, and Korean this past week. No set schedule.

I bought a couple readers to ease myself into reading, and for some reason the Korean book is substantially harder than the Icelandic book even though I've studied quite a bit of grammar in Korean.

I think it's just lack of vocabulary in both languages that keeps me from understanding.

I've also been working hard on not literally translating my speech (in every language I'm studying) and instead going for more idiomatic variants even if it's not comfortable. I think I'm starting to see the fruits of my labor even though it's still in-trial.

There's no real way of testing it, though, since a lot of my exchange partners still translate literally from Spanish (or Korean, etc.) to English. I guess more reading on Quora/Jishik/what-have-you will be necessary.

I have a Spanish lesson tomorrow with my usual tutor. I'm trying to evaluate the usefulness of attending these mini classes. Usually they're the only Spanish interaction of a visual and vocal kind I get at all since I don't video call with people I've just met over the Internet.

But in these italki lessons we tend to go over the same things over and over because the tutor puts me on the spot and I'm not good at coming up with stuff that quickly, so I guess he counts it as a mistake. I'm not entirely sure. We've gone over the same main areas a few times now. I don't know if I should take charge or not, since he's pretty strong-willed. He's also knowledgeable, though, so I don't want to lose a relationship of that kind over a petty argument based on my lack of ability in autodidacticism.

Language learning is very much a comfort to me. I want to keep it that way.
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Scandinavian + Spanish)

Postby eido » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:20 pm

I've decided for a while to focus on my love of Scandinavian languages and improve my Spanish along the way.

You may all remember my huge plans to get better in one big swath, but those were only tentative and I didn't think I could get better in such a short amount of time, especially with my classwork and other life responsibilities.

I've updated the first post with a cute little photo of the characters from Hetalia that represent the Nordic nations in the series, and my profile photo is of me as a 17 year-old cosplaying one of them. (The Faroes aren't included :cry:)

It's fitting, I think, since anime was the conduit through which I was introduced to Icelandic, even as far- and different-seeming Icelandic and Japanese cultures can be, usually. I still have notebooks from 13 year-old me where I was using Livemocha to learn Swedish and where I hadn't quite realized that language learning was "my thing"--my calling.

Currently I want to focus on Norwegian and Icelandic, but I might throw some Danish, Swedish, and Faroese in there from time to time, too. (It just depends!) I have a lot of resources for Icelandic, including Icelandic Online, an ebook version of a reader, several books shipped direct from Iceland, PJT Glendening's Teach Yourself book (which sadly is almost falling apart), Colloquial...

For Danish I have Colloquial, for Faroese I have a textbook produced in the islands, and for Swedish, nothing...

But me and @David1917 once discussed learning all at once for comparison, and now might be the time. If I'm feeling spicy, I might include German.

What I'm most concerned about right now, though is my Spanish sounding too literal. I've absorbed a lot of how natural Spanish should sound, and a few recent exchanges have shown I can hold my own, with natives commenting that I "sound like a native" in multiple ways. This includes my accent and with expressions I've picked up. A lot of times on this forum I think I come across as a perfectionist, and maybe I am, but I just want to sound like me.

There's a quote, I think by Sofia Vergara, that goes a bit like, "Imagine how smart I am in Spanish." English is my native language and I'll always express myself better in it, but I think of all the immigrants to America, no matter where they're from, speaking a language they're unsure about, and consequently getting made fun of for it because of that uncertainty. We all want to sound smart. We all want to get our needs met, the way we want them met. People can already be awkward in their native language. Adding a second on top can spell even more trouble at times.

I'm not a complicated or complex person. So sounding like me shouldn't be too hard, right? I wonder if it may not be a pipe dream, though.

Note: I'm really not trying to be a perfectionist here. Learning really does give me zings of joy. I'm just trying to speak more correct Spanish than what could be considered gibberish.

Right now even more of a major struggle is the nuances between words, such as "complicado" which has multiple meanings or has shades of them. It's dictated by the context. If one were to be just starting out learning Spanish or even any language for the first time, and this time was on their own, it would be a different type of nightmare than solely one you experience at night lying in bed with your teddies.

Hopefully in the next day or so, I'll get to reading some Icelandic and add in some music. For now, you're all free to recommend me some tunes, stories, radio stations, news outlets, etc. in any of the languages you've seen me learn! I'm hungry :P
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Scandinavian + Spanish)

Postby Xenops » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:55 pm

Here's a very good Nordic playlist curated by a member of Wardruna. :D I've listened to Kalandra's songs more than I care to admit--both their English and Norwegian songs.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2YMRuaTDBC5X4jsfUBlD3i?si=6lZUZlp4SAeEV9gzpOg_6g
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Scandinavian + Spanish)

Postby eido » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:53 pm

I realized a couple days ago the extent to which most of these languages I’m studying can be considered a mere hobby. And it was freeing.

I’ve received a lot of advice over the past few years about how I should view learning, and I think it’s finally starting to stick. I used to view people who couldn’t follow a learning plan as goofs. Certainly I couldn’t be one, right? Obviously I considered the possibility, but I wasn’t aware of how deep the idea went down into the well (here, the proverbial well of knowledge).

Apparently Jackie Robinson, a baseball player, said that, “Life is not a spectator sport.” (A similar quote from someone millennials and centennials might be able to relate to a mite more comes from Ferris Bueller.) That’s why I thought that people who fooled around were at best silly, at worst incredible time-wasters—much like the class clowns you find in high school that only want to derail the class and keep the ones who want to learn from actually succeeding. But now I see that these people have one of the best philosophies in some cases.

I’m a natural overthinker. Betcha couldn’t tell :P I like logic and mashing puzzle pieces together to solve mysteries. That’s why language learning is appealing to me. But to a lot of people, it seems, it’s just a way to unwind, a way to advance in business, or a way to spend time with loved ones. It’s uncomplicated. Who am I to judge those perfectly valid goals, feelings, and ambitions?

I never really got mad at anyone for it, but rather envied their simpler approach to life. Now I think I’m ready to go harder by going slower and working smarter.

I think by simplifying down my process, I’ll eventually come to learn more. I’ve already gotten to the stage where I can work on making my thoughts more natural. And that’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to translate: you.

I also couldn’t help myself today. I read two Korean short stories and also took a Korean placement test. The stories were easy and I scored intermediate on the test. Things are going well. Now for the rest of my friends.
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Scandinavian + Spanish)

Postby eido » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:01 am

Today I read a chapter out of Ollie Richards’ book for Icelandic. It’s not a hard book, but I keep getting tripped up by vocabulary. I’ll be reading along, getting about 90%, and then a barrage of unknown words will appear. I know most of the grammar I encounter, although some constructions do confuse me. I’m at the awkward teenage phase in this language. My grammar knowledge far exceeds how many words I can pull out of a hat.

Yesterday I spent a good deal of time reading on HTSK about grammar points and absorbing them. I’m understanding Korean grammar pretty well. It’s not as hard as people make it out to be. It’s just remembering the point for future use that gets me.

I’m a solid intermediate according to several tests I took, and according to one vocabulary estimator, I know about 1,800 words. So A2? Most of it came from aural exposure and from k-pop of all places. But some I learned through @Evita’s deck, and other rando places. But long-time readers might recall that bit.

I’m now re-watching Run BTS, which is like a variety show... thing... that BTS shot in various locations of the world, including Malta I believe. We’ve come full circle. (For people who haven’t been following long, I’m a Maltese enthusiast even though I’m still a baby language learner. And Maltese can be a beast.) :P I’m watching it because, for at least the first few episodes, it has accurate closed captions in Korean and subtitles in English in case I get stuck. It’s also pretty goofy and fun, and light-hearted is always a good approach.

I haven’t had much luck finding Korean exchange partners I can regularly chat with. I think, when I found my longest-term friend, it was perfect fate. We still chat. But once he graduates with his Bachelor’s, I doubt we’ll speak to each other much.

I hope I can find some people to chat with soon. Spanish speakers tend to be ubiquitous on Tandem, but they also go just as fast as they come. Korean and Japanese speakers have to be lured out from their caves, and even then they may not stay long.

Into the routine I must put some Norwegian and Faroese...

This morning my lock screen on my HP was a lighthouse on an island in the Faroes home to 100 people. I think it’s a sign.

All is going well. I just have to keep at it.
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Language Rendezvous)

Postby eido » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:29 pm

Starting from this post, I want to keep track of all the vocabulary words I'm learning in the major languages I'm focusing on. I don't know, if in my last log (the one that lasted about 40 pages), my word tracking annoyed some of you, but it sure helped me. I like to keep things entertaining for everyone around me so maybe I could find some special facts about the words in question. Perhaps my log is of use to a fellow language learner and I don't even know it. So if I keep accurate enough track, my log could become a great resource for people besides myself.

I'm not great at organizing, so this will primarily be a "stream-of-consciousness" or "thoughts-that-come-to-mind" way of doing things.

Let's start with a recap of what I did today and yesterday up to this point.

So far I've:
  • Read one story in Korean from my collection of Korean short stories. This one was about a tiger and a rabbit, the tiger getting foolishly tricked by the rabbit out of his meal (read: the trickster). I am really enjoying these short tales, all of which come from traditional Korean culture. I correctly guessed the word for "rabbit," which I didn't previously know. Vocabulary was again an issue.
  • Read one article in Korean from a Korean news site made for kids. Lots of unknown vocabulary again.
  • Read at least four grammar articles on HTSK. Pretty easy, but theory is different than practice!
  • Done one mini lesson in Cherokee with a bit of review of how to correctly use person. Pretty simple. I'm planning on following their one-lesson-per-week plan, but I don't know how long that'll last.
  • Read one chapter in Ollie Richards' book for Icelandic learners. This was really easy this time! Overall comprehension without a translator and light use of a dictionary was maybe 88% so I think I'm close to B1 in reading if not already there.
  • Read one paragraph in Harry Potter og Eldbikarinn. This was much more difficult, but only because of all the damn unknown words. But that's to be expected. I'm staying calm lol :lol:
So here's my list of word's I've learnt, which is not exhaustive, just the ones I think are the most important to have learnt at this point in time:

Korean: 돌 (stone), 가져오다 (to bring), 굽다 (to bake), 통틀어 (throughout), 영향력 (influence/power), 꼽히다 (be chosen), 평가하다 (to evaluate/to make an assessment of sth), 밝히다 (to be revealed)

Most of these words have other meanings, but these are just what they meant in the context. Some I've heard before in other contexts but have just forgotten.

Icelandic: tígulstein (brick), þak (roof), bergflétt (ivy), að vaxa (to grow)

I'm not going to include words from the Icelandic Short Stories book because it has a built-in glossary and is pretty easy.

Since I'm reading the Goblet of Fire book, I figure I should keep a summary to see what I've understood and compare it against the English. So far they're describing how the house of a family is run-down but it was once great and the people admired the family, but not anymore.

Was I right? Let's see.

Checking an English copy, it seems I was but I missed a few details. That's alright! I give myself another 88%. I really hope, that, like they say, it gets easier as I go along.

A success for today: My default computer language is Korean (I once read that advice that changing your device's language can support learning), and I was trying to decipher the messages it was giving me while an update was taking place. I successfully did it except for one word, '작업'. But I guessed it meant "process" and it means something close to "work," so I was pretty close.

One of the messages was thus: "PC를 여러 번 다시 시작됩니다" ('your PC will restart multiple times'). It was probably the hardest to decode, but I did it!~ "됩니다" is used because it's an ongoing process, an evolving state of "on" and "off," I believe.

파이팅!
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Language Rendezvous)

Postby eido » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:48 am

I've had many ideas for consolidating Korean grammar over the past year, mostly involving music. I'm really not as much of a k-pop nut as one would think. I only have interest in two groups, and I don't keep up with all the hot goss. I sometimes read about it on ask-and-answer sites as y'all have seen here, and I go through YouTube comments if I get especially bored, but other than that, I try to just enjoy the music and the chaos created by the genre.

I was explaining to someone today that lyrics can be used to facilitate one's learning, and I have used them before like that in the past. I just don't think I was using them effectively since my efforts were unorganized. With a language like Korean, you have to fortify yourself and go all in carefully.

Even if I find some grammar points easy as they are, individually / as they come, making sentences is still difficult and it's the most fun part! So I have to figure out a way to get to making longer texts with more complex ideas embedded in them sooner rather than later, because it's what motivates me through its diversion and challenge.

I'll briefly summarize some ideas I've come up with (though maybe not shared here):
  • Transcribing albums from my favorite groups
  • Writing paragraphs using freshly learnt grammar concepts, vocabulary, and topics relevant to what I want to talk about
  • Finding song lyrics that match a certain grammar point I've just learnt
I really must do a better job, too, of keeping track of all the grammar points I'm familiar with in Korean (and other languages as well). I wouldn't know how to start a list from the beginning except benchmarking it as "I know all the grammar really well from HTSK 1." From now on I'll try to write down in my log what I've covered, no matter what it is. We already have words (all parts of speech included).

So today I studied -

1. ~던 and ~았/었던 (verb): according to the lessons, this is basically the whole Spanish imperfect tense condensed into a particle. I even checked the Spanish translation of the site to be sure, and it's quite similar. Damn Korean, you're on a whole 'nother level.
2. ~는지: this bit of grammar expresses uncertainty, kind of equivalent to "if." But it's more of a feeling ending / tonal marker than a true word for "if." ... "I'm not sure...", "I wouldn't know if..."--that's how I'd translate it.
3. ~려고 노력하다: seems similar to "tratar de"/"intentar" in Spanish. "To attempt to do something".
4. ~지만: verb ending marking contrast. "I like this, however..."
5. ~아/어도: verb ending marking inevitability; "even if you do this..."
6. ~라고요: verb ending marking a quote. "I mean to say that..."

I used HTSK and TTMIK for the grammar. I have multiple Korean books and sources to go through, but I think I'll go through these two first. I'm thinking 12 grammar points a week, though I don't know if that would overload the system. I've already reviewed a lot of the grammar just for fun, so I know in general about a lot of what I'll/I'd be learning. Going over them for the nuances shouldn't be a problem. I can read over the articles at breaks during work, and on the weekends put everything together. Maybe I can send short texts to my Busan friend during the week and complete the mini units slowly as the week progresses.

I don't know how long this could take me. Maybe 6 months? 8? Hmm. I won't say anything. I'm horrible at estimating. I didn't get my dad's abilities in mathematics by a long shot :oops:

I have the Francis Park series, three books in the Ehwa series, more than a couple TTMIK books, a beginning Korean Grammar In Use, and some other online materials. I sound spoiled, but I'm determined to get this language down pat. I'm going to go through all of them and they will be well-loved and used.

Here's a BTS song that has some of what I learnt in it. I'll just pick a couple bits from this week to focus on.

"넌 스스로 잘 해낼 테니까, 널 처음 만났던 그때가 생각나 어느새 훌쩍 커버렸네 니가, 우리 관계는 마침표를 찍지만 절대 내게 미안해 하지 마"
~ As time went by I deserted you, the first time I met you I thought would be the last, but our connection to each other is eternal

"널 다시 마주했던 때 14살 무렵 어색도, 잠시 다시 널 어루만졌지 긴 시간 떠나있어도, 절대 거부감 없이 날 받아줬던 너"
~ You came back to me when I was 14 years old, still young and inexperienced, but nothing had changed within you, and you took me back warmly

That's "First Love" by Suga. Loose translation provided by me.
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Re: To Catch an Aurora: On Top of the World (Language Rendezvous)

Postby eido » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:43 am

I've been busy all week, but I managed to squeeze in some mini-studying tonight.

I completed one lesson on the Indonesian Way website, studied some Cherokee (persons and verbs), and began reading about the Devanagari script in preparation to learn it properly. I have a hankering for Hindi.

This weekend will be full, but I hope to get a little Korean study in. I tried earlier in the week on my phone during some downtime but didn't succeed too well. However, I had more success with Tae Kim's grammar guide for Japanese and read through the first few lessons which were mostly review. I find I know quite a few words but I don't know how to write the kanji. I took a quiz over the weekend last week and it told me I knew 2,100 words in Japanese but it's possible I know more.

I'm chunking away, slowly but surely.
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